Back in about 2001, my daughter Taylor and I went to the Great Falls Animal Shelter, and found Sam.  He was a Brittney Spaniel that they found running on the Old Havre Highway.

When we were walking through the shelter, Taylor and Sam locked eyes and the rest is history!  We were just kind of looking around that day, so we went home without him.  My dad was at my house, and by the time we had finished telling him about Sam, we realized we had made a mistake leaving without him.  So, we jumped in Dad's pickup and went back to get him.  Good thing, too.  There were 3 other families looking at him.  Luckily, he ran right up to Taylor and we snatched him up and brought him right to the house.

Right away, you could tell Sam had been beaten often and hard by a guy who wore boots and a baseball cap.  How did we know this?  Every time my husband would approach him or take off his hat in front of Sam, he'd flinch and pee.  It was awful!  It took a couple of weeks, but eventually Sam took to Dave and he wasn't scared anymore.  The one thing they did right was teach him lots of manners, tricks and hunting.  He was so well trained.  I can only imagine the torture he went through learning those tricks.  Poor Sam.

From the day we got him until he died in September 2010, Sam rarely left Taylor's side.  He played with her, walked with her, watched tv with her, and slept either with her or under her bed every single night.  He took good care of my husband when he got sick, too.  He watched for Dave to come home for a good year after he died.  The loyalty Sam had for his family was amazing.

Once, my husband was showing me his awesome gun safety practices, and shot our bed!  Sam comes running in all excited and pointing.  He'd thought bird hunting had, literally, come home!  It was very funny.  (If you put aside the fact that Dave had a loaded gun and didn't know it.)

He had a weight problem from the moment we brought him home until he died.  I wonder what his life was like being on a diet for over 8 years!  He also put a healthy fear into my Yorkie, Thor, so that he knew who was boss right away.  Thor was blind in one eye and couldn't bark because he had tried to eat Sam's food.  Never happened again.  Thor was none the worse for it.  Infact, we often praised Sam for getting rid of that nasty little yelpy bark.

Here is the one picture I could find of Sam the Dog on the computer.  We have framed photos, but only one between both my facebook and Taylor's.  Shameful!