Monday, October 1, 2012

Goodbye Sammy

Sixteen years old, our beautiful dog Sam died today. His back legs were failing him, and most other bits too. We did not want to see him suffer, so we were forced to make the hardest of decisions.  I held him in my arms and he slipped quietly from this world, softly resting his head on my shoulder. 

He was a great dog, expert at doing all the cool doggy stuff. He would shake with one paw and then the other, he would sit, lie down, and take food ever so gently. He adored food, and was very easy to train with treats. As a special treat for lunch today we gave him four lamb chops, it was such a joy to watch him happily devour them, his teeth never failed him. On one occasion, when we were living at a farm, he was given a whole sheep's leg to eat. In a few hours he had consumed the lot, wool, hoof, and all.

He loved to chase a stick or ball and would dive into the chilly seas around Phillip Island to fetch anything we had thrown. We had to use a two ball technique, as he never wanted to give up the prize until another one was offered. He also liked to chase rabbits, ever abundant on Phillip Island, on the one occasion he actually caught one he just crouched over it, not really sure what to do when the chase was over. In his heyday he would have given a a greyhound a run for its money. He loved to run alongside us as we rode a bike. and even kept up with a motor bike. Sam's love of running was sometimes a little to passionate for our liking. He was expert at making a sudden escape and disappearing for a days adventure. 'Sammy's done a runner", we would sigh and then go looking for him, usually without success.  At the end of the day he'd return panting and smiling, and smelling of some terrible doggy cologne he'd procured from who knows where.

Sammy has been around for such a big part of our lives. At our side through births and deaths. Through celebrations and sadness.  He had wise, soulful eyes, and would always be understanding and a comfort when things weren't going well.  He was a constant. Already I miss his snoring on the mat and the sound of his clip clopping around the house.

Sam was a Border Collie/ cross something, we never knew. It was fun to speculate - German Shepherd, Blue Heeler, Wolf. He was very regal.  He always held one ear up, whilst the other flopped, a trait he had from birth. He was a lovely, calm, gentle dog to have around our children, although I wish they had seen more of his better years.

He was always by our side in the garden, loving our company outdoors. He had a favourite spot amongst the plants to lie, which we called his nest, we even astro-turfed it to help keep him dry and comfortable. He could not be convinced on the benefits of a kennel and snubbed the one we offered him.

The goodbyes were so hard. He leaves us with such a big hole in our hearts. Our poor middle one is particularly struggling with the grief of losing a companion he has always known. The youngest Bowerbird is blissfully zen about it, as only the very young can be. I think the eldest is being strong for us all.

Goodbye beautiful Sammy, we'll miss patting that wonderfully soft head of yours, and all your quirky ways. Thankyou for all your love, doggy joy and patience. Arriving home isn't going to be the same without your smile and wagging tail.

Tonight's sunset was a beautiful fitting farewell.


  1. Oh Kirsty I am so very sorry for the loss of your beloved Sammy, my heart goes out to all of you. Take care. Hugs Catherine. x

  2. Sammy was 'some dog'! I think he was part springer Max is too..except more spaniel than border collie. I'd recognise those grey spots, longish ears and fur anywhere! I am so sorry you lost him today..they really are the best of mates and irreplaceable...and leave such a big hole in our hearts don't they.

  3. I am so, so sorry. It's just heartbreaking to lose them, even though we know it's inevitable. I'm sending you big hugs...


  4. Oh, I'm so sorry for you all. Such a loyal companion and enormous part of your lives. I will miss seeing his flopped ear and doggy grin at veggie group. Hugs to you all. xxxx

  5. You were all lucky to have such a wonderful dog in your lives. I am sure he is happily chasing balls and eating monster lamb shacks where he is now. He will be missing you just as much I am sure. Sorry for your loss

  6. Oh what a lovely friend you have had. I know I will have to face this one day too and welcome your strength and courage and compassion.

  7. I am so sorry, I can't imagine the pain you are experiencing as I've never had an animal that long. After a few months a pet feels more like family than a pet to me.

  8. Oh Kirsty, I'm tearing up here. He looks so lovely, it's so hard to watch them get old isn't it. We have always had dogs, and they make it so hard on us don't they, when their lifespan is so much shorter. Time makes it easier, that's all. chin up. cheers Wendy

  9. Oh so sorry for the loss of your beautiful dog, the photos show such a kind and loving mate, such a hard time for your 2 eldest..........
    Sammy sounds like he had a wonderful life and such a caring family to love him and look after him especially when he needed it in his last days.

  10. Oh my, this post made me all teary. Sammy looked like such a wonderful member of the family Kirsty. What a lucky dog to have you guys as his family. Much love to you all and extra big hugs to your middle. The loss of such a wonderful companion must be very difficult. xx

    Kellie. (1000 homes of happiness)


In the spring, at the end of the day, you should smell like dirt.
Margaret Atwood

“She turned to the sunlight
And shook her yellow head,
And whispered to her neighbour:
"Winter is dead.”
― A.A. Milne, When We Were Very Young