Wednesday, 16 July 2008


Introducing Samuel, a yellow Labrador. In the photograph above he is sitting at the bow of a hire boat travelling up the Stratford Canal.

We first got Samuel on 9th November 1987, five days after I had had my German Shepherd put to sleep. Samuel arrived a 12 weeks old and completely took over our hearts; my heart in particular because unlike Fletcher and Floyd, Samuel was very much a Mummy's boy.

Samuel grew into a dog that was a bit baggy, just a tad too much skin. He had a line down his face, the Labrador honesty line, he was very vocal and would grumble and grunt away to anyone who spoke to him. 'What are you doing Sam?' was always met with a responding grunt. 'Are you sure?' yet another grunt; he ALWAYS had the last word (grunt).

When Joe was trying to fix a car, we had a project at the time of converting an ancient Mini into a smart convertible Mini , Samuel would poke his head under it and have a word/grunt with Joe.

The dog was incredibly inquisitive an observant and these traits, combined with his vocalising, meant that soon Samuel was being consulted about any number of things; his 'opinions' were sought and he was never shy about sharing his thoughts/grunts with us.
This was dog that was clumsy, he fell in on every boat holiday we ever had. He rolled in gloopy mud at every opportunity, practised selective hearing, snuck bones into the house, snored incessantly and farted for Europe.
Yes, I know, if you are not a dog lover then I sound certifiable: It is ONLY a dog, get a life...
Well Samuel enriched our lives enormously and we very are grateful that he came into our lives. What we didn't realise was that our time with this incredible mutt was to be so short. At seven an a half years old we had to face the heart breaking decision to have Samuel put to sleep.
He has left an indelible mark on our lives and those who knew him. My two brothers are convinced that Floyd is Samuel reincarnated - they bear so many similar characteristics. But of course he isn't, Floyd is Floyd, Samuel was Samuel, a one off, a giant amongst dogs - My wonderful dog!


Dogsontour said...

He's sounds a great character and I'm sure he's still grunting away upstairs! Very handsome too! I always dreamt as a young girl of having labs but Fate took us in a different direction, although the mephitic farting is still the same. I'm thinking of adopting F and F as my virtual pet dogs as they have a very high cute quotient!

Lesley and Joe K said...

Virtual adoptions can be arranged for a small fee - a bit like adopt a donkey, llama, heffalump or whale - direct debit will save on administration charges..
Nb Caxton

Anonymous said...

Thanks for this post - I really enjoyed hearing about your wonderful dog. Your feelings really struck a chord. Blue and Lou are dogs number 3 and 4 respectively for us. We got our first two as adult dogs so we never felt that we had enough time with them but we loved every minute. Honey 1990 - 1999) and Indie (1999 - 2006) live on eternally in our hearts.
Sue, Indigo Dream

Lesley and Joe K said...

Thanks Sue. As I sat at the PC writing that post I couldn't stop the tears - good thing nobody could see me! Isn't it amazing how these dogs can make a claim on our hearts that never leaves us?

Anonymous said...

Struck a cord with us as well........We still miss our Marmaduke terribly:(
John & Cathy - NB Marmaduke

Lesley and Joe K said...

John and Cathy
We are a sentimental lot aren't we?
There is something quite unique about our relationship with the dog I think - both sides of the equation, canine and human, seem to benefit from it.