I never met Sam in person (or in paw-son, as it may be). I have met his human staff twice when she came to Columbus, OH for trade shows this year and last. We have become great friends, despite the distance between Ohio and her home in San Diego.
I felt as though I knew Sam from following his feline brother’s adventures on Twitter (@PerrytheBirman).Perry always referred to him as “Dat Dawg Sam” on Twitter, often in unflattering terms. Nonetheless, you could tell the cat loved the dog despite himself.
I also painted Sam’s portrait last year. Spending many hours painting an animal endears you to the creature in a way that I cannot describe.
So when I learned of his passing this past Wednesday, I wept. I wept for the loss that I knew my human friend was experiencing, and I wept from feeling my own sense of loss.
That happens to me when animals who become a part of my artistic menagerie go to the Rainbow Bridge.
Sam came to live with my friend and her husband and Perry when his previous owner succumbed to cancer a few years ago. He suffered from various neurological symptoms and Cushing’s Disease that finally got the best of him. he had many challenges in his last year of life but still managed to give lots of love to his human family.
My friend shared with me that the portrait I painted last year has helped her and her husband through their grief. Seeing an image of him when he had the spark of life before he became ill has had a healing effect.
I am so happy that I could be a part of helping them through such a hard time.
I know your family will miss you horribly, Sam. I will too.
Keep things smiling there at the Rainbow Bridge, OK?