Goodbye, sweet girl

March 16, 2005 § Leave a comment

Sambo Ming, my best friend, passed away March 15, 2005 at Ansley Animal Clinic due to complications from epilepsy at age 9. She is survived by her adoring parents and adopted sister Maggie May.

I adopted Sam as a gift to myself halfway through undergraduate school. My sister and I drove to the boonies outside of Orlando to Bithlo, also known as the World Famous Home of the Mullet. Amongst the trailer parks and feed stores was the House of Golden Retrievers. The litter had an astonishing 11 puppies. There were several males, but Sam was the last bitch left. Naturally. They originally gave her the name Ginger, but no dog of mine was going to grow up to be a stripper.

The shy little pup we brought home soon revealed her self to be quite the character. Although she got carsick on the way home, riding in the car soon became one of her favorite things. She thoroughly enjoyed terrorizing my father’s golden, Goldie, to no end. She also became an Olympic qualified swimmer and spent every waking moment in the pool. Her favorite game was to jump onto unsuspecting swimmers from the deck and attempt to drown you. You could hide underwater for a few seconds, but she would only circle above you like a hungry shark.

During trials and tribulations, she was always there for me. She was always ready to go for a car ride (she had an uncanny habit of jumping into any open car door and refusing to come out until she at least got around the block). She was the friendliest dog ever known. A true people-dog, she would rather associate with the bipeds on outings to the dog park as she knew the rewards included many cookies and head/ butt rubs. She was there through all the laughter, and especially all the tears… any sniffling she heard would instantly beckon her to sit next to me snuggle. When I was with her, I felt complete.

When the boy and I met, Sam and I would take weekend trips over to his place. The boy and Sam were inseparable. He was her favorite boy in the whole world, and she lit up when he walked in the room with a Frisbee (which we had to call a ball since that’s the only word she knew other than cookie and outside). She would wait until he left, then quickly hop up on the forbidden leather sofa. Every time she was caught she’d give you a little smirk that made you forget what she did in the first place. I often longed to come home to the sweet girl who greeted me with nothing but love I walked in the door. She would greet me with the thumping of her tail and guide me to pet her with my hand, a favorite relaxation technique. She was large enough to give full body hugs, yet sprightly enough to romp about or swim effortlessly. She was so sweet and gentle, yet so tough and stoic. She barely whimpered when in pain or discomfort, and she wrestled like the best of them with Maggie. She would never dare to bother you with her discomfort. Even when she broke her toe, even when we dressed her up in funny clothes… because she was just so giving.

Sam was diagnosed with epilepsy at the age of 3. She was prescribed a treatment of phenobarbitol that limited the amount of seizures and allowed her to live a healthy, active normal life. She had not had a seizure in well over a year. However, on March 14th, she suffered a traumatic seizure that left her weak and unable to move or breathe properly. She was able to walk to the car for one last ride, but her heart stopped shortly after arrival at the veterinarian. We are devastated, but are comforted by the fact that she spent her last days with us doing what she loved most: spending time with us, catching the frisbee at Piedmont Park, and wrestling with Maggie. She brought joy and happiness to every day of my life.

As I sit here typing with tears streaming down my face, I look outside the window to see that the once sunny weather has turned to rain. The sky is mourning, perhaps, at the passing of girl who inspired renditions of You Are My Sunshine with her sweet, loving face. Goodbye Sam, my sunshine. We will always love you.

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