The view from my perch on the mountain

My buddy

I don’t know how else to do this so I’ll just spell it out. As many of you are aware, my best friend Sam has been battling a sudden onset of illness for the past couple of weeks that we suspect may have been caused by deliberate poisoning. He had been responding to treatment and slowly regaining the weight and strength he had lost.

Last night he showed no interest in his food bowl even though Frankie had added a few special treats from the fridge. This afternoon he had a bloody stool followed shortly after by vomiting a large amount of blood. Our vet is out of town until Monday so we called the toll free veterinary emergency line. By the time the vet in town called us back Sam was no longer able to stand or even lift his head and his breathing was very labored. The vet agreed to open her clinic but even the 10 minute drive to town took its toll and he was just too ill to save. Putting him down was the only option left.

Sam finds a home, July 2004 

Frankie and I stayed with him until he drew his last breath because we didn’t want him to die in the hands of strangers. Laura arrived shortly after and had a chance to say good bye to the first dog she had ever had. When we first moved here we promised Laura she could have a dog as a way of easing the heartache of leaving all of her friends back home. It seems like only yesterday when she brought that little furry ball of teeth and energy home from the cow shed where he had been born.

IMG012 (2)

We’re trying to take comfort in the knowledge that Sam is in a better place and his suffering is at an end.Still, this was the hardest decision I have ever had to make and I have had to make some tough ones in my day. He will be sorely missed.

Triust me, the cats did it.

Sam the Wonder Dog

21 May 2004 – 27 November 2010

He was a very good boy


25 responses

  1. Hope

    I am so sorry for your loss.. they are such dear and ever so cherished friends.
    we lost ours towards the end of summer this year.. he was 15 year old.. their passing does leave a hole in ones heart and life.. but you still have the wonderful memories.. and nothing can take that away..
    softest of hugs

    November 27, 2010 at 7:04 PM

  2. Chip, Frankie and Laura
    Im so sorry to hear about your beloved Sam,
    Chip we have all got to know Sam through your blogs and i dont think there a person who read about Sam, who ever left your page not having a smile on there face,
    Sleep peacefully Sam


    November 27, 2010 at 7:16 PM

  3. Tears are flowing here and big hugs to the whole family are sent with my prayers. I do know that you all will meet up with Sam again one day. So glad you have all those wonderful memories and great photos of Sam to help ease your pain..may God comfort you in this loss of a wonderful furry member of your family.

    November 27, 2010 at 8:11 PM

  4. I am so sorry Chip.

    November 27, 2010 at 8:48 PM

  5. Chip, the words won’t come to express all that’s in my heart. I’ve been holding back the tears from seeing your Facebook post while away from the computer. I knew once I saw your photographs and read the details, the dam would break. It did. Just know that you, Frankie and Laura are in my thoughts and my prayers. Thank you for sharing your beautiful boy via your blogs, your photos, your posts and comments on Facebook. Thank you for taking all of the steps that you did when he first came into your life to bring him to health and nurture him. Steps that others very well may not have taken. And thank you for giving him a wonderful, fun, enriched life that he obviously adored immensely. I’m a person that believes God helps us to find our animal companions, and gives them to us on earth to take care of and to love. In return they give us immeasurable unconditional love, loyalty, and joy unspeakable. I’m one that also firmly believes that all dogs do go to Heaven. So, even though it hurts now horribly, see Sam resting in the Lord’s arms, just like the image of Jesus with the lamb. Not even a sparrow falls to the ground without our Father knowing it. One day, my buddy, you’ll be with your buddy again…

    November 27, 2010 at 8:50 PM

  6. ohhh my heart is breaking! i just dont have the words … ;(

    November 27, 2010 at 9:02 PM

  7. Bless his sweet heart…how we love them while they’re here, how we miss them when they leave us. May you rest in peace, precious Sam.

    November 27, 2010 at 10:19 PM

  8. Chip, I already left you a note on your other page, but I came to this page as well and saw what Jeanne Holland Newton wrote to you. She has expressed every feeling that I have about this, too, and I am still so flooded with tears that I can’t get to sleep — and I know you all can’t either. Sam was certainly Sam The Wonderdog and you all are certainly The Wonder Allens of this great state of Virginia. You did this world proud by the way you took care of every need of Sam’s and the love you lavished on him. He was the finest of of our furry friends and will never be forgotten. Gosh, I’m not even there and I loved him, too. Everyone did, but you know that. Take a little time to get through the tough feelings and know all of us (me, too, you know) are here for you any time, day or night. I am so very, very sorry from the bottom of my heart.
    Love to all of you. ~~ Jenny

    November 28, 2010 at 12:03 AM

  9. feeling with you.

    November 28, 2010 at 4:34 AM

  10. thinking of you and yours Chip x

    November 28, 2010 at 4:44 AM

  11. Oh I am so so sorry and really do feel for you. I am crying right now typing this and know only too well that awful decision you had no choice but to make for Sam not to suffer.
    Our Sam was such a wonderful world wide pet to all who shared your adventures and mishaps.
    As you quite rightly say ‘He was a good boy’.

    November 28, 2010 at 7:26 AM

  12. brent

    chip, our first dog Jackson’s final hours were similar and the whole experience devastated us for a time. there are many good memories to carry with you, i’m sure. peace.

    i share here our way of memorializing him in case it might make sense for your family. we had him cremated and placed his ashes under a tree (ours was a blue spruce) we planted in his honor.

    November 28, 2010 at 7:30 AM

  13. Im really sorry for your loss Chip, Frankie and Laura, I know exactly how you feel, I had to have my dog put to sleep,( also called Sam) it was a terrible decision to have to make, but in the end one I had to make because he was ill, I missed him terribly for months, actually I still do 😦 I shed a tear when I read you’d lost Sam, I dont even know you, but its horrible! I always said I’d never have another but almost a year later I had to have one, the house just isnt the same without one. Im thinking of you all, take care Anne x

    November 28, 2010 at 8:59 AM

  14. Kim

    Oh Chip I am in tears. I can’t believe Sam is gone. I am so sorry. I know Sam was your world. You know I understand how you’re feeling right now. After loosing Sadie to Cancer, Blu to poisoning and then Buddy to the heat this Summer, I know the pain you’re going through. Nothing but time can heal you but please know, I’m here for you. God Bless you and Frankie and that beautiful Black Lab looking down on you. ((hugs))

    November 28, 2010 at 10:18 AM

  15. I am so, so sorry. and I can hardly write any more, ‘cos I’m crying… Which is no help to you or me, or lovely Sam….My Bess has been ill and near to death, as the vet was almost too keen to offer, but she’s pulled through after being drip fed, and monitored overnight .. and I’m still worrying .so I know your pain, I lived it for days last week. The terrible feeling of loss, the gap in your life where this bundle of energy and love was, a ‘friend’ of thirteen years .(i foresaw this at home alone). and I sobbed like a baby. and am doing so now for your loss.
    My sincere sympathies for the loss of your pal Sam. xPenx

    November 28, 2010 at 10:35 AM

  16. Sue A. Lehman

    Excuse me while I wipe my eyes. SO sorry for your loss. I know exactly how hard it is to have to make that decision and to see them slip away. We had to put our Nikki down last April and I’m still mourning her loss. Thanks goodness you took so many pictures of Sam on your photo treks—it was kind of you to share him with us. We’re STILL looking for another dog, as it seems so empty around here without one. She was 13 years old too when we put her down. But take joy in Sam’s existence and at what a great friend to you he was. We’ll all remember him as you saw him through your lens. RIP Sam.

    November 28, 2010 at 12:35 PM

  17. Truly sorry to hear your news. You did the best you can and so did Sam. As is often said ‘ He had a fair innings’ (good age). Hope you can find a spot for him to rest, not too close to ( the Bl****y) cats I suppose ?
    Now comes the big and little moments when he isn’t there still. They’ll come and you’ll adjust. Goodbye to Sam, Thanks for the memories. Love Simon

    November 28, 2010 at 1:22 PM

  18. Dear, dear Sam…he will be sadly missed by all of us.

    I read this earlier, but was too upset to leave a comment…darn it! I’m getting all choked up again!!

    My love and (((HUGS))) to you, Frankie and Laura…Sam was one very special friend.


    November 28, 2010 at 1:46 PM

  19. Oh Sam… ;( I can’t believe you’re gone…Wolfie is howling in the silence of the night…RIP my furry friend from across the Pond…
    I am so sorry RM…I know what a wonderful buddy Sam was to you and to all your family and this is such sad news…Sam was beautiful and through your blogs he stole a little piece of Wolfie’s heart too…
    The night will be a little colder now he is gone…but remember…he will always walk with you even if you can’t see him anymore…there is a part of him that will pad along with you for always…Icewolfie hugs…

    November 28, 2010 at 2:55 PM


    So sorry to read about your loss, I hope you catch the b*stard who poisoned him.

    November 30, 2010 at 6:49 AM

  21. Juli

    Poor Sam. Poor You!! I’m so sorry to hear about this. Please know that my heart is out to you. I, too, will be losing a dog very, very soon and know that it must be incredibly tuff!

    December 1, 2010 at 8:00 AM

  22. SethPopowich

    I had to stop by after hearing the news and being able to click on your link. I want to express my sympathy to you and yor family on the death of your companion pet, Sam. It was apparent that the decision to ease his final days was not an easy one to make.
    The death of a four-legged loved one is a difficult time no doubt. So sorry…..

    December 6, 2010 at 11:52 PM

  23. Dear Chip: I’m sorry it took me so long to get over here…and what do I find, but your lovely Sam is gone…trying not to cry…Len didn’t make it, she’s in the bathroom bawling…I know this is late,(we just had a new baby granddaughter yesterday and boy have I been ill or I’d have been here sooner!) but we want you all to know that we get how hard this must have been for you…we lost Shebah, Boaz’ mum, five years ago, and I STILL wake up some nights thinking she’s nuzzling me out of bed, only to find she’s gone…I am glad you made the choice of getting Buddy…he looks so beautiful…it won’t replace Sam the Wonder Dog, but it will heal your hearts in time I’m sure of that…love to all of you, Katie and Len.

    December 15, 2010 at 12:32 PM

  24. Pingback: 2010 in review « The Pine Ridge Philosopher

  25. WordsFallFromMyEyes

    This really upset me – he’s so small, gorgeous and defenceless. I really hope he’s okay now. Beautiful pictures.

    February 23, 2012 at 4:15 PM

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