Chasing Tennis Balls in Heaven

No words today just a picture of my big yellow dog, Sampson  ~ my soul dog.

Sampson Dog

There was a time I thought Sampson was naughty…nope, he was absolutely perfect. (As I’m typing this Linus just ran into the room with a sweater and a pair of socks tucked into his mouth.)

There is no doubt in my mind that this big guy is the constant companion to Anna and Abigail now ~ I can sit all day and daydream about what they are all doing in Heaven.

Today, I’m going to do just that, daydream about Heaven.

Watching over the Girls

I have started a blog post four times this morning and have found that I am at a loss for words. I have so much going on in my head and in life that I’m finding it really hard to sort it all out. So I’ve decided that I’m going to post a picture today instead.

This month my old guy would be 14 years old. Sampson was my constant companion for so many years and when I used to think about the day he would go to Heaven I would get sick to my stomach, couldn’t imagine my life without him. I know now that he has a more important job in Heaven than he ever did here on earth. His new job is to watch over Anna and Abigail, to enjoy the splendor of paradise and to chase hundreds of tennis balls and never get tired. My old dog is with my girls and for that I am grateful.

So instead of trying to sort out all that I’m feeling today I’m going to spend some time and remember all of the unconditional love that my big old lab gave me and the rest of my family.

So much Love!

anna and sampson

The Love Story Continues…

On Dec. 22 my first husband and Tom’s best friend went to Heaven to be with our girls. Sampson was such a family dog and we adored him, even in his incontinent years. After the girls went to Heaven he was the reason we decided to come back to the house, we needed to check on him and make sure he was doing ok. We had friends watching out for him but he too had suffered a great loss and we wanted to love on him and let him know we weren’t going anywhere, I’m sure he was feeling rather lonely without all of us being around. Being back in the house made us realize how much we loved being in our space, the space we shared with our family.  Being back in the house also allowed us to hug this guy everyday. He was also grieving the loss of his girls.


Photo taken by: Nikki Raichart

The day after Sampson went to be with the girls, to chase balls and swim in chocolate rivers, our theater family decided to do a fundraiser to help us get another dog once we were ready. We are so grateful for those who contributed to this fund and opened up the door for us to someday get another dog.  We feel so blessed by so many.


Photo taken by: Jenn McFarling

During the run of Annie we had fallen in love with Parker, the dog that played Sandy. He was so healing for us during rehearsals at the theater. Being a therapy dog he knew that we needed some extra love and he, along with his little brother Reser, provided just that through the first couple of months of our new journey. After spending so much time with these two we decided that we wanted to get a golden retriever which led us to Sunshine Golden Retrievers and to Linus.

When we woke up yesterday both Tom and I commented on how excited we were to go get Linus but we were also sad. Sad for the mama and brothers that he was leaving and sad because our girls weren’t here to share in this experience with us. Driving to pick him up I was so nervous, it was as though I was bringing home a new baby and had never been a mom before. I just want to give this little guy the best life ever and I want to honor my girls in doing so. It breaks my heart that Linus will never know Anna and Abigail. Oh how they would all love each other to pieces.

When we first saw him my heart melted. I knew the girls were smiling and I knew that we were exactly where we were supposed to be. Our love story was going to continue and Linus was going to be part of that story.  He was going to brighten our days, get us out of the house and bring smiles to so many in our community.

Linus 1

He is a big puppy, he has only two brothers so food was always available without a fight. He is very loving and playful, perfect really.

Little Linus has no idea what he has brought to our home, he has already won us over and has already proven to be a healer for our broken hearts. Most mornings I struggle getting my feet to touch the ground. I can get up, but it just takes some time and I often struggle with the reality that this life of mine is actually real, not a dream. This morning there was no struggling, I had a puppy wanting to go outside and I needed to move quickly so there wasn’t an accident. When we came back inside he wanted to play, lick my face and snuggle.  How do you say no to that?

He truly is a gift and we are so thankful he’s in our lives.

Linus 2 Linus 6 linus 8linus 11

When we got home yesterday after picking Linus up there was a little package on our doorstep along with a note signed with a paw print. This priceless gift will be worn with pride by our little guy in honor of our girls. This gift was so thoughtful and I truly can’t believe that a dog actually picked it out. Thank you to the anonymous pooch and the human that drove him/her to our house for the delivery.

linus 13 linus 12