We received some bad news about our dear, sweet retriever Samson on Friday. A rapidly increasing growth in his mouth is most likely (the vet is very certain, but there’s not been a biopsy yet) jaw cancer (osteosarcoma). We are heartbroken, but will work with our vet to give Sam the most pain-free, comfortable, joy-filled end of life possible. The treatment available is jaw removal, which is very painful and would extend his life 6-12 months. We’ve decided to forgo treatment. We’re not so sure about a time frame, although we’ve heard 1-6 months. For now, twelve year-old Sam is energetic and active, not skipping any meals and still hopefully trailing Jason to the kitchen in case some food might fall his way. He raced to the fence this morning to bark at the neighbor dogs and rolled around in the wet grass before he came inside. So, although this post may invite your sympathy, it’s not quite time yet. Know we appreciate it if you choose to pray or think good thoughts for Sam and for us, but also know that we’re still scratching ears and rubbing his belly and feeling grateful for his still wagging tail.
The Tuesday Ten today is a re-post from October of 2010. There are things I could add or change, but I’ll just leave it as it is.
1. “Sam” is short for “Samson.”
2. Sam is the only suriviving dog from his litter (we had his sister, Lilah, for two years before she got a nasty infection and died). He was the runt of his litter.
3. We got Sam after we bought our house and before we got married (June 2002).
4. Sam loves bread. He loves it so much, we have to keep the bread in a plastic, lidded container on the kitchen counter. He’s eaten whole loaves. He’s also eaten refrigerated biscuit dough.
5. Sam walks backwards in order to keep us in his sights. Like, he’ll walk backwards down the hall just so he doesn’t have to turn his tail to us. Trust issues, maybe?
6. Sam will be perfectly well-behaved and quiet…until I get home. Then he barks when he can’t see me and follows me from room to room, needing to be in on whatever I’m doing.
7. When Jonas was smaller, he and Jason (and probably Sam) looked forward to good snowfalls. Jason would put Jonas in a sled and Jonas would hold Sam’s leash and Sam would slide Jonas all around the neighborhood. We have hours of video of this.
8. Sam is terrified of fireworks and thunderstorms and vacuum cleaners and tile floors and when people wave their hands in his face and about a million other things.
9. Sam can catch and kill mice. He can catch bugs in his mouth as they fly by (like a frog).
10. Sam is not entirely obedient, does not know a bunch of tricks, and in general is kind of on the less smart side of things. He is loyal and friendly and snuggly and gentle and pretty/handsome (which is all better than obedient and smart, I think).