Sam didn't stay long at his new home. A new baby, two young children and a harassed mother meant that there was no time for a small puppy so he came back to us. We hadn't planned to have four dogs – we'd kept his sister, Daisy - but it was good to see the little chap again.
All went well until Sam began to grow up and started asserting his independence. Leo kept him in order and at first Sam submitted to his father's sharp reprimands. Increasingly, as Sam grew stronger and more determined he and Leo disagreed. They were both strong-minded alpha dogs and struck sparks off each other. It was increasingly apparent that one of them was going to hurt the other though we couldn't be sure which dog would be victorious. Eventually my parents offered to give Leo a home. They had moved to Berkshire from Kent a few years earlier and lived a short walking distance from us. We were relieved and my parents were pleased but Leo kept coming back to us. Previously he had been just a visitor at their house so thought nothing had changed. Perhaps we should have let Sam go to them but Leo was quiet and well-behaved and older while Sam was an energetic youngster needing lots of exercise. When Leo finally realised his new home and people were a permanent arrangement he settled and was extremely happy with them for the rest of his life. He remained always delighted to see Biddy and us but he was a faithful companion to my parents.
Sam brings the stick back to Biddy watched by Daisy. They loved playing in the water - fresh or salt, they didn't mind!
Sam relaxed once Leo was out of the picture. Of the two puppies Sam was definitely Biddy's favourite. She spent hours grooming him and licking his ears and he basked in the attention. For a small dog he had exceptionally strong shoulders and neck and picked up heavy logs in the forest every day. He would not relinquish them until he had reached home so that after a while we had a substantial log pile at the end of the drive. All three dogs played 'sticks' often with one of them going backwards for none of them would give up possession once obtained and naturally they all wanted the same stick. There was a good deal of noise as they each struggled for ascendancy but there was never any aggression.
Play-time over, Biddy leads Daisy and Sam out of the water.
Sam's end came prematurely and sadly. He had a bad habit of following interesting sniffs, deaf to all commands to return. On this particular day, my birthday, he ran into the road next to the field Barry was running round. Barry set off after him and was just in time to see someone throwing Sam's inert body into a ditch at the side of the road. Sam had been knocked down and the driver got in his car and drove away. For four days Sam stayed at the vet's surgery and seemed to be recovering and then one day he simply died. The shock to his sturdy little body had been just too much. He was just six years old. Daisy (ahead) and Sam struggle to reach Bethan to lick her. Barry restrains them.
Once again Biddy mourned but this time with Daisy by her side.