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Samson

Oct 15, 2021

We adopted Sam from the Denver Dumb Friends League in January 2008. I was inspired when I read that realtors were showing houses in foreclosure and were finding abandoned pets in these homes. We looked online and fell in love with Sam from his picture. We kept his name but didn’t know much about him. He was a German Shepherd/Lab mix with floppy ears and dark brown, expressive eyes. He had come from a Kansas shelter and was about a year and a half old. We took him home and we were not surprised that he seemed a bit anxious. After a day or so, we realized that something was wrong and we took him to our vet. He was diagnosed with bronchitis and we started him on antibiotics. A return visit a few days later revealed that he also had pneumonia. We took home a portable nebulizer and used it several times a day. Another visit to the vet and he was diagnosed with an infection in his esophagus. Apparently, we had adopted a very sick dog whose future was in immediate jeopardy. We saved his life and had the medical bills to show for it. Sam’s anxiety was in full swing when he recovered from his medical problems. He barked incessantly in the car no matter the length of the ride. Anyone walking by our house also received frantic barking as Sam protected us from intruders. If he was in the back yard, the squirrels tormented him and he had to come inside. You may think that barking is normal, but Sam was at a different level. He chased his tail, paced, and cried about nearly everything. Dog training only slightly improved his behavior. After several months of trying to integrate him into society, we gave up and kept him home with us and tried to shield him from his triggers. He was medicated with Prozac, and again this only helped him slightly. When he was about 10 years old, I tried another dog trainer and she suggested Trazadone. This finally gave him (and me) some relief. It was still difficult to take him on walks. In his 14th and 15th years, his vision faded and so did his hearing. I was finally able to walk him without him trying to chase down every car or person that we encountered. Working from home during Covid was enjoyable for both of us. We were able to take daily walks and he spent most of the day sleeping at my feet. We always thought he would just not wake up one day. He was still healthy and he had far outlived the vet’s prediction of a probable 10-year lifespan. This summer it became evident that he was in pain when getting up and standing. He started to lose control of his bowels and refused to go on a walk. The time had come. We put him down at home where he was surrounded by his family, in his bed. We told him how much we loved him and promised him that he had been a good boy. He has left a hole in our hearts and family. No other dog can replace his goofiness. He was so sweet and had such a loving personality after we adjusted our behavior to fit his needs. Sammy, run and play when you cross the Rainbow Bridge, we will meet up with you in the end. We love you and miss you every day!

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