Friday, November 6, 2015

My heartache ...

My little old dog: a heartbeat at my feet.
Edith Wharton
Miss Cleo, Mister and Samson June 2012 when he was a chubby pooch :-)
Thu 5 Nov 15
For the last three days, Samson has not been able to walk. He takes two or three steps and his hind legs give out. He seems to have a problem with his left shoulder and right hip. Going out to potty is his only activity, twice a day. That is a difficult and time-consuming task. He falls; I pick up his rear until he gets his balance. Then three steps later is a repeat. I've gotten to the point where I can push my wheelchair with one hand and hold his rear up with the other to very slowly and carefully walk across the porch and the kitchen floor without him falling so often. When he gets to carpet, it's not quite so strenuous. He has eaten nothing for three days other than I hand fed him a wiener about two o'clock this morning. I put a bowl of very cold water near his mouth and, at times, he laps it up like he's parched. Other times, he acts as though I've offended him with the offering. I listen to the rhythm and clomp clomp as he's lapping that water and splashes it all over the bed. I never want to forget that sound. He looks at me with his big brown eyes. It's as though we see each others' spirits. (I took him to a trainer once. The man told me he'd been in business for 42 years and had never seen a person and a dog have such a connection where words were not necessary). He could read my eyes and I, his.

Samson Oct 2014 - He thought the couch was made for one
Last night, (Wed, 4 Nov) as I was preparing for bed, he would take a few steps then plop on the floor to rest while walking from the couch to the bed. It was difficult and seemed painful for him to stand on his hind legs as I helped him onto an ottoman, then the bed. I lay awake with him, crying uncontrollably. My constant companion for 12 years was ready to cross the bridge. The Rainbow Bridge. What would I do? I've slept a total of 7 nights in 12 years without him. I've not made one decision, even about what time of day to do certain chores, without thinking of him first. No matter how many mistakes I made with him; times I've lost my temper when he chewed up another pair of pants or socks (most of my bath towels have evidence shouting "Samson was here!"); or times I had to discipline him in the early years of training, his love for me never dimmed. Not once. He would bide his time until he forgot what he'd done (which wasn't long at all) and run with his tail wagging to jump on my lap and beg to go outside to play or just lay on the floor together. He taught me how to love unconditionally. We all make mistakes. We all say and do things we regret. Deal with it (or don't). Get over it (or don't). Live well and love no matter how others choose to live. He always forgave no, matter what. He always loved, no matter what. He always wanted to have fun and enjoy the moment.

Nov 2014 Practicing his 2nd favorite hobby (1st - eating)
Thursday afternoon (5 Nov) I took him to the vet's office after a laborious walk to and getting into the car. Dr. Fulks came out and asked what would be easier for Samson and me. Did I want this to take place in the office or in the car? I'd rather have the office. I don't want to picture him in the back seat like that every time I get in the car. She carried him into the exam room and laid him on the table as she explained what would happen. I could not speak. I could barely breathe. I signed the consent paper. The table was high enough that Samson and I were face-to-face about 16" apart. As she prepared the syringe, Samson pulled himself to the edge of the table. I knew exactly what he wanted. He wanted to rub noses. We did that often. As she gave him the shot, he never took his eyes off mine, nor mine from his. She left the room and came back with the last of the medication about 5 minutes later. We sat there in silence, knowing we'd had a great 12 years. He managed to signal one more nose rub as his eyes never left mine. Then he was gone. A part of me left with him.

Best friends April 2015
I went to my car and looked at all the evidence of such heartfelt memories: his leash and collar; the bottled water and snacks I always kept available for him tucked inside his portable bowl; the bed pillow he liked to lay his head on when we went for drives. I wish I'd done more. I wish we'd had more time.

Samson and his friend, Rudy October 2014
 As I pulled into the driveway, it was eerily quiet. No barking from the time I pulled in until I opened the door and no wagging tail to greet me.

Going to bed was just so abnormal. Miss Cleo and Mister didn't come to bed until almost 5:30 this morning. I had to put on an extra blanket because my natural heater wasn't laying on me.

As I woke this morning (6 Nov), I didn't want to get up. It was just too quiet. Samson snored like a man. ha I wanted to hear him snoring and feel him kicking me in his sleep. I'll keep those memories of him forever. Miss Cleo and Mister have looked everywhere for him. They've gone room to room and pillow to chair searching for their friend.

Samson, Mister (tabby), Miss Cleo (tuxedo) and Baby (Quaker parrot)

Each day will be a step to my new normal. Life always seems to work itself out. I will keep him always in my heart. I envision him running through fields of tall grass chasing rabbits and chipmunks. He never got to do that because I could not let him run free here. (He did have a nice fenced yard.) I hope he's doing that now.


  1. Oh LesleyAnn, this post must have been heartbreaking to write, but it's a great tribute to Samson. He was just the dog you needed, and I really think he was meant for you to find. And what a friend he was. I'll be praying for you, as I have been there, and I know it's no picnic to lose such a wonderful dog. The Lord keep you in your sorrow.

  2. :( praying for and crying with you, our heart breaks with the sadness. Love you LesleyAnn

  3. Hi, LesleyAnn. Thank you so much for your comment on my blog. I always try to visit someone new when they comment, so I came here to see and found this entry. I don't know you, but I am SO sorry and sad for you. I bawled like a baby while reading this. There is nothing to say that will make your pain more tolerable. Time will take care of that. Just know you made his life the best it could be and so much more than a lot of unlucky pups have while here on Earth. Sounds like you were a wonderful friend and caretaker for him. You were both lucky to have each other for as long as you did. A big hug from a stranger and fellow dog-lover who knows exactly what you're going through and feeling. ♥♥♥

  4. So very sorry, LesleyAnn, to read about your last few days with Samson. It sounds like you two were "meant to be" and I'm sure he knew how much he was loved. Time will lessen your sorrow. Remember all the fun times you had with him. I'm sure he is enjoying running and chasing squirrels and rabbits now, free of pain. Hugs to you

  5. aww, i am never ever sure what to say at the loss of a special close friend. i know for me it still hurts after many years of my loss in my Furball ... it never seems to disappear. i know some say get another, but how can you replace the one you has gone on?. i wish you peace & comfort. sending big big hugs. ( :

  6. You can be assured Samson is running in those fields of tall grass chasing rabbits and chipmunks along with my many companions so he'll never be alone, ever.
    So very sorry for your loss. But I'm also so very happy you two had each other for those 12 years.
    (((Hugs))) ~ Lacy

  7. LesleyAnn, THANK YOU for sharing Samson's story with me. It's really both your stories isn't it. How lucky you two shared such a special bond for so many years. It is heartbreaking to have to let them go but also a final last gift that we can spare them needless suffering. Big tearful hugs go out to you. Theresa

  8. Thank you for sharing this, I know it had to be very hard to do, my thoughts and prayers are with you!


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