Bearnaise Sauce Dogs, Family, Photos


After trying all the things that veterinary oncology had to offer for a histiocytic sarcoma, we had to admit this week that Sam's tumor was not only resistant but worsening, and yesterday our vet made the hardest kind of house call, freeing him from his increasing discomfort and illness. 

It's hard to write about this today, but I want to share some pictures. Here he is the day we picked him up from his breeder.

Sam and Martha

I also want to say that he lived up to his namesake, Sam Gamgee. The breeder asked us to put an L word in his fancy, pedigreed name, and on the way home from getting him, I mentioned this to the kids. It was #1 Son who said, "Oh, that's easy. Loyal."

And that was our Sam, Rosier's Loyal Samwise Gamgee, who lived March 31, 2003 to October 29, 2010. That sounds short, and it feels short, although we know in the scheme of things for Bernese Mountain Dogs, that's longer than the average life span for the breed. 

Although he was on the shy side, Sam was a Canine Good Citizen. After we lost Molly, he went to work with me in Freeport, and even went to Sunday School there. He had a lot of friends in that congregation, and I thank them for their hospitality to both our dogs.

I also want to thank the kind folk of North Yarmouth Congregational Church for their welcome to him and their patience with me as I have nursed him. We had a Blessing of the Animals two weeks ago, and I'm glad he was still able to participate. 

I'm grateful to our dog walker, Louise, who came to the house to be with Sam, LP and me at the end, and my friend, revhoney, who extended her visit an extra day to be with us, too. The boys had a great visit with Sam a couple of weeks ago, and Pure Luck was able to get here and see him before the end, too.

I'm very thankful for the offer from my choir director, Joanne Lee, who is also a photographer, to take some pictures of Sam and me, which we did last Monday. Here's one of them. 

Sam 2 (Joanne Lee)

Sam spent most of his life keeping Molly out of trouble. So I like to think of them together again now, her mischief balanced against his loyalty, exploring the snow-covered paths of Dog Heaven, where the Greyberries surely fall plump and juicy into a good dog's mouth.

Molly and Sam 2008

50 thoughts on “Sam”

  1. I love the photo of the two of them together – such beautiful and good friends, to each other and to you. And he was a very adorable puppy. I am so sorry for all the heartbreak of this loss.

  2. I am glad you had him for so long, and sad you don’t have him anymore. You will be in my thoughts today, as I head to the dogpark with my own loyal friend.

  3. you’ll know how much I’ve been thinking and praying…now those wonderful pictures have made me cry too. Though I never met either of your wonderful Berners, they feel like part of my wider family (so much so that I texted all the children to tell them your sad news yesterday – and they send their best love)….Thank you for sharing them with us. Much love xxx

  4. God now delights in the presence of both Sam and Mollie. God be with you as you grieve your loss.

  5. I’m so sorry, Songbird. What a beautiful reflection. And how lovely that Sam was at home. Praying for all of you.

  6. I’m picturing Sam and Molly frolicking with our four-legged friends on the other side of the Rainbow Bridge. Much love to you during this sad time.

  7. Many hugs to you and the family. I think the last picture is how they are now, together again. So sorry for your loss

  8. Last November, Sam lifted my spirits after the results of Q. 1. He brought love and peace with him, and those are memories to be cherished.

  9. I’m so sorry, Martha. I can truly say I know how you feel. I’m glad you had those beautiful portaits made to remember Sam, a very special friend.

  10. thoughts and prayers are with you in your time of grief and loss. It is so hard.

  11. I know this loss strikes deep coming on the heels of other losses. You have been and remain in my prayers. (0)

  12. When I saw the beautiful portrait pics…I wondered if you had come to this moment. Ah DAMN. I am so very sorry. He had such a sweet face…

  13. Such a sweet tribute to your wonderful family member. I know Molly was so glad to see her Sam. Love to you.

  14. Oh, oh, oh. I am so sorry, Songbird, and send you all hugs and love – and many prayers.

  15. I’m so sorry… I know this loss after all the others will make getting out of bed in the morning seem like being asked to do an impossible thing… I will pray that your heart find solace.

  16. Like many others I am so sorry for your great loss, such beautiful pictures, praying for all of you for comfort x

  17. To say Sam was a great dog has to be an understatement. But he was a great dog, and then some.
    Hugs to all of you; keeping you in prayer.

  18. I love seeing the picture of Sam and Molly together. Thinking of you in this dreadful time, grateful that you had Sam’s love and he yours.

  19. If there’s a doggy afterlife, may it contain lots of perfectly digestible socks.
    Hugs all around.

  20. I am so glad that I had the opportunity to know Sam. What a handsome, gentle giant! Dog Heaven welcomes him, even as you grieve him. Sending you love.

  21. I’m glad I had the brief pleasure of meeting both Sam and Molly. I’m so, so sorry dear friend, for this grievous loss. Much love coming your way.

  22. A beautiful dog, a beautiful life and lovely photos. Thank you for sharing this at this sad time. Having lost dogs over the years I know something of the pain you must be feeling, and of course all your congregation will be asking how you are. Every Blessing

  23. On Wednesday I met a distant relative of Sam’s, named Murphy and immediately thought of Sam and the joy he has brought your family. Thank you for sharing Sam, and Molly, here. Prayers and sympathy heading your way.

  24. Oh, I am so sad about this news, Martha. I hope that your memories of so very many wonderful days with Sam will comfort you.

  25. I feel your pain. I know your loss. Sam is with the Lord now, in His care, till we reunite again in Heaven…Godspeed – Regina, Larry with our Berners Freeport & Mr. Cooper.

  26. i always wished that Fenway could meet Sam and Molly. And now they are together. Makes me so sad but i can picture them together. i know how much you will miss him and i will miss him too.

  27. Oh, Songbird, such gorgeous photos of your beautiful companions. I pray that Sam crossed rainbow bridge with all the energy he had in life.
    Peace come and settle gently within you even in your grief.
    Oh, the hole that is in our hearts and beings and life and home when we lose our loyal and faithful furry companions. So, very sorry.

  28. So sorry to hear the news. I know how much you miss him, and Molly. Prayers for you and your family.

  29. I’m remembering the day I met Sam and Molly and I am missing him, too.

  30. Oh! I’m sorry. What a beautiful dog. That first picture is just too dear. I’m so sorry for your loss.
    I’ve been reading you off and on for years, catching links from Phantom and Liz, and I’m sorry I didn’t see this post sooner. Prayers and love to you all.

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