Thursday, August 8, 2013

Saying good-bye to Sam (Stat K Sam -- 5/10/2000 - 8/8/2013)

I said goodbye to my wonderful boy this morning.

Holding Mom's hand...

Sam lived with me for 10 years, 10 months, and 2 days. He has slept at my side every one of those nights. (Tonight is going to suck.)

Oreo & Sam
Oreo & Sam

He's made me laugh every single day. He was a stubborn, single-minded, high-prey, food motivated, goofy doofus. He's driven two of three housemates crazy. Only Silver managed to keep him in line.

And Sam trumps Jacey with his tail
Jacey & Sam

Sam's been on meds for years. He had arthritis and some slightly herniated disks, LS, LP, and was starting to have kidney issues. He's been taking gabapentin, tramadol, methocarbamol, metronidazole, doxepin, thyroxine, and prilosec, in addition to glucosamine, fish oil, and probiotics. And he was remarkably patient about taking a mouthful of pills after every meal, four times a day.

Sam 0503
Sam, in the days before arthritis and LS

But the pills were no longer controlling the pain, and there were episodes of panting triggered by pain. He went to the vet Monday for a shot of dexamethasone to see if that would help with the pain in his back. The shot gave him good results on his legs--Sam wasn't having as much trouble getting his legs under him when he needed to stand up--but it didn't help with the pain, and it only helped his legs for two days. He was maxed out on pain meds, but still in pain, and he didn't deserve that. I knew I needed to let him go.

Stalking peanut butter crackers

And we were able to time this right: he still loved his food and his trips outside, so we didn't wait so long that he was miserable. But this morning, his legs gave out on a very short walk, so his body was letting him down, even if we'd been able to find another painkiller that worked. He just had too many things wrong at once.

A Pair of Heads
Sam's most famous photograph, which has shown up on lots of websites

I made the appointment with his vet. On the way, we stopped at McDonald's and I got him the current "2 for $3" special--two sausage and egg biscuits. I'd never given him sausage before. I sat in the backseat with him in the vet's parking lot, and Sam ate every crumb--sausage, eggs, and biscuits.

Jacey's last pictures were sad: she felt so bad, and I hate to look at those photos.
Sam's last pictures are triumphant: "Food! I've got food!"

I got him into the vet's office, and once he was able to get his legs back under himself, he started surfing the countertops, looking for cookies, and he stuck that long nose into the trash can. By the time his vet came in, Sam was ready to lie down in his favorite sphinx pose. After the sedative, he put his head down on his forelegs and fell asleep. He didn't stir when the vet gave him the final shot. I cried--and so did Sam's vet. "He was such a goofy boy," the vet said.


I'm going to miss you, Boo-boo.


Patty E. said...

I'm so sorry. I read about Sam on Greytalk today. Sam was such a special boy. I love all the photos of him. You are in my thoughts.

Cool Kids Clubhouse said...

Oh Kathy, I'm so sorry. I've been dreading this day for you. And in a way, for us too. I'm going to miss the Sam stories. Sending hugs and anything else that might help. At least now he can run.

Greyhounds CAN Sit said...

My heart is aching for you. I've done this quite a few times myself. It's the last act of kindness we can do for our beloved friends but the hardest. Run free Sam.

Anonymous said...

I am so very sorry, Kathy. I know and understand your pain.

Never Say Never Greyhounds said...

Oh, Kathy. So sad to hear this news. Love the pictures especially the cuddle one with Jacey. I hope peace finds you and Silver soon as you settle into a new normal.

Hazel said...

I'm so sorry that you had this great dog pass away!. Thank you so much for sharing him with us.

Sistertex said...

Sitting here crying for you... OH I have been down this road SO many times with my greyhounds. It never gets easier, always so tough, that last single act of love...letting them go. Big hugs, I know how it hurts to lose them. :(

Sam is the brightest star in the sky right now, shinning his love down on you to let you know how much he loves you. He still in your life, now and forever.

Take care.

Elizabeth (Beth) said...

We sat next to each other at lunch last year at the Sega trip to Birmingham. I remember very well hearing about Sam - your love for him came through loud and clear : ) I just wanted to send my condolences and wish you and Silver comfort in the days ahead.

Beth, Journey's mom

houndstooth said...

I am so very sorry you had to let him go! We lost one of ours this summer, too, and there's just no good way for it to happen, but I am glad that you have a lot of happy memories of your time with him.

MaryH said...

Coming from Two Greyhound Town to say I am so sorry! We have Wanda (Jack's half sister) and Millie before her. I know how this feels. It is clear that Sam was a great boy and filled your life with happiness. Run crazy, Sam. You were LOVED! Mary H (Wanda's Mom)

Erssie said...

Beautiful Goffy Boy....we are so sorry you have gone, but you had a good innings mate...a wonderful and full life at The Bend....and hopefully you are up on that Bridge with Dizzy, Dixie and another Sam we know...all of who travelled up there this Summer.

Love From Lily, Erssie and Stevie

Hawkeye BrownDog said...

Hi Y'all!

Oh I hope my Human has the strength to recognize when I need to leave.

What a wonderful warm, loving person you are. I know Sam will watch over you from the other side of the bridge.

Hawk aka BrownDog

Dawn said...

I'm over from Travels with Emma. I'm months too late to offer comfort. Sam seems like he was a cool dude. I know you still miss him. You are a good dog mom!

Hiking Hounds said...

I know it's been awhile, but I'm so sorry to see that you lost Sam. Hope you are doing well.