Sammy’s Hearth

December 17, 2011 § 15 Comments

A warning to my animal loving friends, who are legion: You don’t have read this if you don’t want your heart dawg-broke, albeit that is certainly a noble injury.  I’d like to take this moment to thank you for all that you do, all those acts of kindness that I believe are collected somewhere on a tablet that smells faintly of liver.

This story really begins ten thousand years ago, when humans told the wolf: We want to create pure love from you.  We want to create from you an animal called a dawg who will love us. Come out of the woods, set down your rabbits and your squirrels, and we will promise you three things:  A hearth, someone who knows your story, and someone who loves you to say your name.

Now, ten thousand years later, we break that promise in the worst way two million times a year, in curiously-titled “shelters” around the country.

Enter Sammy.  He was an old man – somewhere around ten – taken to one of these “shelters” by some “people” who got a puppy that Sammy didn’t get along with.  So they starved and neglected him.  He was rescued by my friends Blake,Kim, Kathy, Clair, Lynda and Elaine. He was in bad shape, and they found a tumor but couldn’t operate because he was so weak.

This morning I set off to go get him in Palmdale, California. I was three steps to my car when I got the phone call. Sammy wasn’t going to make it. He was too sick and too weak and his worst illness – his owners – had finally got the best of him.

Here’s the hearth that was waiting for him.  I may be able to get his ashes, and I will put him above that hearth.

So in a roundabout, terribly ironic and tragic way, Sammy may get his three promises:

A hearth, someone who knows his story, and someone who loves him to say his name.



§ 15 Responses to Sammy’s Hearth

  • Melanie says:

    Tears are flowing, Kathy. I’m so sorry you didn’t reach Sammy in time. Thank you for telling us his story so beautifully.

  • Kim says:

    Thank you so much Kathy for stepping up and wanting to take sweet Sammy into your loving home! You are a fantastic woman and I’m a better person because of knowing you and Blake. I only wish we had more time with Sammy to show him how very special and loved he was! Thank you again for your willingness to help and truly your uncondtitional love! xoxo Kim

  • Rich Peddy says:

    Ugh. That really sucks. I half wish I could fly out there and produce the owner’s ashes for you as well.

  • Blake says:

    When Clare from the Castaic shelter called me about (Oso) Sammy she said he was a very special little fella and she wanted him to be saved. Due to his age 13 and the fact that he had been starved, she feared for his life. I started to network Sammy and Kim called me. We both knew we had to help Sammy, just then I got a call from a very wonderful woman Elaine, she offered to foster Sammy and help get him back on his feet. We could all tell that Sammy was a special fella..Sammy suddenly took a turn for the worst and wouldn’t to the Vet he went. Then like an angle Kathy happened, she too wanted to help this sweet soul.. Try as we all did, we just couldn’t make Sammy better.. Sammy left us this morning, but he will forever live with us. Sammy will go home to Kathy and he will stay with by the hearth she so kindly provided for him. Sammy, always know that you have people here that love you and will always remember your fighting spirit and sweet, sweet face. Love you little man..

  • becky says:

    When I first saw Oso’s sweet face, I told Blake that he looked more like a “Sammy” and that is how he got his name. I too prayed for you,Sammy, but you are now at peace and we will all see you at the Rainbow Bridge. Please know that you are loved by so many. Now you can be healthy and whole once again, and play with all my dogs that have gone to heaven too.

  • Elaine Edford says:

    Sammy came to stay with me for a few days and I remember how he liked to explore the yard and cuddle up in the largest puffy dog bed I had in the corner of my garage. He liked to sleep there with my senior girls, Alice and Julie. They seemed to share a type of kinship, even though they had just met. He enjoyed his special dog food and had a really happy look on his face when offered biscuits. By the third day with me, he greeted me at the gate and wagged his tail! I always feel so honored when these neglected ones trust people again after being offered just a little kindness and care. I am glad to have met him and I enjoyed our brief moments together. He will be remembered.

  • Eric Hall says:

    Unfortunately, some people are not evolved enough to be dog owners. It angers me every time. I’ve got the bat.
    I’m sorry for your pain.

  • Michele Wilhite says:

    My heart IS dawg broke! Thank heavens some of the Sammy’s of the world have guardian angels like you! If you’d had more time I’m sure you’d have saved him or at least given him a king’s farewell!

  • Chris Mitton says:

    I love ” Set down your rabbits and your squirrels.” hilarious.

  • Clare says:

    Know that you were loved Sammy, your owners let you down but you will remain in the hearts of those who were privileged to know you, albeit briefly……Thank you everyone who came together for this boy. Clare

  • Julie says:

    Poor baby Sammy and those who loved him so briefly. I hope he felt your love and is looking down on you from Heaven, smiling and knowing that there are those rare people on this earth who truly do understand that the love from a dog is more precious than anything in this world. What a sweet face! Your story breaks my heart and I hope that he is happy and free and healthy and is in a place that is more wonderful than we can ever imagine. You are all so wonderful for giving him love and care in his last days. May he rest in peace. I’m so sorry for what you’ve all been through today.

  • Lynda says:

    Thank you so much for this tribute to Sammy.. You love him before you even knew him. We loved him so much at the shelter we had to try to save this special boy.. At least he did know a loving home before he went to the rainbow bridge .. Make a safe and healing journey Sammy.. Love you..

  • Janet Champ says:

    Beautiful and heartbreaking, Kathy. But thank the gods for people like you and Blake, Kim, Lynda, Kathy, Clair and Elaine, the ones who try, the ones who succeed. Before he died Sammy knew love, and biscuits, and a puffy bed. He had dog friends. He knew kindness. He suffered no more cruelty or agony. He didn’t have to cower in fright. Eric is right: too many humans aren’t evolved enough to have dogs, cats, horses, et al. And I believe we need something stronger than a bat.

  • Scott says:

    We’ve got to come up with an ad campaign that illuminate this issue and prevents the slaughter happening behind closed doors.

  • Stef Sister says:

    It never ceases to amaze me how much you’ve changed from that animal-hating, child-nauseated youngster from so long ago. Now look at you! It brings a tear, my friend.

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