Sam the Ever Smiling

This beautiful little guy showed up in our yard one morning after a friend had caused an opening or small gap in our fence accidentally with his truck. Sam squeezed in the gap the in last week of June 1995. With his tail in a curl, a smile on his face, one bad eye & in desperate need of a bath & general attention. This little guy appeared to have been through some abuse & neglect. I sat him down & explained to him that the cats were here first. If he could get along with the cats, then we would give him a try & would be allowed to stay. As soon as I could, on 1 July 1995, I took him to see a veterinary doctor for vaccinations & to be checked out. We found he had a Severe case of Heart Worms. The doctor did not recommend the treatment for fear he would not survive. He gave Sam about a 50% chance of survival. I told him I wanted to take the chance, because the alternative would be a slow death. Well he pulled through.

After a few months, he gained our trust & love & was allowed to become an indoor dog. He later found & adopted a kitten, Holly . She grew up into a cat & had kittens. Sam acted as Mid-Wife. He cleaned the babies as she was giving birth. This dog & his cat became the best of friends. They played together & groomed each other.

I took him swimming in the San Jacinto River, Lake Houston, & Matagorda. We went for walks in the parks & sometimes just around the neighborhood. He was always smiling. He loved to go walkies & seeing new places. He loved riding in the car & traveled well on long trips. He was always well behaved. He would stay in the yard even with the gate open all day long. He only went out on his leash.

One day in April 1998, he jumped off the back steps wrong & tore the tendons in a hind leg. He had surgery by a specialist & was not allowed to walk for months. This injury bothered him regularly since.

We had planned to take him to visit in Europe, but we were warned that the trip across would be very difficult at his age, so he always went to his "Uncle Garry & Aunt Debra's" when we were across the water. He would always be so excited upon our return. One ear up, one ear half up, tail in a curl & a smile on his face. This little guy always showed love.

As he got older, the winters & summers became hard on him. We had to keep him in the air-conditioning during the summers. I would cover him with one of my shirts to keep him warm at night during the cooler times. During the night I would wake up several times & lean down & pet him.

He developed a degenerative nerve disorder that cause him to loose reference to balance & we had to let him go on 15 December 2003.

These photos are of his last night with us.
He is now in the "Jardin" in France, keeping guard on the house & looking over the garden.
He has some "double tulips" on each side of him, in a bed of ivy, under one of the large rose bushes. Before the tulips bloom, he has some irises in bloom. After both the irises & tulips have gone, then the roses are in bloom. Sorry, the day I had to take the photo, the irises had just gone off & the tulips were just about to open.
Our neighbor just across the "rue", had come to visit with his 2 miniature terriers. They immediately went to Sam's collar & stood at his memorial sniffing & sniffing at his collar.

If you have any other photos of Sam, PLEASE email them to me. We lost most of ours due to a virus on our hard drive.

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