Sam Clayton Moore
Sam came to our home in April 2000 as our second foster dog for Lab Rescue. By the end of his first week with us, we knew he was a permanent part of the family. Sam, who was about six years old when he joined us, is playful, well-behaved, and affectionate. Best of all, Toni liked him immediately. We'd decided not to get a second permanent dog after Levi's death because we thought a young dog would be too difficult for Toni. She had arthritis and hip dysplasia. With Sam, though, she seemed perkier. Sam was very good with Toni, too. He was careful not to run into her and let her up or down the stairs or in or out the door without any collisions. A few days after Sam's arrival, we knew he would stay; Toni picked him out as our next family member.
Sam came to us with his name. He responded to it well, so we decided to embelish it rather than change it. He is named for Sam Clayton of Little Feat, Sam Moore of Sam and Dave, and Clayton Moore, The Lone Ranger.
Sam's story before he joined us is sketchy. He lived somewhere in King George County, VA. Apparently, his family kept him in a garage. One day, they let him out and he acted like a dog just let out of jail does. He ran around and looked for someone to play with. He saw a child on a bike, and went to ask him to play. The child got scratched on the leg (Sam's owners neglected his nail care), and Sam's owner called Animal Control. The shelter folks liked Sam, and kept him for several weeks before he went into Lab Rescue's system. When Lab Rescue got him, there were no foster homes available, so he was kenneled at BarBen in Stafford, VA. Barbara at BarBen said Sam was a sweetie during his three week stay. We picked him up there on Sunday, April 15, 2000.
Sam was an excellent boy, but when he joined us, he was clueless about "sit," "down," and "stay." If he'd ever had any obedience training, it was a long time ago and was not reinforced. In spite of this, was been well-behaved in the house and walked well on a leash. He was great at coming when called, and learned "sit" soon after joining us. Sam began obedience training May 6, 2000 with Michelle Beardsley of Capital Canines. Dave and I were very pleased with Sam's progress and with our own. We learned a lot from Michelle! Three months after his arrival, he wowed the neighbors by maintaining a down-stay only a few feet from a pool full of noisy children.
Dave and I loved having Sam as part of the pack, and as an added bonus, we saw positive changes in Toni during the time she and Sam were both with us. During her last six months, she had more energy and was more active than she had been in some time. She seemed very happy to have Sam around the house. We're very grateful that Toni picked Sam for our family!
A couple of months after Toni died, Dave and I decided to start fostering for Lab Rescue again. Bonnie came to visit. Unlike Toni, Bonnie was ready to play. She dropped into play position, stamped her front feet, and barked at Sam. Sam just stared at her. Bonnie started chasing Sam, nipping at his heels. He ran and hid behind me. Apparently, Sam didn't know how to play with other dogs.
Bonnie stayed as a foster dog for three weeks before we adopted her. She and Sam got along fine, but he still wasn't sure about playing. Once in awhile, he'd run around the living room and dining room with Bonnie in hot pursuit. Sometimes he looked like he was about to start playing with her but he wasn't sure. They were great together on walks, though, and they'd often sleep together on the living room couch or guest bed. They seemed to enjoy each other's company even though Sam never learned to play with her.
Sam remained a healthy and happy boy for many years. One day, I noticed a small growth on his lower gum. It turned out to be malignant melanoma. He had surgery to remove it and then began treatment with melanoma vaccine at Southpaws' oncology. Over a year later, we were told he had lung metastasis, but it never manifested. Four months after that, Sam had a seizure. The cancer had likely spread to his brain. Sam died 19 months after his initial diagnosis. We're happy that he was never sick during that time. Until his final days, his quality of life remained excellent. We're grateful to his oncologist, Dr. Sarah Sheafor for his very successful treatment.
I hope you've enjoyed visiting Sam's page. Please feel free to email us with your thoughts or leave a message in my guestbook. Thanks for visiting!
Lab Rescue of the Labrador Retriever Club of the Potomac - Adopt a homeless Lab, or help one find a new home through Lab Rescue. This organization, based in Silver Spring, MD, serves the metropolitan Washington, DC area. Their site includes links to Lab Rescue organizations in other parts of the US.
Last updated 24 November 2011
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