Our Wonderful Samson

Samson is such a huge part of our lives therefore I would like to share his little story.  This is something which I've been thinking about for so long now however it just needed my extra time as he is so special.

Eleven years ago we answered an advertisement in our local paper from the Customs Foster Care Program looking for carers for a new litter of pups.  We became little Samson's Foster Carers.

Over the course of twelve months we exposed him to as many social situations as possible within the guidelines provided.  He had his little Customs coat to wear out in public places with a big yellow L plate so everyone knew he was a learner.  He was an absolute star and nothing seemed to faze him.  A big people magnet too and he loved every second.
  
His favourite spot during the day - too cute.


Training him was very different to what we were used to.  One of the big ones was playing fetch in a very different way.  He needed to be possessive.  He was taught to retrieve an item we had thrown and then hold onto it.  His reward was a good game of tug of war and a lot of praise for keeping the item.  


During the twelve months he performed extremely well therefore was moving forward with the next phase.  It was time to say our goodbyes and hand him back.  Oh that was so difficult.  That same day our new little Customs pup was delivered.  A black labrador named 'Wolf'.

Wolf.

He was so full of beans and everything with him was full on and fast.  Once again we socialised Wolf in as many situations as we could and he went through all of the training.

Within the first few months of having Wolf I received a phone call from Customs asking if we would like Samson home as a pet.  There are various reasons why pups may no longer be suitable.  I just think Samson wanted to come home.

The next few months were quite busy with two young labradors.  At the end of Wolf's twelve months he was returned which is never easy.

I'm sure he missed his little buddy.

Samson and Wolf chose to share the same bed every night.  For many years after Wolf was returned Samson kept sleeping on one side of the bed.

Before I fast forward to the present just a quick story of the first time I took Samson to dog training once he became our pet.  We had to attach our dog leads to a peg in the ground in a fenced off area.  There were quite a number of dogs and I was nervous.  We were then led into a room for an introduction to the course.  They were lovely and served us biscuits and hot chocolate however I just couldn't relax as I had visions of Samson causing mayhem.

All of a sudden there was a huge commotion.  Samson had successfully pulled the peg out of the ground and was running around the pen with lead and peg dragging behind him.  I was so embarrassed however they were so calm about it all.  I took him back for a number of weeks until I knew the basics and then continued at home.  The persistence paid off as he is so well trained now except for fetch.  He loves playing however still wants that tug of war game and will not give the ball or toy back.  Cheeky boy.

In 2012 our poor Samson had surgery to remove a Stage 3 Mast Cell Tumor.  Prognosis was very grim without chemotherapy.  We weighed up the pros and cons and made the very tough decision to keep him comfortable and enjoy him.  He is still here five years later and has been living a normal life.

Our beautiful boy recovering.

Last year another Mast Cell Tumor appeared which they are unable to remove.  It is growing however we are keeping a very close eye on things.  He is still his normal lively self, happy and comfortable and they're the main things.  We enjoy him every single day.

Now our poor boy has another little battle.  Last Sunday we rushed him to the vet as he couldn't put is left leg on the ground and the joint was swollen.  He was in a lot of pain.  After an examination and x-ray it was revealed he has Osteoarthritis.  He was injected with a very strong pain killer and spent the day sleeping.  We were sent home with some medication to reduce the swelling and relieve the pain.


His swollen joint.

He slept for most of the day.

Obviously this will be something we need to manage and it will have it's flare ups.

In the meantime he is back to his normal bouncy, happy self.

I hope you enjoyed my little Samson catch up.  He is our special boy.

Love you Sam.

13 comments

  1. Oh poor Samson, He is so very beautiful though. He sounds so loved and such a valuble part of your family. I hope his leg heals and that he is comfortable soon.

    xx

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    1. Thanks Emma. Still swollen however pain under control.

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  2. Dogs make the best humans ;)

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  3. Samson is such a beautiful dog Kylie. I remember you talked about his tumor on D2E forum, so sometimes I think of him and wonder how he is doing. I hope his leg heels soon.

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  4. He's adorable. What a beautiful story. My dog has some sort of growth on her leg, too. I'm going to take her to the vet clinic tomorrow. It sounds like Samson has a wonderful life and family.

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    1. I hope all goes well for your dog at the vet.

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  5. What a beautiful boy your Samson is, Kylie. There is something so special about having a dog by your side, a warm and tender soul at your feet. I hope his leg feels better soon. Meg Xxx p.s. Orr Sir Steve dog sends a big woof and his best wishes to Samson too.

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    1. Thanks Meg and I'll pass Sir Steve dog's wishes on.

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  6. Thank you for the Samson update and for telling us his story. He is a gorgeous dog.

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  7. Dogs are the absolute best. One of life's most beautiful gifts.
    Sending your boy lots of love.

    -Jade

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