In memoriam: Sam

On Saturday, September 22nd, George and I had our ancient Welsh corgi Sam put to sleep. Sam was fifteen years old and had been George’s parents’ dog. After his mother died five years ago, Sam was an orphan and had nowhere to go, so he came to live with us and Rosie, our other corgi, who is now ten years old. At that point Sam was really sad (after helping with Genevieve’s care for several years) and confused by her death, as well as massively overweight. We didn’t expect him to live long. But he went on a diet, got more exercise, and Rosie accommodated herself to him, and he had a new lease on life. Who would have thought that he’d still be around five years later. By the end he was very arthritic, almost totally deaf and mostly blind, but he still loved his supper and treats.

During this 4th of July weekend, Sam had some sort of “spell”, and he wouldn’t eat his supper. When Sam wouldn’t eat, you knew that something serious was wrong. He rallied, but began a serious decline that went through the rest of the summer, with short periods of being the “old Sam.” The weekend of September 14-16, he was quite remarkable, supervising us in roto-tilling the back yard at the Austinburg house. But then he went precipitously downhill all the following week, and by Thursday he was barely conscious, he wasn’t eating or drinking, wasn’t aware of his surroundings, and when he was awake he was extremely agitated. George had been up most of the night with him all week. So we decided that it was time to end Sam’s suffering.

Late morning on Sept 22nd we drove out to Chardon to the vet who has taken care of Sam for his whole life, and he agreed that we were probably only beating nature by a few days, and that there was no reason for Sam to suffer, especially since his “Sam-ness” was gone. There was not that Sam spark last night, so I knew it was time. We spent time with Sam before the shot, both George and I were there, as were Dr. Allman and his two long-time assistants. After Sam was gone, they did not rush us out, but gave us some time to be with him. It was quick and peaceful.

Sam has had a good long 15 year life, and has survived many things that less hardy dogs would not. (Like horrific heart worm treatment and his many tumbles down the steps) He was a good and friendly companion. Sam was a stereotypical “grumpy old man,” but he never met anyone he didn’t like. His ashes have been buried under a tree in the back yard at the house in Austinburg, a spot where he especially liked to lie in the shade.

We’ll miss him.

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