Goodbye Sam

Your love of dogs and your unabashed dialogue about them on your show makes me proud that you have the platform to help direct, guide, or just wake up the ones that have lost their way. So many seem to have, but this is about my best friend, my Labrador, Sam. I am 70 years old and have had dogs all my life, some ordinary some extra-ordinary, all of them wonderful, but Sam . . Sam was a cut above all the others. Sam would have been 13 last Feb 2010. Dogs, some more than others, have the ability to be empathetic with their human friend. They give amazing comfort to patients in hospitals, they can (while you watch), lower your blood pressure, their bond to you is truly unconditional.

When a dog is 12 years old, getting up is more difficult, everything they do is slower as it is with us. You know in your mind and heart that some day they won’t be with you anymore. You don’t really think about the end because most times you have to make the decision to end their life. If you’re lucky you only have to actively think about that once, and you do it and he’s gone and pain free, but somehow the pain lingers in you. Even months or years in the future recalling the details of that day bring tears.

A few months ago my wife sent me an email at work. It said, “Urgent, call me about Sam”! All I could think of is, “Oh no, it’s too soon”. When I called, my son-in-law had just brought him back from the Vet with the news you don’t want to hear. Even with several operations and buckets of medications he might have 1 or 2 months to live.

The next day he couldn’t even stand up without help and the following day I had to hold him up so he could go outside. If I let go he would just crumble to the ground. It took several days to find a Vet that would come to the house (for less than $1000) and that was plus the injections plus the assistant and plus transport to a pet cemetery. I finally did find one and Sam died in my arms licking my hand.

I was listening to your show driving home from work and you had two gentlemen on that had put their “best friends” to sleep. I was going to call but I knew that I would have been too choked up to communicate well so I am sending this to your website instead. Keep up your wonderful work.

– Richard from North Hills, CA