D took him to the vet who confirmed not only the diagnosis, but that it was very aggressive and one of, if not the largest such tumors the vet had ever seen. Our hard decision, while still painful, was confirmed and as planned if that was the case, D had him put to sleep while there. He brought Samson home and we buried him down by the creek, beside Tasha's grave. He had run along that stretch many a time in his life here.
Good bye, Sammy.
I will miss the way he romped with the girls, picking up a log or large branch and carrying it around before dropping it with a thunk at our feet, then sitting back on his haunches and staring fixedly at it, waiting for us to throw it. If we weren't fast enough, he'd nudge it with his nose, then sit quickly and politely back, perhaps with a small whine as if to say, "there it is! I pointed it out to you. you can find it now, and throw it for me! hooray!"
I will miss the feel of his warm, thick coat and silky ears.
I will miss the way he would lick the remnants out of a tuna can, chasing it around the floor and getting every bit out.
I will miss the way he was a loyal companion to our girls, playful and gentle with them, protective of his charges.
I will miss the way he would pounce on toys with both front paws, then freeze until he was sure (or thought he was sure) he had it.
I will miss the lunk-headed things he did (most of them, anyway), making us shake our heads in disbelief while we smiled and had a laugh.
I will miss the eagerness with which he joined me on my morning run, his face alight and panting with that big goofy smile of his, and making me feel a bit safer by his very presence (who wouldn't feel safer with a hundred-pound German Shepherd?).
I will miss his puppy kisses, slobbery as they were.
I will miss the way he chased things in his sleep, his paws twitching as he was in hot pursuit in his dreams. He did that earlier today, one final chase - and it made me smile that he got one more. I hope it was a fox.
I will miss him.