Sam came into a shelter, supposedly 15 years old, when his very elderly owner went into a care facility. Sam was huge – 130 pounds of Lab mix – and between his obesity and likely arthritis he could barely move. The shelter said he wouldn’t eat Dog Food and was too big for a kennel so they kept him in the office and fed him people food. He made a very long trip to his ODH home, relaxed, thumped his tail, and essentially never moved again. Refusing to eat anything at all, wanting only to be petted and talked to, he didn’t perk up at all but just kept thumping his tail at the family that showed him love and concern. By the time he got to the vet he had a fever and was dehydrated, and everyone suspected the worst. An ultrasound at a specialty center confirmed that he had a large and very advanced tumor for which nothing could be done. We always wish we could have “fixed” dogs who come to us so sick, and we so wish we could have had longer with them. But we know that we gave them the gift of love, safety, caring, and finally release from their struggle. In return, they love us wholeheartedly – and a thumping tail of appreciation. Sam passed away October, 2014.