I got Samson a little over 5 years ago. I had just bought a house and ever since I had to get rid of Stella, my chocolate lab due to housing situations, I vowed the next chance I had, I would get me another dog.
I grew up with dogs. We had 2 English Bulldogs as a kid, and then later we had a little Shih-tzu.
As mentioned above, I had just purchased my first house a month before and had been looking for a dog ever since then. I knew I wanted a Golden retriever because I had heard and researched how great of dogs they were. I finally found one I wanted and went and got him on Christmas break of 2009. I had wanted a girl, but when I went to look at the dogs, the two girls available didn't want anything to do with me (I was 29 and single, so I was used to that reaction from girls), but this little dude was all over me. I guess you could say Samson picked me.
This was the day I brought him home. My mom told me "Be prepared to have your heartbroken"
Samson was an incredibly loyal, loving and just a great dog. He was very obedient, he had very few accidents (minus a major blowout in our good friends baby nursery), but would do anything and everything with me, and never leave my side.
There was one time I had to run to the store real quick and Carissa was out side with him, as I drove away he came running down the road after me. He wanted to go everywhere with me.... and he usually did. From day one, I took him to work with me everyday. He was our shop dog. He would just up on the forklift and ride it with me as a pup. Unfortunately one time he was riding it with me, and I went to turn right as he was jumping off and he slipped on the slick epoxy floor we had and broke his leg.
That was the start of the many, many, MANY vet visits with him.
After this first break, he was in this cast for 6 weeks. Not two days after he was able to take this cast off, He jumped out of the back of my car and broke another bone. Same leg, completely different bone. What had happened, that since he was in a cast for such a long time in his critical growth spurts, he wasn't able to develop the strength like he should have. Unfortunately that would turn into a problem later in life. His growth plate was damaged in the second break, and one of his bones stopped growing while the other bone kept growing. the bummer with it was it started to deform his leg as he grew older.
Samson was able to go and do anything and everything with us, but as time went on, his leg became more and more deformed and after a long day on it, he would lay down and would stay there for the next day. We went to different vets and had different opinions, only to come to the conclusion the best option for him would be to amputate his leg knowing it would probably shorten his life a little.
The day we brought him home from the vet, Carissa went inside the house with him, and I needed a minute to myself and stayed out in the garage. Samson came right back outside with a ball in his mouth. It hadn't been more than 12 hours since they took his front leg from him, and he was ready to go play fetch. I feel it was his way of saying "I've got this, lets do what we have been doing, and not slow down"
Boy did he.
As you can tell in the pictures, he went everywhere with us. He was a happy dog and there weren't many times he would be seen without a ball or stick in his mouth. He wanted to play all day everyday..... and he could have. He would go and go and just tire Rozzi right out. If a ball was involved, he was there.
A funny story I always think of is when we took the dogs to the lake right after we moved to North Dakota. Rozzi hadn't ever really swam before, but Newfoundlands are notorious water dogs and very strong swimmers. At any rate, she wouldn't swim after the ball, but Samson was all about it, so he would take off after the ball and Roz would bite his tail and literally let Samson tow her out to the ball and then he would swim back with the ball and Roz in tow. We were dying laughing. The three legged dog was towing the notorious swimmer around. The irony.
I know most people don't understand the love and bond a boy has with his dog, but this dog and I always had a special bond. He knew when I was hurting after one of my Uncles passed away and all he wanted to do was cuddle all night long. He knew when Roz had been hit by a car that we needed his love, and he knew Harv was something not to mess with.
I know words won't be suffice to describe how awesome he was, after all, I have tried writing this 3 different times, but he really was. The nieces and nephews loved him. He would let them crawl on him, pull his ears and just pester him.
I'm so grateful he was able to cuddle Harv a few times and I'm so grateful he was my dog. The picture that is at the top is the pic that drew Carissa's attention to me when we began dating. She knew she wanted to get to know me because I had an awesome dog. So if his only purpose in life was nothing more than to get us together then he did that, but I think it was more than that.
My Mom was right, he did break my heart. She wasn't saying that as a critic, I think she was just preparing us for the pain we have been feeling ever since we had to put him down..... but to be completely honest, I wouldn't trade it for the world. I wish and hope I can live and love like he did.
I firmly believe all dogs go to Heaven, and I can't wait to play ball with him again.
Love ya Sams!!!