What a week. In addition Uncle Phil and Aunt Mary passing away yesterday, we had to put our 15-year old dog, Sami, down on Tuesday. Kristi and I always wondered if we would be able to make the decision if and when the time ever came. It turns out that we knew exactly when it was time.
Something woke me up at 3am on Tuesday morning and couldn't go back to sleep. So I decided to go into the kitchen to get a drink. I heard some low, pained yowls coming from outside. It sounded almost as if Sami was growling or fighting with something. When I walked outside, she was was laying on her side. It's not uncommon for Sami to bark or moan in her sleep, but her eyes were open. I tried to get her to her feet, but she was too weak. I carried her to the deck and woke Kristi.
Kristi took one look at her and just knew. We sat outside comforting her for quite awhile. Sami put her head in Kristi's lap and snuggled in the way she used to do when she was a puppy.
We put some blankets and towels under and around her to make her comfortable, and she went to sleep for a little while.
After taking Kayci to school, we took Sami to the vet. I won't go into detail here, but she went very quietly, and even Noble could sense that it was a quiet time.
To say that Sami was a good dog would be a gross understatement. She was the best dog. She got me over my fear of large dogs, and I have great memories of running around the big field behind Kristi's apartment for literally hours at a time playing ball and chase with Sami.
She loved on, kissed and mothered every one of the Clarkson and Pharaon kids. Some of theme even started learning to walk by pulling up on her and walking around holding on to her fur. She was so patient with all of them and loved letting the kids know that she loved them with a big lick on the face. And she was even patient when we tried to get the kids to ride on her back. She wasn't having it, but she was patient.
When Kristi's dad had bypass surgery, we let Sami stay with him to keep him company and to help raise his spirits. And that's how she came to be "Grandpa's dog." She lived with him for six years after that, and they were inseparable. She went everywhere with him, and they used to enjoy picking on each other. It was actually pretty funny to watch.
And that's also when Sami got spoiled. It was a fairly common occurrence to walk into Tim and Janet's house and smell something really awesome. You'd walk into the kitchen and see gumbo on the stove with fresh steamed rice, boiled shrimp cooling and big juicy hamburger on the counter. And most times, the thing you thought was for you was actually for Sami. You just never knew.
As she got older, we thought her hearing and her eyesight was fading because she didn't seem to respond to us calling for her. But then a dog food can would open or Tim would whistle and she'd come running. It turns out that the old girl could hear and see you, she just didn't care to come right then.
She came back to live with us when Tim got sick and has lived here ever since. And even though she became an outside dog, she was still a part of our daily lives. Our morning wasn't complete with Noble wanting to go feed Sami. In fact, it was one of his favorite things to do. And we couldn't leave without several rounds of "bye, Sami! Bye bye, Sami!"
Sami dog will definitely be missed. We love you, Sam. Have fun fishing with Grandpa again.