Tribute to Sam the Samui Street Dog
It’s with a broken heart that I announce the passing of Sam the Samui Street Dog on the afternoon of Monday 17 January 2017, after a seizure. He had just celebrated his first birthday. He passed away on a farmstead on the edge of the Scottish Highlands, where his human Mum Claire and his four Labrador brothers had first embraced him less than six months earlier.
It was a long way from the dangerous streets of the resort island of Samui, Thailand, where I met him. When I hurt Sam in an accident, I promised him that he would not only recover but also would have a great life.
His healing was far from straightforward, and he always seemed to have to fight for every little thing in life.
He was like an angel to me. I was on Samui to fight depression, anxiety and a sense of despair that stopped me functioning at almost any level. But I had to act quickly to save Sam and ensure he had care, a place to stay in Thailand, and a long-term home.
I want to thank my friend Claire who fell in love with him on my Facebook page. She gave him the most incredible life in his short time here.
After some thought and in agreement with Claire, I have decided to publish his story below, as a tribute to a brave little dog with a beautiful soul. I shall never forget him.
Sam’s great adventure begins
Street dog Sam faced a bleak future as one of many homeless hounds on the island of Samui, in southern Thailand. The six-week-old puppy faced the prospect of starvation, disease, death on the road, poisoning or beatings. He was also in danger of falling into the hands of South-east Asia’s horrific dog meat trade. Things seemed even worse when a careless tourist didn’t notice Sam sleeping under the back wheels of his hire car. This is Sam’s tale. In his own words, written before his sudden passing.
It was a lovely Sunday morning. I was sleeping under a car when I was rudely — and painfully — awakened. The white Mitsubishi ran over both of my back legs. I was shocked and in agony. I was a tough little street dog so didn’t make much fuss, just howled a bit.
The human who ran me over was in pieces, didn’t know what to do. He bundled me into a car and took me to a vet who said my back legs were broken. Duh! I could have told her that. So, back in the car and on to another vet. I was X-rayed, bandaged and put in a cage before I could even chew anything.
I was missing my Mum and brother. We used to play all day at the resort in Hua Thanon, where I was born. It was hot and boring, and the other dogs and cats were noisy.
The Englishman who ran me over didn’t live on Samui so what was going to happen to me? I’m a happy-go-lucky kind of street dog, so I made the best of things and hoped everything would work out.
After a few days, the man took me to a house where the people didn’t like me, so it was back to the vets, and all day in a cage.
That’s when a lady noticed my big floppy ears and a tail that NEVER stops wagging. She thought I was so little and sad that she offered to take care of me after my legs were fixed.
They were worried. Would I spend
the whole of my life in a cage?
One day, after more X-rays, the man took me to Youngnam Pet Hospital, in Chaweng. The lovely nurses cuddled me (I could see the Englishman was jealous). It was cool there, and the nurses played with me three or four times a day. My English friend visited every day, and the kind lady bought me a chewy bone.
I was there for four weeks. I had lived half of my little life in hospital. But my legs were great, and the kind lady took me home to a place I didn’t believe.
I had more than a hundred brothers and sisters to play with, most of them street dogs just like me. I think some of them found me a bit annoying because I had weeks of playing and running and chewing to with which to catch up.
Then. A new nightmare. I got sick with a bad tummy. Back to the vets. Back in a cage. I had lots of tests, and I knew the kind lady and the Englishman were worried that I had a nasty disease.
Was I going to spend all my life in a cage? After a week, all my tests were clear, and I was back in the house of a hundred (or more) dogs. A few weeks later, and another emergency.
The first vet had micro-chipped me, and it was infected. They all remembered me at Youngnam and soon sorted me out. Back to my ‘hood and the gang there.
Ladies all over the world had seen me on the
Internet and wanted to feel my floppy ears
It was a happy time, but I got the feeling my adventure was just beginning. There was talk of passports. It seems lots of ladies from all over the world had seen me on the Internet and wanted to feel my floppy ears and give me a home. Who would have thought that a little Thai street dog could win so many hearts?
I nearly went to Hong Kong, the Philippines and England. But I won the lottery and was heading off to Scotland, with its lovely sunny weather. I was going to have a new Mum and four Labrador brothers in the Aberdeenshire countryside.
The English guy who started the whole thing met me at Samui airport to say goodbye. (I made sure to keep out of the way of his car.)
It was exciting to fly on a plane to Bangkok, where I spent the night. My friend Sophie travelled with me. We weren’t allowed to go out, so I chewed lots of stuff to keep myself out of mischief.
The next day was a bit of a blur. A noisy airport. A huge, loud aeroplane. A long flight. And there we were. In Scotland. My new mum came to meet me. She is called Claire and is very nice. She cuddled me and played with my ears, and said nice things about them.
I said goodbye to Sophie. My mum and I left the busy city. Soon, everything was fields. Beautiful green fields. And it WAS sunny. Sunny Scotland. What an adventure for a Samui street dog.
I slept for the three-hour journey. I’d been through a lot. And then…
I bet you can’t wait to hear about my adventures with my Mum and my brothers in Scotland. I am afraid you will have to because I’ve got to go for a walk now…