It’s hard for me to even write this because I suspect it will be the last birthday post I write for my girl and I don’t quite know what to say. Sam is fifteen years old today. She’s old. For any breed, she’s old; for a lab, she’s ancient. And some days it seems obvious that she is ancient, and other days, she seems like herself.
Most days, she’s just Sam. Mom obsessed, emotionally left of center, and utterly devoted to her kids and to me. It’s hard to believe she’s the same little being that we brought home fifteen years ago in a cardboard box. I can’t believe she’s the same dog that was on death’s door three months before Ben was born. We almost lost her that first weekend. We waited too long and we taxed Dr. Chip’s abilities to their max, but he pulled her through (oh, who am I fooling, Sam’s iron will pulled her through that just like it got her through mushroom poisoning, quilt pins, and host of other self-inflicted injuries).
She’s still a hot mess of allergies. She had a really rough go this year and developed some scary looking patches on her skin because of those allergies. Heavy doses of Benedryl and she’s doing a lot better. She’s taking Tramadol full time now. It keeps the pain at bay and that allows her to do the things she wants to do.
Her goals seem lower now. She’s not interested in chasing squirrels anymore (they don’t realize that and run at the sight of her), but she likes to take a few ambles out in the yard. Her life has been limited for years, so those ambles are her walks. She likes to be with me. That’s her main thing. Be with mom. If she’s with me then she’s happy and I’m happy to have her. She loves her hamburgers and her fries. She’ll be getting those in a bit. She takes each day as it comes and doesn’t seem to be particularly bothered by not being able to do some things she used to do.
I hope I age as gracefully.
Love you, Sam. Happy 15th.