Samson was a tiny pup when we got him in 87, 8 weeks old, pink belly, cuddly. He grew up to be an 85 lb typical lab, with a typical destructive otter tail but with a personality that transcended even a lab - such a sweet dog and so biddable. He and I had a connection that went way beyond dog and mistress.
There is a wildlife refuge near my house that where I walked him almost daily. We did about 2 miles a day, maybe more. We both loved it, I loved to see his joy in swimming, or sliding on the snow and he, in doggy fashion, just loved it like he loved everything.
Samson died when he was 15, a grand old age for a dog but it was just after 9/11 - I was traumatized from being in the air that day, and moving houses, and husband's health issues. He was my link to ...I don't know...something good I guess. I just adored that dog.
Today, for the first time in 5 years, I walked up to that wildlife refuge and could be there without crying. I owe it to myself to keep walking, to keep in shape for when another Samson comes along and wants to have long walks everyday.