The Three Muskateers

July 25th, 2013 by Magdalena Tabor

samkatieWhen you think of Keith and Katie, you naturally include Sam. My nephew Keith raised him  from a pup, and when he met his future wife Katie, she embraced them both as a package deal. They never went anywhere without Sam, inexorably linked like the parts of an interlocking puzzle.

We first laid eyes on Sam when Michael and I arrived at my brother’s house in the mountains several summers ago. I knew ahead of time to expect him there but purposely neglected to tell Michael to prevent any angst on his part knowing his aversion to German Shepherds stemmed from an unfortunate childhood experience. When our Jeep pulled up the driveway alongside the house, there he was sprawled formidably on the front lawn, the quintessential Big Bad Wolf, all toothy grin. Oh no, Michael muttered in distress. Even I had my reservations but didn’t let on. Dogs invariably sense fear. They say he’s really mellow, I offered as we both sat strapped to our seats reluctant to get out. Just then the family bounded out of the house and we were more inclined to join them. They were right. Sam was so calm, he ignored us entirely.

Keith and Katie had made the long trek from Arizona choosing to drive cross country so they could bring Sam along. This ritual was repeated nearly every summer since, sometimes staying for the entire season until they were called away on a job assignment. In the business of assessing disaster sights nationwide for insurance purposes, wherever they were sent, Sam tagged along. This was not always convenient when attempting to smuggle a 150 pound pedigree into a hotel room restricting pets. Explicit instructions were delivered to hotel staff declining maid service in effort to conceal Sam’s living arrangements which oftentimes extended into weeks if not months before assessment in a particular disaster sight was completed. In all the years Sam accompanied them, they were never found out.

In more recent times, Sam’s age had taken its toll, forcing him to become more and more sedentary. Keith and Katie would stop at nothing to make him more comfortable, including the purchase of a water bed and even attaching a set of wheels to his hind legs for added mobility. However, try as they might, it was only a matter of time before they faced the inevitable. That time came today at 4 pm Arizona time, 7 pm New York time. Sam was euthanized by the local veterinarian. At the appointed time, we all sent happy thoughts Sam’s way. Thoughts of grass green meadows where he could run unimpeded by the infirmities that restricted him the latter part of his life. Thoughts of joyful family reunions under cheerful summer skies, Sam bouncing with endless energy like the puppy he once was.

Keith and Katie, we know how very difficult this is for you and there are no words to express the ache in our hearts that match your own. We just can’t imagine Sam without the two of you. The three muskateers bushwacking your way through the jungles of upstate New York or exploring the deserts of the wild west. You gave Sam the very best of yourselves and he reciprocated love and loyalty immeasurable. Sam, we will miss your stately presence. Happy Trails.

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3 Responses to “The Three Muskateers”

  1. Michael Tabor Says:

    I loved that dog … RIP Sam buddy

  2. Michael Tabor Says:

    A nice comment publically posted on FB:

    Cheryl Coutts Nicely done. Cheryl and I still have a picture of our first child……Troy…..hanging in our TV room. The kids never really knew him but talk about him like they did. He was with us for 15 years….a wonderful Husky….still miss him. Chris

    16 minutes ago · Like

  3. Chip Says:

    God Bless Sam for being a kind, forgiving and loving best friend and God Bless Keith and Katie who loved him as unconditionally as he loved them. In this day and age, it’s so easy for some to treat their family pet as “disposable”; it’s obvious you never thought that way and never would. Sam I’m sure knew that because, well………..dogs just know.

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