Well, my post today comes with lots of sad news.  This morning we had to have Samson, our oldest and sweetest dog, euthanized.  It was a rough morning to say the least.

Last night we got home late from Ryan’s parents house and found that Sam had been left outside all day.  For the past few days he’s just been acting… weird.  Not himself. And when I brought him inside he was acting much less like himself.  He had his hips tucked weird and he just looked skinnier than normal.  He seemed anxious and skittish.

He wouldn’t eat dinner.  The second night in a row. (Ryan had even mixed in a can of dog food as a peace offering for leaving him outside all day). I brought him into the living room and coaxed him to lay down next to me.  Once he did, he urinated a little, unable to control it.  I knew something bad was happening.

I spent the evening worried about him, petting him and wondering what I should do.  It was Friday.  Everyone (kids, dogs etc..) gets sick on Fridays in this house.  The weekend coming up, you know.

I made him a bed in the kitchen with a blanket and put the baby gate up so he couldn’t get into the living room and pee on the floor.  I was nervous to wake up and find him dead.

He was, in fact, alive this morning.  Still hadn’t touched his food.  He had peed through the blanket in his sleep. I called the vet we normally go to and they were open 8-12 but told me they wouldn’t couldn’t get us in until Monday.  I called another vet that we used to go to and they said come on it.  So, the 4 of us (Ry, Porter me and Sam) hopped in the Durango and I hoped that we’d find a solution.  Ryan prepared me that what was happening to Sam was the same thing that happened to his dog Scooby and they had to put him to sleep.  I honestly expected to take him home today.

Basically, the vet told us that his prostate was enlarged.  She extracted his urine for him (squeezed his bladder, which was the size of a melon… meaning he probably hadn’t been able to pee for a few days) and he was shaking in pain.  She said an enlarged prostate in a dog that had been neutered for so long would typically mean cancer.  A very aggressive cancer.  She said we could take him home but we’d have to bring him back every few days to have his bladder emptied.  Or we could have a catheter put in but it was difficult to maintain at home.  Testing was an option (to find out for sure if it was cancer) but benign or not, dealing with an enlarged prostate was not easy (surgery was more than likely required) and he’d more than likely be in pain.

I never thought I’d have to make that decision.  I thought he’d die peacefully at home with us.  I thought he’d die in his sleep.  I felt comforted that the vet told us it was the best choice for him.  I felt like he has had such a wonderful, long life (13 years) and I didn’t want him to spend his last days, weeks or months in such an undignified way.  He deserved better than that.

I stayed with him when they gave him the shot.  They gave him a sedative first, which calmed him down and he layed down next to me.  I could tell he was anxious and in pain.  It was so sad to watch him take his last breath, and to know that in just an instant he was gone.

So, anyhow, this was a rough morning.  I still can’t believe he’s gone. I can’t believe I left the vet and left him there, on the floor.

He was such a good dog.  He joined our family over 7 years ago. I saw an ad for a “Free Lab- 5 years old” and I called about him.  His owners left him at the house when they sold it.  The new owners’ kids were allergic.  So, thus began our journey with Samson.  He fit in so well.  I had always wanted a lab/retriever (he was some sort of mix).  I remember as a little girl always drawing a picture of a yellow dog coming out of a gift box at Christmas.  That year, he was my Christmas present from Ryan.

He drove Ryan crazy with his stubbornness.  He’d act like he didn’t know what you were asking him to do, even though you knew darn well he knew.  He was so sweet.  He could speak and shake.  He had this way of staring you down, almost as if he didn’t want you to know he was looking at you (kind of in a bashful way… see the picture of half his face below).  He loved walks and car rides.  He acted 10 years younger every summer when we got him shaved.  He was 80lbs of a gentle giant.  He will be missed so much, although I know he’s in a better place now and no longer in pain.  It will take a special dog to ever fill his shoes in this lifetime.







  1. As fellow dog-owners/lovers, we are very sorry for your loss! I am in tears right now knowing what you are going through. We’re thinking of you!

  2. Ahhh, I’m so sorry Nicole. I was crying when I read that. We recently had to put one of my childhood dogs to sleep. It was a terrible decision to make, but it was the right one. If life isn’t comfortable for them, why make them suffer because we want one more day with them? It’s hard, but you will find comfort knowing he’s not hurting anymore. I don’t look forward to the day that I have to put my crazy animals down. They are family, truly!

  3. Nicole, I teared up reading your post because we put our oldest dog family member to sleep not too long ago due to cancer as well. I am very sorry and my heart goes out to you. Samson is at the Rainbow Bridge waiting to rejoin you in the next life, hang in there.

  4. I am so sorry for your loss. I had tears in my eyes while reading your post. I know how attached you can become to your pets. They become a big part of your family. I lost my lab Shelby this past July and it was so hard. I still miss her so much. My heart goes out to you and you family and I hope you find comfort in all of the great memories that you had with him.

  5. Nic, Ryan & Porter-
    I am so sorry to hear about Samson. Thank you for sharing a heart-felt story of how he came to be part of your family. What a wonderful story!

  6. I am so very sorry for your loss Nicole. We had to have our dear Josie-girl put to sleep shortly after our son was born and it was the hardest thing I have ever had to do. Even knowing that there was no doubt it was the best decicision didn’t take away the pain. It will take time, but before long you will smile whenever you remember Samson instead of cry. I am thinking of you.

  7. There is a steady stream of tears running down my face as I type this. I am so very sorry for your loss. I know exactly what you have had to go thru. I also just recently put my 15 year old dog to sleep. She was such a sweetheart and I miss her dearly, but when things like this happen it’s just so hard to accept. I love your pictures of him, they are sooooo sweet! What a great way of remembering such a special friend! Thank you for this post.

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