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The passing of Sam.

Posted 10-03-2015 at 11:03 AM by PushedAround

Sam, our eldest Springer Spaniel passed away last week. At 14.5 years old he lived a long and happy life, and I wanted to tell you a little about him. Sam was our first field bred Springer; a little larger, stronger and higher energy than a show spaniel, with a shorter coat. We almost didn't get him as we were looking for a female. But this male kept following us around the farm and would not leave us alone. "That's Tuffy" the farmer said, "follows me everywhere". The name Tuffy would prove to be prophetic. So we struck a deal and left with Sam and his sister, Libby. It was only later that I learned (Cheryl knew of course) that "Sam & Libby" was a high-end women's shoe company.

Sam and Libby were inseparable. As puppies, they could clamber over the 3' high baby gates that I put up to keep them penned in the kitchen. As a young adult, Sam could jump up high enough to put his paws on my shoulders and lick my face for a few seconds. And many a bird fell victim to his jumping skills. They were great dogs, Sam was everyone's buddy, and Libby was my little protector, barking if anyone got too close. They played together hard, and were nuts over chasing after tennis balls.

That changed one Saturday afternoon when Sam was 3. I came outside to find him laying in the flowerbed, barely breathing. We race to the veterinary hospital with Sam dying in my arms. Cellulitis, a massive infection of this right thigh almost took his life. He pulled through, but his leg was so weak that he could barely walk. He needed therapy, so I bought a 20' pool and every evening after work I took him in the pool to exercise his back legs. It took all summer but I nursed him back to health. He was never as fast as Libby anymore, but that didn't seem to bother him at all. He was one tough dog.

Sam also had to deal with a variety of health issues, including severe skin allergies, bladder stones, and such, but always with grace and aplomb. Nothing could get this dog down though. It was only when at 9 years old and cataracts started robbing him of his sight that he became upset. We decided to get him the cataract surgery, and with-in a few weeks his eyesight was back, not quite as good, but Sam was happy again. Then, about 2 years ago his eyesight started failing again, this time forever. But now Sam had once again adjusted, and through scent, and sound and even feel, he managed to follow our other dogs around the yard, do his business and return. Tuffy indeed.

Libby passed and he took it in stride. He was doing well with his routine, eating with lust and craving affection right up until this summer, when that faded too. Now, limping heavily on his weakened leg, he was obviously hurting and just going through the motions. It was clear that the joy was gone, and we knew what we needed to do. So with much love and many tears Cheryl and I put Sam to sleep, after a life well lived, for a much deserved rest. Sam, you will always be in my heart.
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    Posted 10-03-2015 at 11:22 AM by PushedAround PushedAround is offline

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