Thursday, March 15, 2012


I've been trying to work up the guts to come back say that I lost my best friend.  Yes, my best friend had 4 legs...and he's been my BEST friend through the thick and thin of the past decade.  I am so glad I have chronicled my relationship with my pups here on this blog.

Here is what I wrote on my Facebook page the day after I said goodbye...

We said our final goodbyes to Sampson last night.  Hardest thing I have ever had to do.  He was my BEST best friend over the past decade--better than I could ever have imagined when I picked up that little puppy nearly 10 years ago. I could write a dissertation-length eulogy, but the song I am posting (My Old Friend) says it better than I could right now.  So I will just say, while I have no peace and comfort now, I hope to find those by knowing his struggles are over and by remembering all of the love he received from and gave to so many others.  He taught me so much and will always be a part of me.  

"The love and the laughter, will live on long after, all of the sadness and the tears..."

Since then, I have worked through what I imagine are the stages of grief--intense anger and guilt (directed at myself), intense sorrow, and I've moved on to acceptance.  I accept that he is gone.  I accept that he lived a good life.  I accept that I did all I could.  What I can't accept, is that life really will be "okay" without him.  I'm still struggling to figure out my way and navigate adult life without my sidekick.  

I have since found comfort, as well.  Comfort from my friends and family, comfort from his medical team (yes, he had a team--a great one).  I have found peace knowing that his sweet soul will forever outlive his body.  But I still am not at peace with my loss.  I'm getting there, I think.  I started to go to a support group. But, as I told one of my dearest friends (who I met through Boxer Rescue when we were adopting Angel) that I couldn't go because I could never believe that anyone else loved their dog--their friend--as much as me.  Her response was priceless.  Mind you, this friend is the biggest animal lover I know--her house is literally dedicated to fostering homeless animals and finding them good homes.  She, herself, has lost some dear pets, including a boxer, in the past year.  She said, "I'm not sure anyone ever has loved a dog as much as you loved Sampson."  I suppose that, on top of the huge outpouring of support I received, helped me to know that Sampson knew he was loved beyond belief--and that's what truly matters.

In the time that has passed since Sampson's passing, I have also found some great outlets for my energy--including getting involved in a great organization that helps people pay for life-saving care of their pets.  I always felt one of our gifts to Sampson was the ability to handle all of his health issues.  He had the best of the best medical care--even if that meant sacrifices in other areas of our financial life.  He was worth it!  And I'm so glad that was not a guilt I had to grapple with through this process.  I am always searching for ways to share his story--to keep his memory alive.  This will get me through.

We also welcomed a new boxer boy into our home, Claymore.  I was hesitant at first, but as Buzz said, "This is just want we do.  We are dog people.  And if we're not dog people, I don't like us."  True, true.  Even after that, I was not sure I could manage another boxer.  But Sampson was partial to boxers--could pick one out of a crowd.  So we got a boxer, but one whose looks do not resemble that of Sampson.  He's a good boy.  He came from the same Boxer Rescue as Daisy and Angel.

So, today, I'm searching for closure.  I know that can't totally be achieved, but at least I can get it out here...on this I'm not "scared" to come back to it.  I am so lucky he spent his entire life with me.  He was the best.  And I carry him with me in my heart and my soul.  

I miss my Old Man...My Old Friend.  As I said in my Facebook note when I was at a complete loss for words, this song says it all...  As I told Sampson every night during our cuddle time before he drifted off to sleep, and as I told him the night I said my final "goodbyes" and "I love yous," 

Good Night, Sweet Prince.

"The love and the laughter will live on long after all of the sadness and the tears..."


  1. Awwwweee, I am so sorry for your loss.

    When we moved to CA to NC I cried saying goodbye to my parents dog. They got him when I was 12 and he's going through a lot of medical issues and my parents don't think he'll make it past this summer.. makes me cry just thinking about it especially because I wont be able to see him again any time soon.

    I hope you find closure soon.

  2. So sorry for your loss. Hopefully Sampson is waiting at the Rainbow Bridge for you when you are ready to cross.