Monday, September 3, 2007

A Dog's Life

Kiersten with Samantha at school

For Christmas in ’89, my mom and step-dad bought my little sister, Kiersten a little white poodle. My step-dad told me later that when he went to pick the poodle out of the litter, he had the owner put all of the puppies in the corner and then he started calling at them and she was the only one that came. That was it! She was the one. They named her Samantha, but we all called her Sammie or Sam for short. She was the cutest little puppy, and anyone could see she was extremely smart.

Kiersten with Samantha at Christmas

She was very lovable and happiest if someone was holding her, talking to her, or of course petting her. She loved to show you how much she loved you back by giving you kisses, kisses, kisses. You could just tell that family was everything to Samantha and was very protective of them; devoted to say the least. Whenever the kids and I would visit, Sam included us in her circle of love. She slept with Kiersten until she moved out on her own when she was 22 years old. She loved to play with Kiersten. Some of her favorite games to play were, “Catch me if you can,” “Let’s-tear-up-all-the-newspapers” and “You are not going to get us, while I am on their lap.” We all found all of this endearing. Yes, even the torn up shredded newspapers. Sammie had such a BIG personality for such a small dog. I had the honors of having her stay with me while they went to Disneyland for three day’s. That is when I fell in love with her. When they came to get her, I did not want her to go. She was the reason I wanted to get a dog.

Diandra and Sammie

Sam loved to eat “human” food. If she wanted a treat that she knew she should not have (like the candy kisses my mom kept in a little dish) she knew how to hide it. My mom would only find out she’d eaten something after the fact, sometimes days later. Like tinfoil wrappers hidden in the couch, under the couch, or in Kiersten’s bed. Chocolate is a “no- no” for animals, but my mom did not see any bad after-affects with Sammie from her eating it. By the way, the candy kisses were on the dining room table (she was smart enough to know how to get onto a table…). If she did get in trouble she would cry real tears. If you gave her any sympathy she would sniffle and look at you like, “Can you believe she did that!?” with tears streaming down her cheeks. Yet, she was always ready and willing to kiss your boo-boo’s.

Kiersten with Sam

Sam would not always let you know if she had to go potty. You see, she hated to go out when it was cold or raining. She got very good at “speed peeing” somewhere and then running back under the couch. She knew that we all disapproved of it. If she was banished to the outside, she would bounce up and down in front of the window in hopes that we would give in and let her back in. It is pretty hard to ignore the bouncing white poodle in the kitchen window. If that did not work she would go over to Kirsten’s window. In about ten minutes, Kiersten would come out of her bedroom and say, “Mom please, for Goodness sake let her in!”

Sammie being silly

Oh yeah, did I also mention that she was a bully to the cat’s? Sammie would keep them all in line. If they were in an area she thought they should not be, she would charge them and make them go where she thought they should be. She was also known to be the “cat food queen bandit.” As soon as she thought nobody was watching, she would gobble up the cat’s food and then go eat her own.


One day, Sam decided to go out of the backyard and find my mom after she left for work. As my mom was driving home the same route that she always took, she saw this little white poodle. My mom said, she remembered thinking, ‘Boy that poodle looks just like Sammie. She threw on the brakes, and sure enough it was Sammie. She was about three or four blocks from home. Thank goodness she never did that again.

Sammie enjoying her family on a camping trip at Sunset Beach

For the last couple of years, Sammie began to really slow down. My mom noticed that she had some really bad teeth and called the vet, but they did not recommend Sam should have any dental work done at her age. The veterinarian did not think her heart would take it. Then her eye-sight started going. She had lost her appetite and my mom really had to work with her to get her to eat. Some days were good and some were not. My mom told herself that as long as Sam seemed happy to see her when she got home and she was eating, that Sam was would be okay. This last six months, my mom really had to struggle with coming to a big decision. She kept asking herself if Sammie was able to talk and was asked how she felt about dying, what Sammie would say. When she first noticed Samantha’s aging, my mom thought Sam would say, “Heck yeah I want to live!” Yet, my mom did not think that Sam would say that any longer. She was very worried about her teeth and her losing weight. At the end, Sam was sleeping 23 hours out of the day. My mom came to the hardest decision she’d ever had to make in her life. She our beloved Sammie put to sleep on August 1oth, 2007. The vet was very kind and seemed to understand. My mom cried the whole time and brought her home to be buried under the Camilla bush in the back yard. It was always where she would be waiting for my mom when she came home from work.

Samantha was in our family for 18 years; in “dog years,” that would have made her 126 years old. She was there for my mom in more ways than I think we can understand. No matter how many changes in life that were thrown her way, Sammie was always true and constant.

Samantha, we love you. We were lucky to have you in our family. Thank you for all of your unconditional love. You gave us smiles and laughs with your silliness. You taught us to love in more ways than we thought were possible and taught us to be better human beings for it. You were a huge part of our family and you will be missed greatly.

Samantha with my sister Kiersten

I love you Mom~


  1. Oh how sweet. Thank you for sharing Sam with us. I'm so sorry for the heart-rending loss your family is feeling right now.

    Love you...

  2. nice story - even though the ending is sad.
    1989 - seems like yesterday. :)

  3. at least she is in a happier place
    and free from pain and suffering

  4. Please tell your mom how sorry I am.

  5. Thank heavens all dogs go to heaven! How would we live without them. I don't even want to know!

  6. what beautiful memories and what a lovely tribute to sammie ... thank you for sharing with us and a big hug to you, your family and your mamma ... xoxoxo

  7. Oh Angela: That was the most precious post. I hope Molly lives to be 18 or more. She's only 4 now, and I can't imagine our life without her. Thank you for a sweet tribute to Sammie!!!

  8. So sorry for your loss!
    We love our animals.... I had to go through the same with an old cat last year (a cat I brought over from Germany), that was very hard, too.

  9. Oh my God! I am crying!!!! I love that little so reminds me of my little TOBY!!!!! He is the LOVE of my LIFE! :-)

  10. I am so sorry. What a wonderful post about love and friendship. Seeing the photos showed what a loving part Sam had in your families life.