College of Veterinary Medicine

In Memory of Our Beloved...

Sam and Sooner


  Sam and Sooner

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 noble thing.
 
Thank you very much for your time,
 
Dave, Jennifer and Austin W.



Last Edited: Oct 14, 2008 8:41 AM
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