Sam – 25/08/10 – 02/01/12 – At peace

Sam © Ricky Yates

This is not the first blog post of 2012 that I wanted to write. After a long consultation with the vet, and an equally long discussion between Sybille and myself, we together took the very difficult decision last Monday morning, of having our dog Sam, put to sleep.

Unfortunately, starting in mid-November 2011, Sam began to exhibit characteristics totally out of character for a Labrador. He became aggressive towards other dogs and on occasions & without any apparent reason & with no warning, aggressive towards other humans. This culminated in him biting the hand of a very good friend who was with us in the Chaplaincy Flat on New Year’s Eve.

The vet believes that Sam had developed some serious form of neurological disorder which would be impossible to treat or to find any cure. In the previous six weeks, he had rapidly ceased to be the happy, lively dog that we had come to love since we adopted him in mid-April 2011. Instead, he had become very reactive to every little disturbance around him He was never relaxed and had long ceased to be at peace with himself.

We both treasure the good memories that we have of Sam – swimming in Slapy Lake and, particularly for me, climbing Snežka with him. Sybille also christened him ‘our weight loss programme’. Since adopting Sam, we have between us shed over 30 kg in weight! We both very much miss not having him around but at least know that Sam is finally at peace.

15 comments to Sam – 25/08/10 – 02/01/12 – At peace

  • Oh, I’m so very sorry to read this, Ricky. Sam was such a friendly, happy dog when I was with you in early October and I’m so sad to hear that all this changed so much for the worse and so quickly. Of course you will miss him a great deal and I send you both my sincerest sympathy on your loss.

    • Ricky

      Thank you Perpetua – the Chaplaincy Flat seems very quiet without him. Whilst we both know we made the right decision we also both miss Sam terribly.

  • Oh goodness Ricky I’m so sorry to hear that! Couldn’t quite believe that when I saw your post, because I knew you only got Sam a couple of months ago, poor thing.

    But well he is at peace now… you and Sybille and Oscar are in prayer, as always.

    • Ricky

      Thank you Wandering Pilgrim – Sam is at peace now which is some consolation. But as I said in response to Perpetua, we do miss him terribly. Thank you for your prayers.

  • Karin

    My condolences to you and Sybille. What an extremely difficult choice to make, but you did the right thing in the end. As time lessens the pain, his memory will always stay dear.

    • Ricky

      Thank you Karin – yes we will always have the good memories of last summer with Sam, But the shame is that it was for such a short time.

  • Jirka and I both send our condolences to you and Sybille. We were so sorry to hear the news, and know how difficult that kind of decision can be. It sounds like you did the best for Sam, and as you said, he’s now at peace.

    • Ricky

      Thank you Sher – you & Jirka are very kind as have been so many of our friends as you can see by the comments here & on Facebook.

  • Gordon

    Dreadfully sorry to hear about Sam`s illness and demise. From what you say it seems his altered behaviour caused him grief too. You made the right decision for him; and that cannot have been easy. You have my sympathy; I`ve been there a few times myself.

    • Ricky

      Thank you Gordon – Yes, Sam was not happy with himself during the last few weeks of his life. Thank you for your sympathy which is very much appreciated.

  • Derek

    My condolences to you and Sybille. I know Sybille from an online dog forum and she directed me to your blog a while ago so I could read a post about Sam. I know she cared so much for him and I will be praying for you two in this hard time. Much love.

    • Ricky

      Thank you Derek – It took Sybille a short while to work out who you are as you go by your dog’s name on the forum 🙂 But your understanding & prayers are much appreciated.

  • […] I mentioned in my recent sad post about Sam the dog, one of the many great things he did for Sybille and I was to get us out walking far more than […]

  • Scott

    I feel for you Ricky. I have had to put two of my dogs to sleep and it is never an easy decision. A real bummer to be the one to have to make that call. One of mine was very old with a lot of health problems and I felt like I was doing her a favor. The other one was very similar to your story – it didn’t matter what I tried training-wise, she was just too aggressive. The last straw was when she starting acting aggressive towards my 1 year old daughter. I knew it had to be done but that drive to the vet’s office it is still one of my least favorite memories.

  • What a sad story. Like most dog owners, I have some idea of how this must feel, but I’m sure you did the right thing. The same thing can happen to people, unfortunately. One theory is that a virus is to blame, although it is still not understood.
    I don’t know if you permit this on your blog, (please just remove this bit if not!) but I’ve written a little “tongue-in-cheek” article about what we can learn from our dog here that people might like to read. Let me know what you think! Some things I have learned from my dog!