My mom called with some really sad news. My parents lost their golden retriever Sam.
I am heartbroken. My parents gave me my love for goldens when they rescued one when I was a teenager. Sam was their second golden rescue.
My parents adopted Sam in 2011 from the Golden Retriever Rescue of Atlanta. There was no way to know how old he was but he was probably somewhere between 5-7. He was a really big, solid boy.
Sam had a really sweet personality. Like most goldens, he just wanted to be near you all the time. When they first brought him home from the rescue, he would drive you crazy constantly nudging your hand for a pat and leaning against you just to have his body near yours.
He and Sullie loved each other and spent many holidays and visits home together.
When my parents moved to the beach, Sam embraced it with enthusiasm! His favorite things to do was climb in the chair with me when my dad would bring him down to visit me on the beach.
Last year my parents sent me this photo of Sam with a lizard in his mouth. After years of chasing them on walks, he finally caught one. They said they couldn’t pry it away from him!
Over the years, Sam developed a limp in one of his back legs that he couldn’t seem to get over no matter what treatment or medicines my parents tried. A few months ago my parents took him to a special orthopedic surgeon for a surgery to hopefully help him walk without pain. For the first 4-6 weeks after the surgery, Sam had to be confined to a crate or small area. Once he began moving again, he was still limping pretty badly. He was home for Christmas and it was really sad to see him in pain. My parents tried injections and laser treatments but nothing seemed to help. Yesterday the vet they discovered a large, fast growing, cancerous mass on his side that was making him sick, in pain and still unable to walk. My parents were there with him until the end.
I know this is a sad post to share but this seemed like the best way to remember him for myself and my parents, who read daily. My family has had dogs since I was a baby and they are an incredibly important part of my life…and I know many of you feel the same way and can relate to how emotionally painful it is to lose them. I remember each and every one of our dogs and they were all special in their own ways. It never gets easier to lose them…they are with us for such a short time. It doesn’t even seem fair. I am so grateful for every moment I was able to share with Sam and I hope he’s walking down the beach limp and pain-free in doggie heaven. I’m hugging my girls extra hard tonight.