Near the end of our season in New Hampshire he stopped jumping up on our bed and stayed on his bed at the foot of ours. He was still able to climb in and out of the rig but when we got to Florida mid October we had to do a boost so he would get up the stairs. His amazing zest for life was such a life lesson for me with my wonky hip and in November, a torn meniscus in my good knee. (That's a story in itself. lol ) He wanted to go out so we hobbled together and enjoyed our time. On one of our walks I heard his rear legs toenails scrapping on the road, he was starting to knuckle. Our Chocolate Lab ,Fergus, knuckled when he had brain cancer so we knew like was changing for Sam. He kept on going even on the days we thought, oh this is it. He'd rally, wag his tail and want to go out for that walk. On some days it was 4 or 5, but he was our boy and we knew we'd miss him.
I told our go to Vet Mike that I'd pray at night that he'd go quickly so I wouldn't have to make that call but every morning he was up wagging his tail, wolfing down his food and wanting to explore. And I was thankful.
Our daughter and oldest granddaughter came to Florida, January 22 and Roger and I went to see them at our sons house. Returning home I found Sammy laying on the floor and only able to lift one side. A small stroke? I don't know but I knew the next day it would be the end. So many nights I slept on the couch beside him because being in a tight area scared him so that last night that's where I was, stroking his back to let him know I was with him.
14 years and 4 months shy of being 15.
Sammy lived his life vigorously. Swimming in our pool non stop even when we weren't in it. Fast doing agility but unable to be away from me in a crate so we stopped. A catcher of birds, a lover of life and truly loved to travel with us in the coach.
We have heard his toe nails on the floor and his actual bark . The puppy he loved and raised, Ozzie, is lost without him so he has taken over his spot in the living area. He's finally stopped moaning, yes, dogs mourn. Lola, who Sammy lost patience with because her playing was body slamming and poor Sam would be in pain. She learned quickly Sammy was off limits.
So on May 10 we will lift a glass to his memory.
A great life lived!!!
And, omg, I miss him terribly.