On a fall day in 2009, my then husband sat down across from me in my home office. He shared that he’d run into a former work friend earlier that day. That friend and her family had come to a difficult decision – it was time to rehome their five-year-old Golden Retriever. The family loved their dog enough to know they didn’t have proper time for her and she could have a different life with another family. My former husband had been wanting a dog and I could see this was important to him. Soon after, we went to meet Sammy. On November 2nd, 2009 – my 37th birthday – Sammy joined our family. Little did I know she would be my greatest gift.
Sammy is a spirited, talkative, sassy girl with a huge personality. She loves to hot lap around the yard, bark at me for anything and everything and is a master food stealer. I’ll be honest, she’s driven me crazy more times than I care to admit. She’s tested my patience. She’s made some days very frustrating. Even today she continues to keep me on my toes.
In late January 2018 I had a sense something was happening with Sammy. There weren’t significant symptoms. Maybe it was Mommy Instinct. A few weeks later Sammy developed a limp. I chocked it up to Sammy being a senior dog who enjoyed a good wrestle with her puppy brother. I cut her activity and waited for it to resolve. It did not. On February 27th – two days before Sammy’s 14th birthday – our primary vet shared her preliminary diagnosis. Osteosarcoma.
This is our story. A story of a pet parent and her senior dog. A story of managing her illness, enjoying life, maintaining normalcy for the pet family and the human family. A story of unbelievable pain and incredible joy. A story of appreciating each day and taking a journey one step at a time.