Our pain right now is more than anyone should have to bare. I am finding that keeping my eyes on God continuously eases that pain, mends my broken heart and gives me hope. Today is going to be another hard day for Tom and I. I write this post with great sadness but continue to stay focused on God’s grace and truth.

Thirteen years ago I paid half price for a cantankerous puppy with a overbite. This dog, my Sampson, has been by my side ever since.


He was my first go around with taking care of something other than myself.

He has been there and has kept me company during many holidays and special occasions when I missed my family terribly.


He and I have been through the best and worst of times together.

He allowed me to train him as he trained me.


He has been my constant companion with travels across the country, hikes deep into the Oregon wilderness and lots and lots of swim time in any body of water he could find. We even had a little adventure being swept away in the Nisqually River, where I had to use everything I knew about swift water rescue to retrieve him.


He has adjusted to many relocations and has always marked his territory in the most loving of ways, by resuming his position on the bottom left corner of my bed.


He has eaten many things that were not labeled “dog food” including countless pairs of underwear, which he then graciously would give back after they made their way through his digestive system.

He was the one that put his head on my pregnant belly, gained an extra 15 lbs of sympathy weight and sat protecting my new arrival through blackout storms and sleepless nights.


He allowed Anna to squeeze his face, pull on his ears and tail, crawl over him, dress him up, love on him and pull his leash in any direction she pleased. He would follow graciously and would entertain her by rolling over on his back and stretching while she laughed out loud at his antics.

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He has caught, chased and swam after thousands of tennis balls. THOUSANDS!

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He has nudged me in all the right directions while I made attempts to find Mr. Right and then finally nudged me right into Tom, his all time favorite.

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He helped to blend our family by being the perfect family dog and allowing everyone to throw him a ball, give him a treat or to snuggle up when needed.


He has been gentle and loving in all the right ways.

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He has given me and my family unconditional love and has been my constant companion.

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He has been the best dog and I’m so glad that I got to be his person. I am sure going to miss him. Today, at ten, he is going to run, with no aches or pains, towards Anna and Abigail. They, with arms opened wide, will be so excited to see their big dog. The thought of their reunion brings joy to my broken heart. Just as he has taken care of me he will now take care of my girls.

I sure hope there are lots of tennis balls in Heaven!

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32 thoughts on “Sampson

  1. Pingback: Love-Drenched Life
  2. Oh Susan. While i never had the honor of meeting your girls, i have had the pleasure of meeting Sir Sampson. The two of you were perfect for each other. I my heart aches for your loss, for your hurt and for you. I never could imagine going through all of this but some how you are still standing. It seems you have a picture of every emotion, which is a true blessing. Stay strong chica.


  3. I am so sorry to hear this. It does however warm my heart and put a smile on my face to think of him reuniting with the girls. I have to say you and your husband are so amazing. I am greatly encouraged by your openness about trusting God which is something I struggle with. I am so glad that I had the chance to interact with Anna at farm camp and epms. I always thought she was such a sweet and beautiful girl. You guys are in my thoughts and prayers.


  4. Susan and Tom, there are no words I can say to heal your pain. Just know that you are both loved beyond measure. You have gained more family through these hard times. We will never forget your beautiful girls or your handsome Sampson. You are always on our minds. Sending you both the biggest hogs possible.


  5. My sweet Susan your blog brought tears to my eyes. Sampson and the girls are together again. I pray for you everyday. Blessings and love💗


  6. He is the luckiest dog to have Abby and Anna waiting for him on the other end of the Rainbow Bridge today! He truly is with the angels today. Big HUGS to you and Tom.


  7. Susan, I have shed tears for you and Tom today… Sampson was a lucky dog to have you as his human – and the fact that he gets to spend the rest of time playing with the girls, swimming and chasing tennis balls… he’s even luckier. I’m sorry that you and Tom have to go through this… I’m sending all my love your way!


  8. We’ve been praying fervently for you all morning!!! Oh friend how I wish I could ease your pain!!! Thankful for a joyous reunion in heaven! I love you so much!!!


  9. Overwhelming sadness for you guys today – there are just no words! Sampson was a blessing to your family, and you all to him, and now he will continue to love and cuddle your girls. My heart hurts with yours. You and Tom are ever in my prayers!


  10. What a wonderful Christmas present for the girls and their bunny, to also get to love on Sampson. I imagine them all chasing the unicorns! I’m so glad Ben and Emily will be with you soon, and that you will be with your mom and dad and other relatives next week. This is too much for anyone; my heart aches for you and Tom. We will be at Annie tonight, with warmth and open arms, and loving thoughts for all that dogs can bring to our lives. May Annie’s dog bring extra licks tonight at the show to you! Love you both.


  11. How my heart aches for you on this sad day. You have given him 10 wonderful years, he was one lucky dog. My thoughts and prayers are with you and Tom today (and always). I love you both.


  12. My heart hurts for you I dont look forward to the day I have to let Lucy go..they are such a place for comfort for us in hard and go times. My thoughts and prayers will be with you at ten hoping for peace to blanket you. xo


  13. My heart aches for you my friend! I’ve been thinking all week about the stories of Sampson you’ve shared…many of them hilarious. Some of my favorites…the perils of dating with a dog who thinks you’re his one and only. He was so lucky to have you and your amazing family to love on him. The reunion with your girls in heaven will be so sweet! Love to you and Tom….your losses have been too great.


  14. Sue, what a lucky dog, Sampson was to be part of your love-drenched life. My heart aches for you and Tom today,and I will pray that God continues to wrap His arms around you in comfort. love gayle


  15. I remember when you got Sampson as a puppy. What a loyal dog he has been through so many phases of life. Susan, I hate the pain you are going through. Sorry you have to grieve another loss. Still praying…


  16. Oh Susan, I look forward to reading your blog everyday. When there was no post yesterday I prayed even more than usual. I felt there was a challenge, even more than your journey of late, and just held you and Tom in my heart. I am so sorry you are going through this at this time. Sampson is such an important member of your family and I can so easily see his place just viewing your pictures. I am happy that you know he will be with your beautiful angels soon and they will be together. My heart breaks for you both. Continued love and prayers. Love you my friend!


  17. Thank you so much for allowing us to come say goodbye, hug, kiss, and whisper secrets for Anna and Abby in his ear! Your constant grace and generosity truly amazes me. Makenna woke up singing about Sampson today :). We love you.


  18. I wish there were hugs I could give or words i can say to ease your heart from aching. Sampson was truly a lucky dog to have such an awesome mommy. But it sounds like his life has made a full circle and it’s time to chase those tennis balls in heaven. Love you


  19. Wrapping you and Tom in love and prayers this Morning, Susan. You’ve painted a beautiful scene, I’m sure the girls are gathering all those tennis balls and getting ready! Love you


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