Monday, December 28, 2009

Sam and Cisco

I'm starting a new work schedule, and am not sure if I will get time later in the week to post. I thought I would share a picture we took yesterday. I think this might be one of my favorite pictures of Sam and Cisco together!

Sam and Cisco, December 2009

Friday, December 25, 2009

Christmas at our house

Hi, all! We hope you are having a wonderful Christmas day! I thought you all might like to see a few pictures of what has been going on at our house.

Hi, there!

Of course we started the festivities last night. Aaron brought me these beautiful flowers. They look and smell really beautiful!

We then took Sam to look at Christmas lights. He really does look at them, and when we pass too many houses without lights, he starts whining. He seems to love the big inflatable Santa's and houses with music. If we slow down, he studies the houses. We can almost here him thinking "Why, yes, that is a clever use of blue lights!"

This morning, the furry kids couldn't wait for me to wake Aaron up. They begged and begged for me to go get him.

Please can you wake up Dad?

Pretty please?

In the end, Sam solved the problem by pretending he heard something outside and barking like mad! Aaron couldn't sleep through that!

We soon began with the present opening. I had a few pictures of Cisco opening gifts, but for some reason they all came out fuzzy and very yellow... However, here is Sam enjoying his gifts.

As you can see, they left quite a paper trail. The blue bear belongs to Cisco.

We had gotten each of them a deer antler for Christmas, as well as stuffies for Cisco and this great hat for Sam!

All the excitement wore out Cisco.

All in all, we think Sam had a wonderful day!

Even if he did have to wear the antlers!

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Merry Christmas!

Sam, Cisco, Aaron and Christine wish all of you a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

Tennis Balls

(to the tune of "Silver Bells")
Found at Traveling Dogs)

There are dog toys
That bring great joys
Tucked away 'neath the tree
But we only want one thing this Christmas

Oh we're hopeful
And so thankful
Just imagine our glee
When on every couch cushion we see

Tennis Balls
Tennis Balls

Perfection - round and inviting
Roll and play
All the day
Please Santa - toss some our way

You can catch them
You can chase them
You can carry them too
They're an all-purpose treat for a canine

What a great find wrought by mankind
Just for doggie desire
And on every dog's wish list you'll see

Tennis Balls
Tennis Balls

Perfection - round and inviting
Roll and play
All the day
Please Santa - toss some our way

Saturday, December 19, 2009

A Quiet Life...

I would like to introduce everyone to Sam's big sister, Cisco. She isn't a new dog to us; I've had her since she was a pup, and she is now almost 11 years old. If you all don't mind, I would like to share Sam's blog with her for just a bit.

Meet Cisco!

We haven't included her in Sam's blog before because Cisco leads a very quiet life. Where Sam is a prince among dogs, Cisco is a lady. When she was eight months old, she came down with Valley Fever, a fungal infection that occurs in desert regions. Everyone who has ever lived in a desert has had it and thought it was a common cold. Most of us can get over it, a few can't. Cisco was one that couldn't. One thing that was on her side was that we caught it early, although she was very sick.

I beat Valley Fever!

The next few months were terrible. In dogs, the leading cause of death from Valley Fever is starvation. Between the medicine and the illness, Cisco didn't feel like eating. I'd come home every evening and sit with her for hours trying to get her to eat just a little bit. She was super skinny and her fur fell out in clumps and what was left turned grey, but we were slowly winning.

One day I came home from work and noticed her eyes seemed funny and swollen. I rushed her to the vet and found out that a rare side effect from the valley fever medicine was cataracts. I also learned that Cisco was now cured of the Valley Fever! Cisco was just 15 months old. We brought her to a specialist who did lens replacement surgery on her. She was able to see for a few months before the new lenses failed and Cisco became blind.

This was a terrible learning curve for us! The first night I let her out for potty, she ran straight into a cholla cactus. I spent several hours with her in the tub, pulling needles from her head, ears, chest, front legs and underside. Since then, the bathtub is where she goes when things get really hard for her! It wasn't all bad, though. I could still walk her and by buying balls with bells in them, I could still play catch with her.


Things were starting to settle for us, until one day she had a severe seizure. Once again we rushed her to the vet. Dr. Kern prescribed her medicine, which helped to control the seizures, but she would still have them if things got too exciting. They would happen during walks, during baths, when too many people were around, the list went on and on. We slowly realized that I had to keep her quiet, which meant I didn't have a dog to hike with or play with. This is when we got Sam.

We'll save Sam's story for another day!

When Aaron and I married last year, we brought Sam to our house and tried to bring Cisco. The move was too hard on her. She was in unfamiliar surroundings and couldn't settle down. She fell in the pool and the larger gravel around the patio hurt her paws and she didn't want to walk on it. We made the decision that she should stay with Grandma. It wasn't too bad - we saw her twice a day when we went to feed horses!

...I get lots of treats when Mom and Dad come!

Right before Thanksgiving, a massive and aggressive tumor erupted on Cisco's leg. Her paw swelled to about three times its normal size and she was in pain. We brought her back to Dr. Kern and we were given antibiotics and pain medicine. The swelling had to go down! We finally reached a point where surgery could be done, and we brought Cisco in. Dr. Kern had to cut so much away that the wound couldn't be closed. We brought Cisco home and made her a comfy hospital bed!

I am a good patient, though!

Sunday she started vomiting. She couldn't hold anything down, even water. By Sunday evening we noticed she was tired and listless. We brought her back to the vet on Monday. We all assumed that the medicine was making her sick. Dr. Kern put her on fluids and kept her overnight. The next morning we talked to Dr. Kern and she told us she wanted Dr. Green to run an ultrasound on Cisco. The news that came back broke my heart. The tumor had spread. I left work and headed home (a two hour drive!). Aaron and I talked briefly about our options, but we went to the animal hospital fully aware this would be Cisco's last day.

Dr. Kern then gave me a wonderful early Christmas present. She couldn't save Cisco, but she could give us a few more precious months with her. She would be pain free and happy! It all depended on the next couple of days if she could be stabilized. I think I cried just as much at that news as I did with the previous news.

We get to bring our girl home today. We don't know how much longer we will have with her, it may be a few weeks or a few months, but we would like to include her in Sam's blog during this precious time.

Cisco and Sam, December 2009

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

The Art of Sam

Not only is Sam a much photographed dog, he is also a much drawn dog. I have numerous sketches, little doodles, and .gif and .jpg type pictures of him that I have done over the years. While they are never as good as the real Sam, I thought you all might enjoy seeing them here and there.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Weekend Update

Hello, all! Just wanted to keep you updated on what has been happening in Sam’s world. First of all, I did survive Denver, although for someone who has lived in the far south west her whole life, and has never encountered snow for more than a quick drive by, the temperatures there were quite a shocker! Yes, I did whine… quite a bit… I was freezing!

It was just a little snow, Mom!

Aaron has been working hard to fine tune Sam’s limo, aka our old truck, into a precision machine capable of carrying Sam to see his adoring public. This turned into a huge project, since we had a rather long list of things that needed fixing, but I am happy to see the truck is running good and all the creaks and groans we’ve come to associate with it are gone. In fact, I do believe it is running better than when I first bought it.

What are you waiting for? Let's go!

Our internet is still not working, so I am sitting in Paradise Bakery once again, enjoying a hot chocolate and bagel and updating my blog. It’s amazing how spoiled you get when you are used to having these things right at your fingertips… I miss visiting our dog friends in the evenings and reading the posts all of you have left on Sam’s blog.

Sam himself is doing wonderful! He is completely over whatever had made him sick and his feeling fine and frisky. In fact, I bet he is at home right now wondering where I am!


Friday, November 27, 2009

We are still here...

Hello, all! We are still here! We have been very busy on top of having internet issues. We hope all of you had a wonderful Thanksgiving and we will post as soon as we can.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Sam's Momma is Freezing...

Sam here. Sam have update on Mom - who has gone missing... Sam's mom is currently in sunny (ha-ha-ha) Denver, CO for training. It is 45 degrees in sunny Denver. Sam not know why Mom keep calling it "sunny". Mom says Sam not understand irony. Mom says that is a little more than half of what it is in sunny (this isn't lie!) Arizona. Sam's mom is freezing and complaining of hi-po-ther-mia, whatever that may be. Sam's mom is convinced death is imminent, which Sam is hoping not. Who feed bones? Who take Sam for walk? Who scratch that funny spot on back of head Sam can't quite reach? This is all very stressful!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009


It takes a lot of work to keep the Samster looking great, you know. It takes hours to give him those Fabio locks and collie-like paws that he is so proud of!

The "Before" photo - mind you, this is taken in the wee morning hours, when Sam first rolls out of bed.

...and, the "After" shot. Sam would like everyone to notice his paws:

In the first picture, Sam is wearing his "Hercules fighting the Lion" scarf that Aaron made him. It is currently getting a much needed washing!

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Gotcha Day!

Yes, Sam is feeling better. I’ve been hesitant to say so since every time I thought he might be on the mend, he became ill with something else. However, we have now passed the two week mark with good solid poops and no sneezes or sniffles. I think I can now say Sam has made a full recovery!

We had a pretty big day today. One of our local Golden Retriever rescues, the Arizona Golden Retriever Connection celebrated their 10th annual Gotcha Day. AZGRC has helped many Golden Retrievers find forever homes. We are proud to be members of this great rescue! Aaron and I took Sam to participate in the fun.

The event was held at Vista Del Camino Park in Scottsdale. It is a beautiful parks with lots of ramadas and a lake.

One of the first events we watched was musical chairs. The owners had to step on the paw prints.

The music has just stopped, and everyone is diving in! There was a lot of laughter and quite a few colliding Goldens!

The circle is getting smaller… We ended up missing who won.

This guy was at the lake enjoying a day of fishing with his family – I think he might have wanted to play!

We took a break for lunch.

Isn’t this a great way to spend the day?

Sam was really enjoying himself!

This guy took some time out for a quick brushing.

After lunch, we watched the ball toss game. All the teams had to see how many balls their dogs could catch in 30 seconds. These three goldens are waiting to start.

Sam took some time out to pose for pictures.

I don’t think there are ever bad pictures of Golden Retrievers!

There was some serious ear scratching goin’ on! Wait a minute… how far can that leash stretch?

We decided to enter Sam in the “Bobbing for Hotdogs” competition. Here he is getting ready:

All these dogs were waiting for the competition – can you find Sam?

Oh! There he is!

This one wasn’t sure what to do…

…and his friend got tired of waiting!

Can I help?

Sam couldn’t wait to go!

He needed a little help:

Eventually he got the idea. He got his hot dog in 12 seconds. The winning dog made it in 4 seconds!

He did ask for another hot dog before we left.

We were beat! We put his head collar back on:

Then did a little shopping at the boutique!

All in all, it was a wonderful day!

We would also like to thank our dear friend Samantha for this great award. Thank you so much!