Sam and Sooner
Last Edited: Oct 14, 2008 8:41 AM
My family had to euthanize both of our dogs within one week of each other
earlier this month. The Ocean Beach Animal Hospital in Longview, Washington
made a contribution to your program in our name.
I would like to let both you and our veterinarians how much they are
appreciated for your valuable contributions to both our pets and us. I am a
Firefighter by profession and we seem to get much more publicity and praise
than we really deserve. There are countless other professions like your own
that don't get the attention they should. I see human suffering everyday
and have witnessed my fair share of animal suffering as well. I, for one
have a hard time feeling any worse for one than the other. I fully
understand that human life comes first, but the feelings of loss are the
same, at least for me and my family.
Sam was a Blue Healer that turned thirteen in August of this year. My
mother got her for me after my Doberman passed away as a Christmas gift.
She was the last one left of her litter. She didn't have the markings that
a show dog would have and was very timid. I wasn't looking for a show dog
so that didn't matter. When we went to see her she was alone in a kennel
and wouldn't have anything to do with me. I have always welcomed challenges
and decided to bring her home. It took a couple of months of love and
attention but she came around and became one of the best dogs I have ever
had. My son was born in February when Sam was six months old (Sooner came
three years later) and they grew up together. They were pals and I think I
have had the toughest time seeing my son lose two of his closest
friends. Sam was true to her breed; very protective of the family and very
smart. She was quite a tough dog. She had been attacked and nearly killed
by another dog, impaled on a metal stake and undergone surgery for a
tumor. Old age finally caught up with her, her health became poor and she
had a seizure. It was time to let her go. She will be missed.
Sooner was a Chesapeake Bay Retriever/Lab mix. She was ten. She had
beautiful markings and the softest coat I have ever felt. One of my friends
came up with her name. He said jokingly the she would "sooner" pee on the
carpet than go outside, and the name stuck. Sooner was a very loving dog
that very rarely even growled at anyone even if they deserved it. She and
Sam were inseparable. The vet said that her failing liver was probably a
coincidence, but I have a suspicion that she gave just up when her buddy
didn't come home one day. I don't mean to confuse pets with humans, but I
do think they are intuitive. Like I said, they both were gone within a
week. Sooner was old and not super healthy, but she sure went downhill
rapidly after Sam was gone. We miss her too.
We were very surprised when we got the letter from your organization saying
that the Ocean Beach Animal Hospital had donated on our behalf. My surprise
was short lived when I recalled how compassionate and professional the whole
staff was with Sam, Sooner and my family. I wonder how they go through
these kinds of things on a daily basis knowing how tough it is on families.
I remember vividly how the young girl who brought Sam out to me after she
was euthanized struggled to hold back the tears, and how Dr. Moore told us
to take our time in Sam's last minutes even though we were there after
business hours. They are surely true animal lovers. They need to be
commended for that. Like I said at the beginning, yours is a profession
doesn't get enough accolades. My family appreciates all that you do.
Please feel free to use this letter and the enclosed picture of Sam and
Sooner as you wish. Being a caretaker and healer for our pets is truly a
Thank you very much for your time,
Dave, Jennifer and Austin W.