It is with heavy hearts that we must tell you that a week ago Samson was put to sleep. Many of you who have been coming to Disconnected Salon for a long time know Samson very well – perhaps you know him as Mr. Bones or Sammy Bones. He was the sweetest golden retriever around and he loved his visits to the salon. He liked to walk with a ball in his mouth or a towel to play tug-a-war with our clients. Everyone that met him fell in love. It’d be hard not to, this boy seriously had a great, sweet disposition and always wore a goofy grin. He didn’t take himself too seriously is what I’m saying.
In 2010 we received the news that Samson had lymphoma, a cancer that is unfortunately very common in golden retrievers. We held the Save Sammy Bones fundraiser and with the help of our amazing community, we raised enough money to start Samson on his chemotherapy treatment. We were hoping to add on some precious time, and we got almost three more years more with him. It was a blessing. Samson got to experience a few years past puppyhood and we got to experience more of his unconditional love. He retired from his salon duties while recovering from his treatment, and his cancer stayed in remission up until October of 2012.
When the cancer came back, his veterinarian said he might only have six weeks left to live. Well we can all count and he clearly lived well past that first diagnosis. About 8 months longer than expected. Each time Samson saw the vet, we were told the same thing: that his time left on earth was short and to prepare ourselves for the inevitable. And yet, each time Samson left that vet building, he walked with determination in his step and an unwillingness to go down easy. He was a fighter, and he continued on, even if he was a little slower, and more tired than before. We still loved him, because that’s what you do for your family. You love. And you can only hope to love them back at a fraction of the love and warmth you have received from them. There is a belief about animals that I find to be true, it resonates with me, and it is that all pets come into our lives for a specific reason, to teach us how to love deeper or to experience more joy in any given moment. And the reasons vary from owner-to-owner and pet-to-pet, depending on the need in that relationship. With Samson, I believe he came into our lives to teach us unconditional love and also to be content with simplicity: the little things in life. I personally believe it was his love for home-cooked chicken dinners and the promise to play ball that kept him going in no small part. It made him really happy and it served as a reminder to us to value these small tokens of life and to find joy in each moment.
When we knew it was time for Samson to move on, we made an appointment with a veterinarian who came to our home to perform the euthanasia. It was a beautiful and quiet day and we rested on the earth beside Samson to spend a few more moments with him. He was ready to go. And yet, even in those last few moments, he remained optimistic and sweet. He was totally present and seemed at peace with this closing chapter of his life.
We are still grieving because it is hard to say goodbye to your best friend. But we can only hope that somewhere up there, Samson is chasing squirrels and balls and having his belly rubbed, and eating plates and more plates of chicken dinner. His favorite.