Welcome to Sam Barker's Rainbow Bridge Memorial Residency
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Memories of Sam Barker
Sam Barker,what can i say? Your my loving bear,my teddy bear, my companion for 14 years.When I was going thru the really hard times,you were there for me! I remember when all was bad and I just wanted to die, with gun in my hand, you jumped up on the bed and started licking my face as if to say "Hey Daddy, how about me? Your not a quitter, knock it off!" and by doing so broke that train of thought and depressed mood I was in and saved my life.Truly you are a hero and I owe my being here today to your selfless act of love. I remember when I was going thru a bad divorce (is there ever a good one?)a girl I knew came over and woke me up,telling me while she was at the cleveland apl getting a cat for her brothers friend she saw the cutiest dog that I just had to see. I love dogs but at that time really with my life in turmoil didnt want to bring an innocent into my problems but to shut her up, figured get this over with and i could get back to sleep so I got dressed and went there. I walked up to the cage and there was this cute boy hiding in the back (I learned he was 6mths old and was a return,(Icant figure why anyone would ever return him, he's never done anything wrong, I should be that good)he was pretty good size for a puppy. They told me he is a Malamute/Belgian Shepherd mix. Well Sam (that was his name) saw me and came right away to the front by the cage door and I stuck my hand in and he licked my hand.It was love at first sight for both of us,I turned around and marched right up to the desk and said "that dog is mine" and the girl said , no your not the one who dropped him off! And I told her no but I'm the one who's leaving with him!Well they said they had to have him fixed before he could go home with me so it was another day before he came home.Sam has always been well behaved,never chewed up anything,or had accidents in the house, when its time to pass out treats if I am not going fast enough for him he will prod me with his paw in the side or belly or sometimes poke my arm like ok daddy,we know your slow but some of us dont have all day :) I hope my vet doesn't read this but we would celebrate our birthdays all in April, on the 12th.One year I went and bought a BIG strawberry cheesecake, lots of whipped cream!Well I'm ahead of myself thats desert, I bought 7 seven big steaks,not ones with a bone, sometimes a london broil or even a big roast and then i would cut it up into bite size (barker size)pieces and we would go into the front room and have our dinner while watching animal planet or the dog whisperer(my barkers have been called "people whisperer's because they trained me)and after dinner we would all have a slice of cheesecake (they let me have all the strawberrys)One time Sam was on a run and saw a squirrel or something and wanted to investigate all I heard was a kind of squealing sound and wondered what the heck was that? Ok out into the back yard, no Sam, no run, whats going on so I went into the front yard and looked both ways, well about half a block to my left was my Sammer calmly walking down the sidewalk trailing a 20ftcable that had attached to it a 15ft long 2"by6" board.What my buddy did was run out of the driveway and pull the cable that was hooked up to a big bolt that went thru the board that was nailed to the top part of the garage and the funny sound was him pulling the nails out of the wood when the long board came off.My Sam has a ton of names of endearment,Sammer bo whammer,Sambarker, El excellante, The exectutive bear, Teddy bear,and a lot of others. When my granddaughters were little they would sleep over and we would go to the metro park usually Sam n Sasha and walk a couple miles.People would come up and say what pretty dogs you have are they mean or can we pet them. I would tell them mean? if you give them a treat they would prob go home with you :) I call Sam my $4000 bear,because after my divorce a girl I knew moved in (we were just friends) and she had ideas of getting married,when I told her since my divorce the only girls I was interested in had to have 4 legs and a tail! Well that started the yelling and screaming about everything and anything, this is when I just wanted to die,fed up with everything and my Sam saved my life. When he snapped me out of the depression I realized we had to get out of there so while she was at work and after working all night I just went out and rented a storage unit and started taking my things there,I was finishing up and came back for the last bunch of boxes and clothes and my Sam and she found out I was moving out called a locksmith and changed all the locks.What she wanted before I could have my Sammer back was to pay off half of her bills and that was it. I went to the police and they said possession was 9/10 of the law so stuck I said ok, well after she got her 4k she said too bad and kept him.I would sneak by and abt 3 or 4am waiting for her to let him out as was past practice and she would wait out there like a troll or drill sgt on guard.No good,sometimes when I knew she was at work i would pull up and before I even got out of the car Sam would come to the front door,push aside the curtains and look at me like come on daddy, lets go. Well finally after abt a year she called and said she was bringing him to me,find out in a playful moment he had jumped up on her mom who was old she fell down,didnt get hurt but lucky for us my buddy came home.Well jumping back to the present I was in the hospital and I get a call (my son and granddaughters were taking care of the barkers) and was told "grandpa Sam is bleeding from the mouth",well I signed myself out (dr was mad,had to sign paper they were'nt liable)when I got home his paws were covered in blood from licking them.Off to the vet we went and (I love this guy, he has a way with all animals they know he loves them and is there to help) well I thought it was a tooth but he told me my lovin bear had a tumor and they dont like to knock them out when they are that old, I asked what are the options and it was put him to sleep or emergency surgery,well you know what my answer was.Brian picked him up (abt97lbs) and off into the operating rm.I was sitting on pins and needles from noon till 7pm, repeated calls told me he was groggy but looking good.I picked him up at 7pm and took him back home,all my other barkers were overjoyed to see him.The days went by and every day I thanked God for letting me have him back home again,soft food diet and water only due to the stitches.Then one morning I woke up and the blood was all over him and something like skin hanging from his mouth I guessed it to be a piece of clotted blood.Trying to figure where he got some thing hard to eat maybe he found a bone or dry food so it was 4am we waited till 8 am and was at the vet's door when they opened.Ok once again I was wrong,Brian looked at his mouth and said thats not the stitches its the tumor grown back in 3 weeks.Well I started crying again,its funny how the more you love something the more you deny or push the thought out of your mind of their passing.Well Brian gave him a shot to shrink the blood vessles in his mouth (tumor area) and we went home.Its been about a little over 2 weeks and the shot helped but at first he would eat tuna, ground meat crumbled and some can food only real soft.The last 3 days he has refused to eat, still gets around but a little more shaky, I got some gr sirloin and cooked it up, no dice and finally today when I was to take him in to be put to sleep he broke down and ate a tuna sandwich thus giving me an excuse to not go.I talked to Brian and he said surgery is out of the question,he would have to remove half of his nose because its working its way into the nasal area.This is where we are now, so I have made all kinds of pleas to God but to no avail, I guess my Sam is needed up in Heaven and God knows he deserves a break,he's been better than some humans I know. One last thought, I knew when I took in my pretty girl Sasha at almost ten yrs old and my pretty boy Misha at ten yrs old that the day would come when they would pass on or have to be put to sleep. Do you know what? I HAVE NO REGRETS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! If I had it to do over you betcha I would, why because even more than the unconditional love that they gave me, there is something about an older dog, a lot of people wont bother with them because of the heartache, the heartache lets you know your alive and the love makes it all worthwhile. God Bless you Sam my lovin bear and my Sasha the best cuddler in the world and my Misha the most gentle soul I have ever met!!!!!!!!! We could learn a lot from our Barkers, I have always said,they are not dogs , They are people with four legs and a tail!!!!!!!!!!!
24Dec08 Christmas Eve
Well my Sam,here we are again! Christmas Eve,the first one that we are apart(at least in physical form) in years and years!You had,excuse me,have patience :) Thank you for your recent visit,that meant the world to me. I have always believed in spirit's and would watch you and the other Barkers as you would track things I couldn't see.Without you three, things just don't seem as important! You and Sasha filled up my time and life and yes of course how could I ever forget my gentle Misha! Without you , my 3 amigos life is so empty,I have met wonderful people at the memorial service. The people who have lost their loved ones understand and have compassion and understanding .Sasha,Sam and Misha ,I never really knew how much you fulfilled me until you were gone.One comment was made that tonight is a perfect night to cuddle but that just brought the empty,lonely feeling back stronger.My family and grand kids are great but they do go home and the ache and loneliness comes back ever stronger.I have always been a person who needs touching and that's why I would pet and rub my Bears until they fell asleep! My Sasha would cuddle and you didn't mind Sam, because you knew I needed that,I do go on too much but that's the lonely part.My lovin Bears, you have the best Christmas you can have and May God Bless all the lonely people and furbabys the world over and please protect all the abused and scared animals from the monsters of the world.I can't join you soon enough my friends,If God would let me,I would forsake Heaven to be the guardian for all the furbabies,all my love, kisses hugs and cuddles ,your daddy Geo
I have to add this on my friends passing
Dear Sweet Sam,I miss you so! Always the perfect Bear.I cry as I sit here writing to you but you know this as you sit and watch,don't feel bad my friend for there is naught you can do so please just enjoy Heaven with your family and friends! I just cant shake the last time, we went to the vet.When even at the last, though you had lost all that weight you walked in under your own power just like the trooper you are and lay down with me on the blanket on the floor! I held your head in my arm and stroked your head and told you how much I love you. Dr Brian came in and had this big vial and he said he was giving you a lot more to let you pass quickly. He said have Sam look at you, away from the needle. I turned your trusting head to me while he shaved your right paw and then with no delay he injected you, my life long friend and I felt like a murderer,better it would have been me! Brian said your brain would cease to function in 15 seconds and in 30 seconds you would be dead, passing, going to sleep ,call it what it is, death! That which I yearn for sweet death,its only the barkers I have now, that I stay.My Son has his family and children, life goes on! Unfortunately for me,for a time,the Marines taught me a lot, to endure and more.After Sam had his shot,while I told him how much I loved him, my tears flowing unashamed my heart being ripped out of my body,my perfect boy,my friend and companion who I would have traded with him in a heartbeat, cross the abyss and storm the gates of hell for him,He raised up his head, looked me in the eyes as if to say "Its OK Dad, I love you" Gave me a kiss on the mouth ,I told him I love you, come back to me! Then he put his head down and died! He did this a minute after his shot and both the vet and the girl helping were shocked. I love you my Sam forever and a day! The very day my last one passes, I will join you! This I swear!

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