Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Saying Goodbye To A Faithful Friend...

This was a sad day for the Diggs family. We had to say goodbye to a faithful friend. Our beloved lab dog Samson passed away. He was almost 11 years old. Sadly, cancer was quietly eating away at his bones for a long time.

We didn't see any signs of his cancer until like the tip of an iceberg revealing itself on the surface of the ocean, a simple accident that otherwise wouldn't have made a scratch on a 90lb lab dog broke his leg in three places. After examining his X-Rays, the doctors confirmed that like the danger that silently comes with the lower half of that iceberg, so too the cancer slowly and quietly ate his bones away until they became thin and brittle.

Many of you already know Samson through his annual Christmas Letter that he has published on our behalf for many years. For those of you that never met Samson, let me tell you a little about him. He loved to retrieve just about anything that you could throw... tennis balls, frisbees, footballs, sticks, soccer balls, boomerangs, base balls, ... you get the point.

Samson loved people. Like his mother before him, if you pet him, he was your instant companion. If you threw a ball for him, he was your devoted friend for life. He knew when a ball throwing friend had arrived even before they parked their car. Have you ever seen an 85 lab dog dance and leap with joy at the anticipation of a friend opening the front door. That is what Samson did every time a ball throwing friend showed up at our house. I wish I had a video to share of that glorious greeting. It was always a hoot to watch.

Just like his father, Samson adored children. He would be the first one at the baby's crib when a baby started to cry. He would comfort the children when they got hurt, would be their horse to ride, their captive during war, their spy during hide and seek, and of course their personal face and hand washer in time of need.

Before concluding, I want to share a funny story with you. When we decided that it was time to teach Samson how to swim, it was not an easy task. This may sound weired for a lab dog to have a hard time learning how to swim. But it was nevertheless true. We tried a few different pools. If persuaded to jump in to a body of water, he could find his way to the side and get out but he was not happy about it. So what solution do you use to help a lab dog love to learn water? A nerf football of course.

We took Samson to the lake. Just like before, he wanted nothing to do with getting in that water. That is until I pulled out the football. We played fetch on the beach for a while. That was big fun. Then I bounced the ball into the edge of the water. He looked at me like I was cruel or something. He meandered to the waters edge and tip-toed into the water to rescue that football. I repeated that sequence going slowly further and further into the lake. Before long, he was leaping into the lake and swimming a good 30-40 feet out to chase down that football and bring it back to me. That was our Samson. He would do just about anything for some fetch time.

Well, I better wrap this up. I hope that gives you a little glimpse into the life of our faithful friend. For your benefit, we put this small sampling of some of the many faces of our Samson. We hope that it is a blessing to you as you remember him with us.

Good bye dear and faithful friend! We miss you deeply!

The Diggs Family