Sam’s life came to a gentle and peaceful close on February 19, 2014. He passed from this world to the next in my arms. He was a lovely southern gentleman – handsome, rugged, intelligent, and caring. He had the most amazing heart. Despite his past, which no doubt was very painful at times, he was always gentle and kind, with a seemingly endless capacity for fun, optimism and hope. And then there was that ever present smile.

Sam came to Nova Scotia in 2010. Thin and sick, Sam was in a shelter facing an early death in rural Tennessee. A woman there to rescue a litter of puppies ended up giving him a new life. Staff couldn’t find the puppies; they had crawled through the duct work into Sam’s cage. He was playing with and caring for them. Sam left the shelter that day along with his charges. No one in the local area wanted him, so he came to Nova Scotia through the East Coast German Shepherd Rescue Society. It was shortly after his arrival in Dartmouth that I found him on the web and fell in love instantly.

Sam lived every moment fully and expressively. Fiercely protective of all he held dear, Sam looked and sounded every bit the lion when needed. But he was a gentle giant putting little dogs at ease and never venturing too far without his teddy bear. And then there was his little sister Emma who predeceased him in 2012. While Sam taught Emma how to be a dog in the great outdoors, Emma helped Sam adjust to life indoors. Sam learned quickly that sometimes the dishwasher contained tasty treats, that roast chicken on the kitchen counter top was really meant for him, and potted plants were a great place to bury bones (Emma never found them there). He also discovered Christmas trees made great back and chin scratchers, freshly fallen snow was a refreshing treat, door bells meant you could bark in the house and if you scattered as many shoes as you could find around the living room and dining room, you might get your supper a little sooner. Good bye my sweet Sammy. You were loved by many, me most of all.