In 2004, all my girls were out of the house, two of them were living in Florida and we were estranged from the other. Our dog Roxanne had gone to her reward the year before and I was lonely. I decided I wanted a dog; so the great puppy hunt began.
In the beginning I didn’t know about Petfinder but once I did, I spent hours on it; every day. I searched the papers and local pet stores. I dragged Chet all over the state of Connecticut and once we even went to Massachusetts; I was looking for the perfect dog. We looked at puppies, we held puppies and every time, we put the puppies down and left empty-handed. Chet was beginning to get annoyed with me; of course he wouldn’t say that but I could tell.
Then by chance a friend at work said that her niece’s dog (a Golden Retriever, Casey) was going to have a litter of puppies; I said, “I want a male.” The trouble was they weren’t sure if the dog had mated with a Golden Retriever or a Black Labrador Retriever; I didn’t care. At the end of July the puppies were born and she had mated with the Black Lab. Casey had 10 puppies! Five were black and five were gold, I wanted a gold male. Of the five black puppies, four were male and one was female; of the five gold puppies; four were female and one was male; Jennifer named him Toby, we named him Sampson.
Originally we wanted to take one male and one female and name them Sampson and Delilah; but after talking to a couple of people I was afraid the two puppies would be bonded to each other and not to us; so we only took Sampson. Today I don’t believe that theory, but we live and learn.
From the beginning I fell in love with Sampson, he was so adorable (as are most puppies) but he was also easy-going and had such a laid back personality that everyone who met him loved him too. He was very easy to housebreak, and settled very quickly into the routine of the house; very shortly he was only in his crate at night. Shortly after that he was locked in the kitchen at night and when Chet got up in the early morning, he would let him out and then bring him upstairs to snuggle with me. I could lie in bed forever with this dog. He reminded me of a child because I would get up and he would stay in bed, I would have to call him, sometimes two or three times to get him up in the morning; just like my mother use to call me.
In October of 2005; our daughter Lisa got married in Florida, there was no doubt that Sampson would have to go with us. I found a house, with a pool that was dog friendly and so we packed up the car and the three of us headed to Florida. We were traveling in a Chevy Equinox which is a small SUV, the seats were down so it was all flat and Sampson’s bed was tucked in the back. About 3:30 AM; (the time we normally snuggled ) he moved himself so his head was on the armrest between the two front seats and we snuggled in the car. 🙂
It was in Florida that Sampson began sleeping in bed with us, and we continued that habit when we went home; he would sleep at the bottom of the bed and when Chet left for work, he would crawl up next to me and we would spoon. We also began hiking with Sampson and he absolutely loved hiking. Many a weekend was spent walking trails around our town.
In February of 2006 I found myself between jobs, I was also invited to a baby shower and part of the invitation read, “Please bring a children’s book to help start the baby’s library.” I searched and searched for a children’s book that I loved reading to my niece, “Yoo Hoo Moon,” but it was out of print, so I said the heck with this; I have a ton of pictures of Sampson, I’ll just write my own! I uploaded the pictures to Winkflash and printed off a book. It probably cost me $30 to print that book, but by that time I was in love with the idea of Sampson having his own book.
Naturally I hate rejection so even though I copyrighted the book, I was hesitant to submit to publishers or agents, since that time I have begun to embrace the idea of sharing this wonderful dog with children and people; trouble is the market is saturated right now with books about dogs and cats and it is hard finding the right person to submit to. Still I haven’t given up completely on having his book published; if you would like to take a look at my book, “Along Came Sampson” please click here.
I could go on and on writing about Sampson, as I have many stories and pictures but I shan’t bore you here. The truth of the matter is when I was at one of the lowest points of my life; this dog literally gave me a reason to get up every morning. Sampson is a fantastic companion, he listens well and; he fills my life with joy, laughter and the most unconditional love I have ever experienced.
I hope you enjoy reading about him as much as I enjoy sharing him.