The pure little soul loved by everyone he met
I’ll never forget the first time I saw Sam. He was a frenetic puppy, yapping, chasing and wrestling with his brother in a resort garden in Samui. A dog rescue mission had already entered my mind.
What sort of life would this wonderful dog have on an island where so many were homeless, neglected and often abused?
I was visiting Samui for boxing training, detoxing and healing from depression. His energy and innocent naughtiness cheered me each day.
But as I drove off one Sunday morning in my hire car, I heard a blood-curdling scream, followed by the most terrible howling. In one careless moment, I’d hurt this beautiful dog. Dog rescue was now a fact of life.
My illness had stopped me functioning on most levels. I could barely leave the house. Now, I had to find a vet on a Sunday morning, and take care of this poor little chap.
He stopped crying as soon as I picked him up and placed him on the car’s back seat. He was a million times calmer than me.
And during the examination, x-ray, administering of medicine and after being put in a cage, he kept wagging his tail and trying to nuzzle into the lady vet or me.
As I looked into his big, soft brown eyes, I felt him saying: “Don’t worry. I’ ll be OK.”
I persuaded a hotel employee to look after Sam — well he was from Samui — and bought him food and a cage to stop him walking and causing further damage to his back legs, both of which had been broken.
Cute Sam had a knack of making
people fall in love with him
My illness had made me feel not only worthless but also useless and incompetent. But faced with this dog rescue emergency, I’d done a decent job of starting his care.
Cute Sam had a knack of making people fall in love with him. With his big floppy ears, Sam was so gorgeous that he could have chosen from England, Hong Kong or the Philippines. But a childhood friend, Claire, insisted that Sam would live an idyllic life with her on the edge of the Scottish Highlands.
Sam would have four kind and handsome Labrador brothers and a loving mum who would nurture and train him, and make him everything he could be. He would run in lush green fields, chase rabbits and play in streams. He would roll around in the snow.
So, Sam’s dog rescue seemed secure but there were more battles to win. He became very sick, and Elisabeth feared the deadly parvovirus. Back to the vet where he received the all clear. Then, his original microchip gave him an infection. More treatment.
He fought off every illness; overcame every setback. And now he was clear to fly to his new life in Scotland. I was lucky enough to say goodbye to him at Samui airport. My dog rescue was entering the final phase.
After an overnight in Bangkok and the long flight to Europe, Sam slept for hours and hours. His transition was far from smooth. But love can do anything. And Claire’s love and training made Sam realise he had found his loving home.
He quickly learned that the cat and the chickens and the sheep were not there to be chased and eaten. That he was safe. That he could just be the dog he was born to be.
His life in Scotland was everything I had wished for him. When I ran him over, I promised him I would give him the best life possible. And for five months, he was the happiest, luckiest and most loved dog in the world.
And then, one day, he met an opponent he couldn’t overcome.
My thoughts now are with Claire. She gave him everything she had, and more. Sam was a big personality who was by her side for every waking hour.
Claire’s words mean more than I could ever say about this remarkable dog, so I shall let her conclude the story of Sam in Scotland.
He was loved more in his time here than
many dogs experience in their lives
“Being a baby he was deliciously exuberant and everything was fun,” she said. “His tail never stopped waving. He would paw me for attention, and when I welcomed him in for a cuddle, he would bury his head into me and grunt.
“He followed me everywhere. When I got home, he would go mad, jumping, squeaking and nipping me. Then he would bring me all his favourite toys of the day, one by one, for me to play with and admire.
He would sit and watch me while I got changed. He rushed downstairs and grabbed his collar as if I didn’t know that after being left for four hours he needed a walk. He was unlike any dog I’ve ever had.
“I’m going to miss him, but I know that when he was here, he was happy, healthy and very loved. Better that for a short time than never.
“He was loved more in his time here than many dogs experience in their lives. I believe his life was meant to be short. He had a purpose. And he fulfilled it.
“I’ve certainly learned from the experience and feel blessed to have been loved by such a pure soul.”