“Until one has loved an animal, a part of one’s soul remains unawakened. ” - Anatole France

Our dogs are family. We live with them, train them, love them…and mourn them deeply when they must leave our side. This page is created in memory of the dogs we have loved and lost.

Sam Birch

Sam Birch

Sam was the matriarch of the family for almost 16 years. For such a little thing, she had so much presence: she really was larger than life and larger than her small stature implied. She could keep those unruly flat-coats in line with just a glance. She had amazing dog skills and even better human training skills. It never took her long to get people to give her food. She made me feel like a great dog trainer, when in fact, the whole time she was training me. She was my start into all things doggy (obedience, rally, agility), and she was a fantastic dog to learn on. She was very forgiving of all my newbie mistakes and, like I said, she made me look good. That little girl loved to be out working and even in her old age, I still took her out so that she could show the black dogs how it was done. Sam excelled at interacting with small children and seniors. With no training from me, she would be so gentle with the little ones and would just go lie down close to them and roll over for a belly rub. With the seniors, she would just go in, turn and sit beside them waiting for some pets. For those confined to bed, she would carefully lie down next to them. She brought me to tears many times during those visits...never more so than in the palliative care unit. I remember one man who couldn’t talk, but when he saw her, she must have reminded him of an old friend as he just burst into tears. He wasn’t there when we visited the next month so I do hope she brought him some comfort. Despite all of the changes in our lives during the time she was with us, Sam took everything in stride. She saw our two kids grow up from toddlers to adults. She lived in four different houses in four different provinces and she had Sammy fans everywhere we lived. Actually, due to Flickr and my photos of her, she had fans all over the world. She was a one of a kind dog and is still so very much missed.
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