Friday, December 25, 2009

A Very Special Life... His Love Still Lives On...

Today is one of deep reflection of love, gratitude, and counting all the magic moments with my very special friend.... and dog... Samson (German Shepard x Staffordshire).

He suddenly passed away today.

Christmas eve, he was racing around the park with Cooper, my other dog (Black Labrador x Samoyed).

Christmas day he began vomiting water and was lethargic.

Today, he was not looking well and vomiting phlegm. As he was getting into the car, he collapsed. I raced him down to the vet, panic rising in my throat... wanting to ignore the intuitive voice that was gently whispering it was his time to move forward.

Noooo.... Please nooo... not yet!

My vet was closed, so I raced down to the nearest one back in my own neighborhood.

I scooped Sammie off the back seat of my car. He was conscious, but exhausted.

Having been a Paramedic for many years, I witnessed the look I now saw in his eye.

"Not yet buddy.. Please, not yet!"

As I carried his now limp 21 kilo frame, I noticed how frail he is (he's been unwell with many health issues throughout his life). His bones are abrasive against my skin, without a lot of flesh on his frame anymore.

A kind lady held open the veterinary door, giving me space to struggle past.

I spy past two customers, making eye contact with the lady at the counter, "Please, help him! He's been vomiting and has collapsed."

She takes Sammie in her own arms and whisks him through a door. I'm no longer with him. I struggle to fight back the tears, as I become aware of six sets of human eyes looking at me with sympathy.

I stand still. Not sure what to do next. The lady comes back within a short minute. "Take a seat. We'll have someone with you in a minute."

I head back out to my car to get my handbag... and to give myself some space as I sniff back the tears. I take a deep breath as I lean against my car and allow the feelings to flow.

Within a few minutes, the weight on my chest lifts. I rub my eyes with the back of my hand in an attempt to dry them. It doesn't work.

In the waiting room, I distract myself with a book recently given to me by a dear friend.

"How Would Love Respond?" By Kurek Ashley.

It helps me to center my focus back on love and gratitude, instead of the pending loss.

"Miss Gilbert," I hear my name and look up to see the Veterinarian summoning me into the room.

Sammie is not in there.

My gut strikes. My face contorts as I try not to cry. Instead I hear a strange yelp sound squeeze out of my throat. I brace myself knowing what is about to be said.

He looks at me with tenderness.

"Tell me what happened," he asks.

I breathe deep, blow out and race with the details.

"He's been vomiting water, with lots of phlegm. He's not been eating in 24 hours. He's lethargic, and been distressed. And today he collapsed as I tried to get him into the car to come here."

He pauses. Obviously waiting a moment before he delivers his next bit of news.

"Sammie is suffering. He has heart failure. He's old for his breed and he's obviously had lots of health issues."

I nod. It's all I can do.

We both stand still, eyes connected. I sigh deeply.

"Are you saying we should put him to sleep?" I sniff again in a futile attempt to hold back that avalanche of tears.

"I do. He's suffering. Prolonging the inevitable is not fair."

He takes me through to the next room, where I see him weak but alive on the table. I wrap my arms around his neck and cry..

"I'm sooooo sorry baby, I love you sooooo much. Thank you for being such an incredible soul and guide for me for all these years. Thank you for hanging in there long enough for me to come home and say 'Goodbye' to you."

I look up as I sense the Vet standing next to me. The Vet nurse is passing me a box of tissues. I take one. "Ok, I'm not ready, but go ahead."

As the nurse holds my boy and the Vet induces the needle filled with a green fluid, I whisper in Sammie's ear.... "I love you... see you on the other side."

His body gently rolls back onto the nurse, as he exhales his last breath, his body still twitching. The Vet checks his heart... "He's gone," he says.

They give me a few moments with Sammie. "What now?" I ask. "I haven't a clue what happens next."

The nurse kindly takes me through the options for a burial or cremation. I choose to have him cremated, and placed into an urn so I can later have a private ceremony ...a last goodbye.

She tells me it will take a few weeks.

Now, the weight of his absence is surreal. My heart is filled with sadness, but I know this will pass. Whilst I'm honoring my feelings, I'm also focused on all the magic moments, the love, the joy, the fun, the protection my beautiful boy served me with for almost ten years...

May you rest in peace my sweet soul....


  1. Oh Katie. That is just so sad. I'm crying here & I didn't know Sammie. But you 'will' see Sammie in heaven, and how lovely that you were called home & the last words that Sammie heard were yours. RIP Sammie.

  2. Thank You Lena... Toughest day I've had in a loooong time.. and, I'm also remembering his beautiful life and the glorious opportunity I had to share it with him.. :o) ..Still shedding tears, and missing him dearly... and I know right now I am raw, but soon will be able to smile and remember him without wet eyes.. xx

  3. Oh my Darling .. i can barly see the screen as i wipe the tears from my eyes ... he was so blessed to have a mum like you and i feel how blessed you feel being able to spend his last moments with someone who loved him so deeply ...
    May his spirit shine inside you forever xoxxo

  4. Dear Katie, my heart goes out to you. What an incredible gift Sammie gave you by allowing you to be there with him for his passing. RIP Sammie...
    Lots of love
    Marie xx

  5. OH Katie, I cry with you! My heart breaks as I can still remember going through this very thing with my first baby, 3 years ago, although it might as well have been yesterday. You story was very much like our story, how I feel your pain and the choking on the reality yesterday. I would like to say time heals all wounds but I am still waiting as it hurts today as much as it did that day, bringing me to my knees making it hard to breathe. I too am so grateful that God allowed me to love his child until he needed him in heaven. I would like to share with you two poems that really helped me as well as all who knew, loved & still miss my Levi today.
    I will send them to you in a FB message since I can't copy & paste here. Please know that you are in my heart through this oh so difficult time!

  6. Oh Katie, I'm so sorry. I love your tribute to Sampson. We lost our cat just before we moved to California. I knew she was going to be put to sleep and stood there for nearly 1/2 hour and cried. This was the absolute meanest cat on the planet and yet she was MY meanest cat and I loved her so. I felt a tug at my heart yesterday when there was no stocking for Inky. Our pets find a way into our hearts like no one else can. We are so blessed to have them for the time that we do. Prayers for you in this transition, that you will have comfort and peace.

  7. beautiful tribute, thankyou so much for having the strength and courage to share such a precious and personal part of your life.

    sending you all the healing loving vibrations in the world.

    enjoy the unconditional love you have in your heart (pets are so special).

    Love Mike ;-)

  8. My dearest Katie,
    I am so sorry to hear about your Samson. It is a very trying time and time is just what you need. You have the love of your family and friends to lean on now. My thoughts are with you.
    Your fb friend,

  9. Thank you Katie for sharing. I too have cried with you today. Your tribute is absolutely beautiful. You are so talented. Perhaps someday I will know how to create short videos like that one - wow - just beautiful. I went upstairs and blubberd all over Rosebud. I believe I have pictures of her on my FB page. She is my sweetie. My thoughts are with you! Much Love & Peace & Blessings for you and Samson. Namaste' Jan

  10. Dearest Katie,
    Thank you for sharing this wonderful amazing experiences you had with Sammie.. My tears flow as i read through.. An incredible journey you both had.. and i always remember what Kurek said.. "this life is borrowed. We have to give it all back one day.. The only thing we got to keep is the love we shared, the love we received and the experience of what the soul got to have.. " please dont worry dear Katie, Sammie is in far off better place now waiting for you on the other side.. when the time is true.

    I am animal lover myself.. and i adore this sweet soul allot.. i do always believe that they have their own kingdom of heaven just for them.. waiting for us someday..

    You take care now... my much love to you all the way from Kuala Lumpur.. :)


  11. Thank You so MUCH, all of you. What a community of LOVING and KIND souls... I'm so grateful... :)

    Writing my story and creating the video was very cathartic and healing for me... helping my heart and keeping me focused on the wonderful loving memories I spent with my beautiful boy, Samson.

    I've spent a lot of time with his sister, Cooper-Kelly these last 36 hours... I'm at a slight loss for what to do to help her as she is grieving also...

    I've posted a new video of Cooper and I at the beach late yesterday... and could use your help...

    Much Love and Blessings,

    Katie & Cooper...

  12. Hi Katie, I didnt get a chance to meet Samson, however I met her sister Cooper today and shared an amazing afternoon today with you, his Mum friend and companion. What a blessed life he had being with you. I know as I was blessed to be with you for the few hours today. Words cant describe your generous special loving spirit.
    Thank you Margaret

  13. Hi Margaret,

    :o) Thank You for such a great lunch and for the opportunity to share my skills with you... looking forward to seeing (and helping) you and Marie launch your book series online... serving the world with your Magic and also making a lot of wonderful business profit also..

    Go the "Champagne Ladies!" ....I'll toast a glass of bubbly to the two of you!

    :o) xxxx Katie

  14. And I meant to add (Margaret) ...Thanks for being so Gracious and Kind for allowing me to bring Cooper along to our lunch, and for her to enter your home... I'm grateful as I am sure she is... and she loved eating all the extra food today! *L* xx

  15. Oh sweetheart, my sincere condolenses. I was so moved just by reading it. You have a special gift that touches the souls of others through your words. We are truley blessed to have you in our life and just as you were blesses to have Sammie in your life, he was just as blessed to have you. RIP Sammie. xxx


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