Monday Mourning ~ February 24, 2020

As most of you know, the inspiration and muse behind this blog was a sweet knuckleheaded and loving dog. It is with a broken heart I share that my dear precious boy passed away suddenly on Saturday. One minute he was his goofy self and the next minute he was gone. To say there is a huge empty place in my heart would be an understatement.

Sam was many things but foremost he was always a loving, devoted companion. He was my heart and soul dog. Making me happy along with hundreds of others was at the core of this special dog. He loved life and he loved making others smile and feel better, even if just for a brief moment. He did it with such charming panache and with an ever wagging tail that just never stopped moving. While he recently retired from his hospital visits, he never really stopped being a therapy dog, instead ministering loving affection to all he encountered, every waking moment, including me. He loved delighting patients and staff alike with his one and only trick…licking his chops on command, first on one side, then on the other.

The Ranch is a dimmer place now and we all need time to heal from this devastating loss and thus will be taking time away to grieve and adapt to the new decidedly, empty normal. I know that Sam would want you to pay extra attention to your own special pet in his memory. We never know when their time will be up so please make the most of the time you have, while it’s happening.

My sweet buddy


“Yosemite Sam”
October 7, 2005 ~ February 22, 2020

Live, love, bark!🐾

187 thoughts on “Monday Mourning ~ February 24, 2020

  1. Not Sam!! What a heck of a shock. I’m all stuffed up he was such a wonderful companion and you two were so close. As you can tell you have my heartfelt thoughts and wishes for a peaceful transition for you and Elsa.


    1. Thank you so much, Jean. He was my heart and soul dog and will be missed for a long while. Between Elsa and Norman, I hope we can all get through the pain of his loss.

  2. I don’t know which is worse. Suddenly like Sam or anticipated like Kyla (vet gave her six months and that’s what it was). I consoled myself that they just live shorter than humans and parrots. It’s not in our power to change that but it still hurts. Honor him by rescuing one of his kind. They’ll never be another like him.

    1. No matter how they go, it’s still heartbreaking especially the ones who own so real estate in our hearts. Thank you for your kind words. I hope to honor him by living in the moment and not making harsh judgments. If anything he showed me that was the key to happiness.

  3. I am SO sorry to read this, my heart heavy and tears brimming. Sam has left a huge hole in your heart, I’m sure, so take time to nurture yourself and hold those left behind a little closer. I know it was his time, but gosh, he will be missed, such a faithful and dear friend. xo

    1. Thank you Eliza. It’s been such a treat to share Sam with so many kind and warm people like you. Appreciate your condolences.

    1. Many thanks. Sam was loved by so many in the blog universe as well as the streets of Denver and will be sorely missed. I very much appreciate your kindness at this time.

  4. No! No, not sweet, goofy, loving, wonderful Sam, the natural therapist, your heart dog. I type through tears as I send you what little comfort I can. Sam did not linger, sick, in pain, causing you to make a horrible decision. Yet, I know you did not have any time to say goodbye. There is no good way. Know I feel your loss and will keep you in prayer. Amy

    1. That’s all true, Amy and people like you who have experienced a similar loss understand all too well. Thanks for your loving support. It means the world to me.

  5. Oh, I am so very very sorry. I have followed the adventures of you and Sam for so long that I feel like a part of me has died with him. This comes as a shock that will be felt by many people, he was loved by many people, he touched the lives of many people. Monica my heart aches with you.

    1. Thank you for the kind thoughts, John. Sam loved people and life. The loving support folks who have followed us has provided is a fitting tribute to the silly dog who touched so many lives.

  6. Dear Monika – I am speechless. My heart goes out to you and your family. Sam was so special. Please know we are all here for you and if we could we would all be with you. Hugs.

  7. I am absolutely devastated by this news. I am so sad and completely heartbroken. When you adopted the new dog I was kind of wondering if Sam was ill…..I was praying he wasn’t. Sam did soooo much good in his life and gave back to soooooooooo many. He made so many people happy in the hospitals and those, like me, who visit your blog. I am beyond heartbroken to read this and I am in shock. I am going to try and get a hold of you this week. Sending much love and my deepest sympathy.

    1. Thank you for the kind condolences, Caren. No Sam was not ill, he was in good health for a dog who was over 14. He taught me so much about people and life in general. I was always proud of how he ministered to everyone he encountered. His spirit will live on in my heart and I hope I become more like him going forward. He loved everyone and never made judgements on anyone. It’s a good way to live one’s life.

  8. We were so very sad to see this news today – we all loved Sam. He was such a gentle soul. We love that photo of you with him outside – love shines through. Soft woos and gentle hugs from all of us.

    Hugs and Woos, Lightning and Timber and Mom too

    1. Thank you for your kind thoughts. Sam really was a gentle soul and that photo really showed the love that he felt about life in general.

  9. We are so sorry to read of the loss of sweet Sam. We are sending purrayers and POTP to you and all who loved him. Fly free, Sam !

  10. I am so sorry for your loss, Monika. I also came to love Sam through your blog. Rest assured I will give my girls an hug in Sam’s name. I’m still not over Bailey’s passing, so I know you will need to take time to fully honor Sam’s memory. Here’s hoping your pain will lesson over time and the wonderful memories of Sam’s love will fill you with comfort.

  11. Oh, Monika and (furry)furriends, we are so sorry, so deeply sorry for the loss of your beloved Sam. We just got the message and we’re kind of in shock. So unexpected :'( Take all the time you need. We’re thinking of you! Soft Pawkisses to comfort you and a hug from Granny🐾😽💞
    Fly free beautiful Soul. Until we meet again💗

  12. I am devastated at the news of Sam. We’ve been dealing with Bentley being sick and are hoping he starts feeling better. I thought we were going to lose him last week and was beyond hysterical. I truly understand your pain as it is never easy to say goodbye. Sam was one in a million and helped countless people with unconditional love.

    1. Thank you, M.K. I appreciate your condolences. I’m very sorry to hear Bentley is not feeling well. Please know I’m sending oodles of poodles of healing energy his way.

  13. OMGoodness. We did not see that coming. Sam was such a bright spot in our cyberlife. He had a wonderful, open, inspiring spirit. The two of you were a force to be sure. He will be missed by so many. Prayers for you and all who loved him to heal from this loss.

    Love and licks and hugs and healing wishes,
    Cupcake and Mom

    1. Many thanks, sweet Cupcake. To say we’re heartbroken is an understatement but we are immensely touched by the warm support of everyone in Blogville.

  14. Oh no’ss Miss Monika…hwo cuud this happin?? Wee are futty sorry an gotted leeky eyess here this afturnoon…wee are so furry sorry that Sam had to dash off to Purrr Land.
    Wee send our deepest sympaffiess to you an Else.
    Pleese take all THE time you need… wee are here fore you…..
    **sniffellsss** BellaDharma an {{huggiess}} LadyMew

  15. Oh my goodness, I don’t know what to say! 😭 I am SO sorry! How horrible! I know the pain you are in (although not the pain of it being sudden like in your situation) and take as long as you need to grieve! Don’t listen to anyone that says you can only grieve Sam for so long. My heart is breaking for you! But my heart warms a bit as knowing he was playing and having fun with you right before it happened. Sending comforting hugs! ♥️

    1. Many thanks for the condolences. He was doing what he enjoyed with the ones that mattered most to him.

    1. Thank you so much. Although we all think our dog is the best, Sam was a very special dog, not just for me but for everyone who met him.

  16. Oh my goodness I am so very heart broken for your loss of Sam so unexpectedly. What a handsome boy and I just do so love that you have pictures of you and Sam together. He was truly a blessing to so many he visited. My sincere sympathy Monika.
    Hugs Cecilia

    1. Many thanks. That photo exemplified what Sam was all about. Loving his human and everyone else he came in contact with.

    1. Thanks Jodi. I appreciate your words of comfort. These dogs mean the world to us as you well know and it helps knowing that others were impacted by their presence.

  17. Such heart breaking news Monika. My thoughts are with you during this difficult time and, while this is no real consolation to you, I have to admit that I hope I will go just as fast when my time comes. I would not want a drawn out “suffering end” any more than I would want it for Ray. It may be small comfort to you, but Sam’s exit was surely the best way to go. R.I.P. Sam. You impacted so many people during your life. You really were a “very good boy”!

    1. Thank you, Colin. Yes, if there was any consolation it was that he went out quickly while being with the ones he loved so much. He gave loving attention up to his last breath.

  18. Oh, Monika, I am so, so sorry. This is such a shock and I’m in tears now. These sudden losses seem even more devastating, though any loss is. Our hearts are with you and your furry family…heaven just got a very special angel. Sam was such an inspiration with all the two of you did to help others. ♥ and hugs from me and Luke.

    1. Thanks Jan. Sam’s impact in life is especially felt with all the kind condolences we have received. No doubt he’s wagging his tail right now knowing that he made so many smile.

  19. Monika,

    I am so sorry to hear this. Sam was such a beautiful soul whose stories always brought a smile to my face.

    My prayers and thoughts are with you and your family today.

    1. Thank you, Marc. He meant the world to me and I was glad to have been able to share his life with so many, here and around our ‘hood.

  20. Oh Monika, I’m so, so very sorry! I’m sitting here crying as I type these words. I know words don’t help; but know that my heart, thoughts, and prayers are with you all. Just as you were there for us when our girls and Radar went ahead. We will miss dear Sam and he will always be in our hearts. Take care of you, Elsa, and Norman…we’ll be here when you’re ready to return. Sending love and warm, gentle hugs. Call or text me if you need to talk.

    1. Thanks so much for the loving support. It means the world. to me. Sharing this heavy burden with others who have endured it helps soften the unbearable pain on one’s heart. Hugs to you and Ducky.

    1. Thanks for the kind words, Kate. It was very unexpected and shocking. I’m beyond devastated but grateful to have been able to share the essence of sweet Sam here and in person.

    1. You know he’s ‘stopping and leaving presents’ in front of everyone’s sidewalk to their doors at the Rainbow Bridge.

  21. Monika we are so sorry to hear about your loss. Sam was such a lucky dog to have you. We hope is memories help get you through the time it takes to grieve. Hugs from our Sam and the Golden’s.

    1. Many thanks, Carol. Sam was a very special dog and it was my honor to share his life with others. Please give your Sam and Golden’s an ear rub from me.

    1. Thanks Millie and Walter. It came quickly and without warning. I appreciate your kind thoughts through this heartbreaking time.

  22. I am so very sorry…what a shock for you. We know that our darlings have a shorter life than ourselves…but knowledge doesn’t help assuage the loss, doesn’t replace the loving look, the paw on the arm…but you gave him love and security all his life and he was a happy dog.

    1. Thank you, Helen. Yes, he was the happiest soul I’ve ever known. He seemed to know how to touch someone’s heart in a special way. I was ever so fortunate to have had him in my life and share him with others.

  23. Monika I remember the day you brought him home, his personality was so different from your other fur babies Elliot and Puck but he blazed his own trail with his sweetness and light and everyone who was blessed to cross paths with him literally fell head over heals with him. We all think our fur babies are special but Sam really was special on a deeper level, his soul knew just what another soul needed and he responded to that need in such an intuitive and loving way. Those of us lucky enough to know him (and be loved/leaned on by him) are mourning with you. It’s tough saying goodbye to a soul who has so firmly entrenched themselves in your heart but the love, oh the glorious love remains in your heart forever.

    Sending love and light your way my friend.

    1. Your sweet words have really touched my heart. even as the tears stream down my face. Thank you, dear friend. Love you.

  24. My heart is broken too. It’s amazing how we can come to love dogs we’ve never met IRL. I guess it’s a tribute to your wonderful storytelling, photos, and watercolors.

    I’m so sorry. This must be such a blow.

    1. Thanks Pam. It was a huge blow. I knew the day would eventually come even though he was in good health. We never have them long enough but am comforted he impacted so many people. Hope you and Honey are well. Please give her a tender ear rub from me and Sam.

  25. So VERY sad to hear this news and know that you’ve lost your “soul dog” Sam. It leaves such a huge hole doesn’t it. Takes time to heal – so take it. We will miss you but know you will return when you can. Sending you a hug – make it TWO hugs – one from me and one from Teddy too. xxoo

    Love, Pam and Teddy

    1. Many thanks to you both for the loving support. It will go a long way as I fill the empty place in my heart.

  26. Oh nooooooooooooo! I am just plainly crying. You are all in my thoughts, and Sam will always be in my heart as he will be in yours. I am so sorry.
    Happy eternal hunting-grounds, Sam!

    1. Thank you, Pit. Sam touched the lives of so many people, it was his mission in life to bring them happiness. I have no doubt he’s bouncing like a pogo stick among all those who have crossed the Rainbow Bridge.

    1. Thanks, Nat. I am ever so grateful for your loving support. Hugs to you and ear rubs for the boys.

  27. Oh! Oh. Oh…
    Monika, I’m so sorry Sam has passed away. He was such a special, goofy, kind, giving boy. He was a Good Dog. We will miss him, always.

    1. Thanks Amy. He was a goofy but adorably sweet dog and gave life his all, even at the end.

    1. Thank you. He did share a wonderful life with me, from the moment I picked him on that sunny spring day on the Eastern Plains to his last sunny day. He was such a special companion and remains so deep in my heart and soul.

  28. I am feel selfish as I’m shedding tears for you and your loss. I just know that place so well. it is never enough time is it? I can only imagine how empty things feel for you right now. Please give yourself the time and space to start to heal and be gentil with yourself. My deepest sympathies to you and your pack.

  29. The Poodle and I mourn with you. I am so sorry to hear that Sam has crossed the rainbow bridge, I think about that bridge Every.Single.Day as The Poodle is months shy of his twelfth birthday. Little did I know that day over eleven years ago when he chose me that I’d never be the same. Thank you for sharing so much of your life, through Sam, with all of us. He may be gone but never will be forgotten. Sending love and hugs from Northern Virginia-land. <3

    1. Thanks for the poodle love. We all know our time with these wonderful companions is limited, yet knowing that we still cannot fathom it when their time comes.

  30. Oh my goodness, Mrs. Monika. This is such sad news. We can’t even believe it. It’s amazing how in tune you were with him – you knew he was ready to retire. We will miss him so very much. Allow yourself as much time as you need to adjust. We’ll be here for you if you need us. *ear licks* Noodle, Macy, Molly and Mom

    1. Thanks Noodle. The plan was to retire him in the summer after he reached 200 visits but he kept bringing such joy to patients and staff up to the end. He loved people and he loved making them smile.

  31. I cannot express enough my sorrow for you, dear Monika. Sending you much love and hugs and shedding tears for your loss. Rest in peace, Sam. May the journey to the other side be filled with much love.

    1. Thank you, dear Dale. I never knew how many tears I could shed until Sam. I continue to be blessed with those who understand the love of a dog and his return love for his human.

  32. Oh my gosh … I’m in tears. Sam truly touched the lives of all your readers and friends as well. It was impossible not to love him. That picture of you and him will always be my favorite. I suppose even angels need therapy dog angels. As much as it hurts, I like thinking of him continuing his mission to make everyone’s lives better – and I know for sure that my Angel Mom is now in the very best paws.

    1. Many thanks for the sweet words. That image best captured Sam and the love within him. I know he has a tail wag for everyone who crossed the Bridge before him.

    1. Thank you. Sam brought so many people together, in person and here in Blogville. I was so fortunate to be able to share him with so many.

    2. Thank you. Yes, it was a devastating loss, but there is some measure of comfort knowing Sam was beloved by so many.

    1. Thanks much, Sandee. Sam touched so many people in such positive ways. It was my great pleasure to have been to share this special boy.

    1. Thank you so much, Garfield. Sam left his mark on so many people through his limitedless love for people and life.

  33. I had to read twice…. my heart screams… this is such a sad moment for all of us… hugs to you, oh how I wish to be there to sith with you and to cry with you together for your wonderful pup….

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