This is a story about a dog who completely stole my heart. He wasn’t my dog, so I don’t pretend to have had the same relationship with him as his owners but I (we) were lucky enough to be charged with looking after him when my dear friends Sian and Craig went on holidays.
He was a funny little thing with his little idiosyncrasies, like all dogs really, but he was a dog like no other!
The first time we looked after him he barely ate and he was so scared to suddenly have different people in his house that he was shaking and looking at us with his sad little eyes wondering where they’d gone. He spent a lot of time on the first couple of days sitting by the front door listening out for his owners to return but after a few cuddles and a few fun outings to the park he got used to us.
The first time, he had a cage that he was meant to go to sleep in and we couldn’t work out why he wouldn’t stay in there and kept jumping in the bed with us… until Sian and Craig came home and told us we were meant to actually lock the door!! Fail! I didn’t mind though, I quite liked him in the bed with us, he was warm and snuggly and aside from the moments when he took up ALL of the bed even though he was so small, it was pretty sweet.
He had other funny little things too – he only liked to poo on rough surfaces, he was scared of buses, he loved the pub, he snored as loud as Colin when he was asleep, he had a special ‘baby’ that he loved to take to bed with him, he was possessive over food, he loved chasing squirrels in the park, he loved eating digestive biscuits and if you ever had a cup of tea, well you just had to be prepared for those puppy dog eyes.
We started looking after him a fair bit when Sian and Craig were away and each time he was still a bit sad and off his food for the first couple of days but then he was ok. He LOVED Colin too… he would wait by the door if he was working late and he always went and sat in Colin’s spot if he got up to do anything.
But me and Sam had a very special friendship… we loved to cuddle on the couch together, and I used to sit with him while he ate his food (because otherwise he wouldn’t eat it) and we always had fun in the park and extra-long cuddles in bed in the mornings. I absolutely adored him and he knew he had me wrapped around his little paw!! When I came over to visit my friends he would sniff at the door, knowing it was me and I’d talk to him while I was locking up my bike. He would still bark (because that was just Sam) but you could tell he was excited when the door opened.
When Pippa, their other dog, came into the world it was almost as if he got his mojo back – he started playing more and became much more social with other dogs in the park, but he did have his territory issues at home and perhaps didn’t like having to share the attention.
Sadly, he started to get sick, his leg was bad and he had loads of other ailments and was starting to struggle to get to the park which was his favourite place. It hurt him to do anything, like climb the stairs or sit or stand and generally he was in pain.
Sian and Craig did everything they could and looked for any answers they could find and got as much help as was on offer… but he just didn’t get any better.
So, on the weekend we had the sad news that little Sammy had reached the end. I know from losing my own dog (also named Sam) what Sian and Craig must be going through. They become a part of your family and it is just devastating. He was a precious little thing that brought their whole family joy… and he brought C and me joy as well. We have so many funny little stories about him and we will never, ever forget him. He holds a very special place in our hearts. RIP Sam! xxx