We are so sad to let you know that we lost our precious Sambo (TN). We thought that Sambo would be in foster care for a short few weeks until he found his forever home. As you'll see in his dad's words below, however, Sambo came to us very sick. We are so grateful for his foster parents, Will and Ashley, for not only fostering Sambo, but for agreeing to selflessly welcome him into their home permanently as a hospice foster, not knowing how much time he had left, and knowing that the outcome would be a difficult one. They gave Sambo more love and acceptance and affection in the two months that they had him than he had experienced in his prior 11 years. What a wonderful gift they gave to them, and it sounds like he gave them a lot, too, and made a lasting impression on their hearts.
Sambo's foster dad wrote: "Sambo came into our lives on a whim. I'm not sure I even told Ashley that we were going to foster an elderly shorthair until I had already agreed. I saw an urgent Facebook post asking for new foster homes because there was such an influx of new dogs with Southeast GSP Rescue. There were several dogs specifically mentioned in the post, including Sambo. Of course, I had my eye on a another dog in Tennessee because he wasn't too far away, he was younger, he just had a look I was drawn to, and I had a feeling he'd hunt.
I had considered fostering several times. We lost our eldest at 15 in July of 2022 so we were a dog down, I'd always had an interest in fostering, and the timing just seemed right.
Alas, Sambo needed us, not the young buck up the road. We had a home visit from a rescue volunteer, and, pretty soon, Sambo began his trek from LA (lower Alabama). I picked him up as a smelly bag of bones in Chattanooga. He didn't look like much, but he seemed happy. Over the next two months, we got to know and love Sambo, and we are so thankful for his short time with us.
It was clear Sambo was underweight and unhealthy, and he couldn't see or hear too well. Sambo's initial vetting revealed liver values that were quite literally off the charts. Ultimately, an ultrasound showed a cantaloupe-sized mass on his liver. This was tough news for everyone involved: We knew his days were numbered. Sambo was blissfully unaware so life continued, as did Sambo's fun.
From the beginning, Sambo had elder privileges just like Hyde (and sometimes Betty) - a seat in the front of the truck instead of the kennels in the back; choice table scraps like the biggest pork chop bones; extra noggin rubs, hugs and words of love (even though he couldn't hear them).
Sambo was as easy going and happy as a dog could be. He loved to lope and patrol, and although he wasn't one to demand it, he was always noticeably grateful to receive love and affection. Seeing his occasional puppy-like bursts of energy and playfulness would warm the heart.
In Sambo's short time with us, he was able to experience so much - from boat rides to campfires and hiking, to wading in idyllic mountain streams with his new family, to knowing the security of love in quiet moments like cuddling.
I've long held a quote from George Bird Evans close in times of failing canine health and loss, and it’s uncanny how much it fits our Sambo: "I think we are drawn to dogs because they are the uninhibited creatures we might be if we weren't certain we knew better. They fight for honor at the first challenge, make love with no moral restraint, and they do not for all their marvelous instincts appear to know about death. Being such wonderfully uncomplicated beings, they need us to do their worrying."
The things I miss the most about Sambo are the way he looked up at me with his chin resting on my knee, feeling his coat against my skin, which was among the softest I've ever felt, and the overwhelming contentment he exhibited for being in our lives."
Rest in peace, Sambo. We will see you on the other side of that rainbow bridge.
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