My Earliest Memory
Getting Sam. I was about five years old, and I recall this tiny ball of white and black fluff. Sam was my Dad’s. He was a border collie and the gentlest dog on to ever dog. I’d a younger brother, and the pair of us must have made his life a misery when we were little. But he never bit, never snapped. I don’t even remember him growling.
We lived on a dead-end street with virtually no traffic. Sam would spend summer days lazing right in the middle. I guess the tarmac was nice and warm.
Being a collie, you could walk him for miles and he’d still want a trip up the hill. He caught balls like a champion. We’d go out on our bikes and he’d be right there, running alongside.
In 1985, when I was 13, my Dad came back looking concerned. Sam had had a fit. A month later, he had another one. They kept coming, and they got closer. Lasted longer. His eyes would roll back and he’d collapse, stiff as a board. It was an awful thing to witness. Eventually, on a Saturday, my Dad took Sam to the vet.
Sam didn’t come back.
He’d lesions on his brain. There was nothing the vet could do, except the kindness, hardest thing. I cried like a baby, even though I understood why. But Sam was a good dog. The best. And I still miss him.