College of Veterinary Medicine Home Pet Loss Hotline
  Sammy Rinker 1994 – September 17, 2005

I am not sure exactly when Sammy was born, but I want to think that her life began when we saved her and came into our lives that would be forever changed. After she was found at a land fill between Christmas and New Years Day and brought to the local animal shelter, my husband picked her up and brought her home. She smelled like every piece of trash you could think of, but had these grateful little eyes looking at us because she now knew she was safe. We think that she was a Christmas present to some kids because she was deathly afraid of children and continued to be cautious for the rest of her life. My husband has two boys and Sammy LOVED to terrorize them when they would come for a visit from college.

  We took her to Sun Valley Animal Center in Sun Valley Idaho; Dr. Randy and Scott Acker thought she was around three months old, very skinny Bichon/Poodle/something cross. As we nursed her back to health, she grew up to be the center of our family. She had several nick names: Snickie, Snick snack, Pickle (which sometime described her attitude towards something ), I used to say she was my angel from heaven. I owned a computer business which she went to work with me everyday. Sammy and I even knew what each other was thinking and were inseparable.
When we did go out of town, she would go to “Camp Acker” (also known as boarding) where she talked Aunt Betsy (also known as Pet Lodge Manager) out of extra treats. She loved “Pretty Day” (also known as grooming) and would show off the bows that were put in her hair to everyone.

We later bought a motor home and then she went everywhere with us, thinking that we bought this just for her, which we really did. We went on many excursions; saw a lot of country and one of the places we visited was La Quinta, California. Sammy really liked the warm weather so we moved to the Desert. She loved her morning walks on the golf course and the warm sunny weather. We rescued another little girl named Jackie (a jack Russell terrier – Poodle) and at first Sammy was miffed but soon after they became the best of friends. We started to go to Newport Beach in the summer and Sammy LOVED Newport Beach. We could walk Fashion Island; eat lunch at Bloomindales and go everywhere with the two girls. We bought a boat and she loved to go on Harbor cruises in the Newport Bay, sniffing the salt air and letting the breeze flap at her ears. Her favorite was to walk Balboa Island every morning. Sammy had a heart problem, but still had her piercing shiny black eyes, her cute “I can talk you into anything spunk”. She had been on medication for a couple of months, but one day she seemed to have a coughing fit, so I took her to the local vet. I had already done all of the heart tests and exams, so we changed her medication. For four days, she was like a 2 year old; she played with Jackie, played with toys and wanted to go for a walk which is something that we hadn’t done for a while. She then had a coughing fit, so I sat up with her all night; she lay on my chest and finally fell asleep. She seemed a little tired the next day, so we decided to take her to Newport where the weather was cooler. She would always bark and twirl around when I asked her if she wanted to go to Newport. We got into Newport and the next morning she was excited to eat breakfast and wanted to go for a walk around the island. My husband and Jackie were in front and when Sammy and I started walking, she trotted a couple of steps and then stopped and looked up at me. I knew she wanted to be carried, so I carried her all away around the island. She just snuggled up to me the entire walk around the island. We got back to the car and as we pulled into the parking lot where we dock our boat, she sat down and passed away. In a matter of minutes, my dear sweet Sammy was gone.

Some time has passed since she left me, and people say that things will get better, but I could never have children and Sammy was my first dog. I promised to keep her safe and I failed, I really thought that we would grow old together; she was only 11 years old. I still see her when I sleep at night and sometimes when we come home, I can still hear her bark. I am trying to be strong for Jackie, who really looked up to her “older sissy”, and I think that someday the hurt will ease a little at least that is what I am hoping for.

Here is a picture of Sammy that I took this summer on a boat, so you can see what a special dog she is.


Posted Oct. 28,  2005  |     Printer Friendly Version