It all began in February 2001, when my mom and dad took a trip to Ocean City, NJ to pick me up and bring me to my new home in Pennsylvania. I was a 10 week old, 3 lb. ball of fur then, no more than a handful.
They had a pretty name picked out for me, Samantha. But most of the time they just called me Sam.
Life was good, except for at night when they put me in that darn crate; I wasn't having any of that. No, I didn't cry, I just waited for them to go to bed, then I would climb the crate and wiggle out of the top. In the morning they would be frantic searching for me.
Finally, they gave up on that silly crate idea and brought me to bed with them. I couldn't have planned it better!
When I was about a year old, I started having problems. What started out as an ear infection after the Christmas holiday, bloomed into itchy, red patches all over my body.
Mom brought me to the vet, he suspected allergies. Doc put me on antihistamines, but they didn't seem to help. I continued tearing at my skin obsessively, which prompted more trips back to the vet and allergy testing.
It was determined I was allergic to quite a few things; eggs, soy, peanut, and grass to name a few, which were taken out of my diet, to no avail.
Doc then suggested allergy shots and baths with medicated shampoo. Poor mom, at some points she was giving me baths 5 times a week! And the allergy shots, she would cry when she had to poke me with that needle.
Through all of the meds, shampoos, and allergy shots, I remained a very allergic dog. Mom continued to bathe me, medicate me and make me as comfortable as possible.
Along with my allergies, I also had quite a few other health issues. As you can probably imagine, I was earning quite a few frequent flyer miles at the vet!
I am very thankful that my parents were able to do everything possible to help me; time, money, unending patience and love. I often wonder what would have happened if my parents were less fortunate; would I have been surrendered to a shelter to eventually be euthanized? After all, a dog with such severe allergies and health problems aren't at the top of the "adoptable" list.
I know this is the reason my mom started Sam's Hope, so all pets could have what I do, uncompromised care and love.
In the very early morning hours of May 10, 2012, my dear, little Samantha got her angel wings. She now waits for me at Rainbow Bridge. When she left, she took with her a piece of my heart, I know that I will never be whole again without her. Though today we said our final good bye, she will forever live in my heart. - Marianne