American in Spain

Sam the Westie

January 6, 2015
Sam Face 1

My parents' west highland terrier, Sam, passed away this morning in his sleep at the vet's office. He's been blind and deaf for a couple years now. But he was very loved for fifteen long years.

I pulled Nora into my office today, which is more or less the equivalent of Christmas Day here in Spain, and told her that I had some sad news. When I told her that Sam had died, she understood immediately, and the corners of her mouth fell like stones, nearly breaking my heart. Before she could think about it more, I hugged her and sent her back to watch cartoons. On our most recent visit to the States, Sam was very good with Ian, tolerating quite a lot of abuse and persecution. Whether he remembers or not (he won't), Sam helped give Ian his love of canines.

I'm pretty certain that I will never look upon another westie – and there are several in my town that I see each week – without thinking of Sam. He was a good dog.

After dinner today, which Nora didn't really eat, she went straight to the sofa, eyes filled with tears, picked up her LeapPad™ (like an iPad for kids), and drew these, damn near shattering my heart again.

Sam Drawing, by Nora

I had no idea she could draw so well, especially on such a crude device.

Sam Drawing, by Nora

The hearts and paws and flowers are obviously in-app stamps, but the likeness is her work.

And now for some actual photos...

Suitcase Sam

Always ready to travel.

Sam Face 1

Or for a close up for a human brother with a new camera.

Erik, Sam, and Betsy

With my mother and me.

Napping with Sam

Napping with Nora

Video of said nap.

Erik and Sam, December 1999

With a very young lad back in 1999. Good night, sweet Sam. R.I.P.