Samspon & Tanner by Kelly Cordes

First; I want to tell you the great things about my dog. He was almost 4 years old. He was the most sweet protective dog anyone could have asked for. He was graceful when he ran, he was clumsy when in tight corners. He was playful and shiny. His ears were the softest thing you've every touched. He was smart and funny. He was my baby. He had 4 really great years; and three really bad days.

There are days that seem unbearable; and that's been the case over this past weekend. My Sampson Lee wasn't feeling well last Wednesday. He was sick all night and I brought him to the vet on Thursday evening. They gave him some shots to stop him  from vomiting.

The next day he was still sick all day. We went back to the vet who told me to immediately take him to the Emergency Pet Hospital as he would have to have surgery from what she could see on the ultrasound.

Kelly Cordes

We went in and within an hour, I found out that Sampson had bloat and that it had been going on for so long that his stomach had wrapped around his spleen and that he had heart arrhythmia. Survival from surgery didn't look good; and the cost was staggering.

I wasn't ready to hear this. I was sure that Sampson would go in for surgery, and he come back out and I've have him back. It wasn't going to happen. I had to make the decision to stop his pain and say goodbye.

They brought him back in to me and put a big soft blanket on the floor so I could get down next to him. They had tried to give him something to help with the pain, but he looked like he was suffering so badly. He was tense and I started to pet him, and he relaxeed and leaned up against me. I pet him as and talked to him as he drifted off. And then he was gone. My heart is gone with him.

Sampson's parents..Photo by Kelly Cordes

The hospital staff let me stay with Sampson as long as I wanted to. I waited with him for a while. Until I felt he was truly gone.

I was sulking uncontrollably. Here's the part that gives me hope that he is well.  I got in my car; and turned it on. For the first time ever since I've owned this car, every single emergency notification light came on my dashboard. Engine; skid control; brakes stability. Everything. I think Sam was in the backseat saying, "I won't leave you if you don't want me to Mom."  People might think I'm crazy; but I talked out loud as I drove and told him how much I loved him, and that I would be with him when I could someday. That I was sad and that I wanted him to go and run and play and have fun until then. That he would always be my boy. That no one would every replace him.

When I turned my car back on....all the lights were back to normal. I truly think that was my baby. Anyone that knows Sam knows he was very protective of me, and wouldn't leave me if I wasn't ready for it.

My house is empty without him. I cancelled his BarkBox, his monthly order, his stay at Sam & Dani's for this spring. I gave away his food to my friends with dogs, and try to sleep at night without him next to me. Each day I'm able to remember more of the great days we had...but he will be with me forever.

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