Sampson, Rest In Peac, I miss you so much

My Dearest Sampson, Rest In Peace

Waves of intense grief as Mrs.J and I try to cope with losing our beloved soulmate companion, Sampson. Our dearest best friend for 13 years. He was tightly woven into our everyday lives and routines, and has been with us throughout several major transitions in our lives. We loved him so much. His unconditional love towards us was just as deep.

We have been through this before, about 15 years ago with two other dogs. But this one, this grief, is nearly unbearable. Sampson was such a ‘love bug’. A mini Dachshund. A lapdog. Always seeking our companionship. We miss him so much. Mrs.J and I are working through the pain and grief. Lots of talking about it. I know that it’s going to take a long time to get over this to the extent that it can to return to some sort of normalcy. That’s just how it works.

Sampson stole our hearts. Now he’s gone. Age related complications as he clearly communicated that it was ‘time’. It was the hardest thing I’ve ever done in my life.

7/4/2009 – 6/7/2022
Sampson, we love you. Rest in peace.

Sampson, 2009

Sampson, 2010

Sampson, 2014

Sampson, 2015

Sampson, 2016

Sampson, 2019

Sampson, 2020

Sampson, 2021

Sampson, 2022


  1. ken, i am so, so sorry to hear that about Sampson. DW and i never had children and our dogs have always been our children. we very much understand your grief. Sampson has always been a big part of this blog and we will all miss him. take some time off for yourself.

    1. so sorry for your loss. We lost our big guy Bosco just after Easter this year. I still hear him on is night patrols and feel his nuzzles when he needs out.

  2. I’m so sorry to hear about Sampson. Loved the photos, he had such a good life with your family.

  3. Ken,
    So sorry to hear of Sampson’s passing. Rest in peace dear pup until you are reunited with your people in Heaven.

  4. Sorry for your loss. Dogs can be such a integral part of our lives. Those that are not “dog people” don’t really understand.

  5. Ken
    I know EXACTLY how you feel.! OMG, it’s hard. Gut retching, heart broken, and suffering a loss you can not replace.

    It takes a long time to just understand the loss of a dog that is so interwoven into our lives, I know this for a fact as I lost my Pork Chop on Jan 1. 5 months later, I’m just barely able to handle losing her. I still hear her bark at night.

    I had a real hard time handling her dying, still do. All I can say is just try and move slowly on. It ain’t easy.

    Words don’t really mean anything here, just hold “Sampson” in your heart and He lives forever.

    My heart really does ache for you.

    God Bless my Friend.

    1. Deepest condolences on your loss. The loss of a companion like Samson can be soul crushing. When I have been in your position, I pull out the pictures of my animals and remember all of the fantastic times we had together. All of the silly antics they did. Know that you and your wife gave your animal a blessed and wonderful life. May God heal your pain quickly.

  6. To Samsons people, I’m sooo sorry. Leaves a hole in you heart and everywhere he should be waiting for you, and is not :(

  7. So Sorry to hear about Sampson Ken & Mrs. J.

    From the Pictures, you can tell what a happy live he had. Never easy to lose such a close family member!

    Our Pets are God’s gift to us to show us so many things, Love, Compassion, Responsibility, etc.!!!

  8. Oh Ken, I am so, so very sorry for your loss, and understand your grief, having gone through the same thing not so long ago ourselves with the loss of our beloved dog. May your memories of Sampson be a comfort to you.

  9. Ken & Mrs. J
    Am so sorry to hear about Sampson, sorry could not read the entire posting as it made me want to cry. Understand the grief you are both going through with the loss of your dear friend and companion.

  10. Never commented on your articles – but feel your pain. May God give you and your family peace knowing Sampson is waiting at the rainbow bridge for you two…

  11. Nooooooooo, sigh,,, hugs and more hugs and yes time will help, some. I still miss my little felines.

  12. Words can’t express the pain you are feeling. We all have to go through this in order to have the joy that these friends bring us. At some point it will pass to good memories and just short periods of pain but until that point know all or prayers are with you

  13. Sorry to hear about your beloved Sampson. They know how to love so deeply and unconditionally. Have been through it twice and over time it does become bearable but there will always be a piece of your heart missing.

  14. To Ken and Mrs J: You have my condolences. These past couple of years I saw the graying of Sampson’s muzzle and I knew this day was coming. He was the sweetest of dogs by reading of his time spent with you over the years. He will be missed by us dog owners on this site as well as you folks that took such good care of him throughout his long life. Thanks for sharing pictures of him on this site over the years. I have found comfort in the reading of the Rainbow Bridge and I hope you two find some comfort during this difficult time. Rest in Peace Sampson. All good dogs go to Heaven.

  15. So sorry to hear Samson crossed over. Have lost two doxies myself and they are family.

  16. anything with that much intelligence and love in their hearts just has to have a soul. you’ll never make me believe otherwise. i can’t wait to cross that rainbow bridge only to be knocked down and smothered with doggie kisses.
    if there ain’t no dogs in heaven then it ain’t heaven.

  17. Ken and Mrs. J, you and Sampson had such a loved-filled life together and how you truly lived together.
    Those pictures and all you have told us about Sampson over the speak volumes of how much you truly loved one another and shared your lives together. May you rest in the hope that you will all be reunited on the Rainbow Bridge…the arms of the Good Shepherd are wrapped around you both, He catches every tear…
    (((heart-hugs))) and prayers for you!

  18. Ken – The Chihuahua/Pug who grew up along side our daughter, died late last year at 16, we had to settle for Facetime goodbyes. The magnificent Doberman/Shepard who has faithfully loved and fiercely protected our family for the past 9 years is sporting a full gray beard now and she no longer chases a ball like a gazelle. Dogs are our only truly reliable friends and I firmly believe we will see them again one day. Wishing peace and comfort for your family.

  19. We are sorry to hear the bad news. They are only here for part of our lives, but we are there for all of their life. He was loved and in a good, happy home as a family member. Rest in Peace

  20. Ken,
    Very sorry about Sampson, they do change you life (most of the time they do run the show). I still miss the cats and dogs we have had in out lives.

  21. My deepest sympathies for the loss of your dear friend. Hopefully the pain in your heart will be replaced by the fond memories and love that Sampson gave.

  22. Like others have said, it’s obvious in the pictures Sampson was very loved. He was a cutie. So sorry for your loss. It truly never gets easier. Rest easy knowing he’s running around with the Father while we’re still here dealing with all this mess and you will be reunited some day. My personal belief because of Isaiah chapter 11. God loves animals just like we do.

  23. Ken
    Sorry to hear about Sampson
    It’s like having your heart ripped out of your chest
    It’s been 2 years since we lost our Brutus. It SUCKS! I’d give just about anything for one more day with him
    I think dogs are so special to make up for how horrible most people are

  24. Dearest Ken and Mrs J.,
    I understand how your hearts are breaking. Such a precious little soul who chose you to be his humans.

  25. Ken and Mrs. J,

    Hate to hear about Sampson…I feel your loss.

    Adding to the downer experience with my cousin and daughter-in-law fighting cancer, when I returned from my trip to Texas…our porch cat, Kit-Kitty, was missing…showed up the next day extremely sick…late stages of tick fever (Anaplasmosis). Seemed perfectly healthy the day I left…unable to save her when I returned. That seems to be the nature of that disease…by the time symptoms manifest…it usually is too late.

    Sure will be glad when all these trials pass.

    1. @Dennis – so sorry for all you are going through. Sometimes it just seems like there is no let up. and you have certainly had a lot to deal with. You and Kit Kitty are lucky you for the time and love you shared and you both knew that. Kit-Kitty will be waiting for you to jump into your lap on the Rainbow Bridge.

    2. Dennis,
      Just saw your post, and am so sorry to read that your DIL has been diagnosed as well as your cousin who was already doing battle with cancer. Then to lose your cat as well; that is a lot piling on you and yours right now.
      You are always the one lifting all of us up with your positive thoughts and observations, I’m sending up prayers to lift you and yours up as you all face these battles. Praying for good news and better days ahead for you. Take care.

    3. Sorry to hear the troubles you have been facing and losing Kit-Kitty. Hopefully these trials will pass very soon and everyone will heal and fully recover.

  26. Ken,
    I’m so sorry to read about Sampson.
    It’s just heartbreaking when we lose our pups, the house feels so empty and nothing seems right.
    Big hugs to you & Mrs J as you grieve losing him – it just sucks!

  27. Ken, I’m just so sorry for the loss of your beloved companion. The love he had for you, and you both for him shines out from every picture. May you feel him close to you, in your heart, though it’s not the same as it was, may it bring you some comfort until you’re reunited. Hugs to you both, and God’s soothing Hand to ease some of the pain.

  28. I’m so sorry to hear this. We’ve all followed Sampson’s part in your life through various articles where he is mentioned and/or pictured. I thank God for the gift of pets, even though it means facing the pain of losing them eventually.

  29. SoulSurvival,
    Ken and Mrs. J, and Dennis so very sorry for your loss.

    SS. thank you so very much for your words, they are helping. My older Beagle, Topper, died this past week of bladder cancer.

    1. Far North,
      Sorry to hear of Topper’s passing. Losing our four-legged friends is tough and it takes a while for the hole in our heart to heal.

    2. @Far North – so sorry to hear of the loss of your Beagle. It is so tough to lose them and they are such an important part of our lives. The pain is awful and it is hard for them not to be there, but be sure to remember how lucky you are to have had Topper love you truly! And Topper will be waiting for you at the Rainbow Bridge.

    3. Romeo Charlie and Always Learning,
      Thank you. So many things… We grew old together. Hard to put into words. We were both in our late 60’s? and seeing him running just for the sheer joy of running. He would inspire me… that, if he can be, I can be more active too.
      For various reasons I decided to have him cremated. Should I spread his ashes? Bury them? I don’t think I can do either. Instead, keep him close.
      Spring of 2021 I collected some of his shedding fur. To tie some (fishing) flies as a remembrance. Not that I would use one, for fear of losing it. Now I’m thinking it to be sacrilegious. I don’t know?

    4. Soul Survival,
      Thank you for your words of wisdom.
      Sorry for not responding sooner, but we are going back and forth between town and the cabin, and just saw your post today.
      Ecclesiastes 3:2 is helping us thru this.
      Rescuing Ginger certainly is a tribute to Izzie.
      Sophie our other Beagle and our Calico cat Chubby, both rescues, joined our family a few years ago.
      The duck that nests in a tree, in our front yard, drops feathers along its flight path to the pond. Been collecting them with the idea of tying some flies with them. …Along with Topper’s fur.

  30. Ken,
    So sorry to hear your loss of Sampson.

    Our four legged children are much loved.

  31. This is so sad Ken! I’ll spare everyone the reason, but will as I always do have a shot in Sampson’s honor.

  32. Ken and Mrs J: I am late to seeing the website today but was so saddened to see this. Our hearts go out to you both. Losing him is unbearably hard and we know from our experience that there are no words to ameliorate the grief and it is something you never get “over.”. But Samson loved you so much and you both loved him – so clear in the pictures. Care for yourselves as you mourn the loss of him, but share the joys of the memory of him, which will be with you forever. We are fortunate that our pets bring perfect joy and unconditional love into our lives. And he will be there waiting for you on the Rainbow Bridge.

  33. Ken and Mrs. J, I am so sorry to hear you lost Sampson. But take heart…..when I worked in the veterinary field I began to notice as a dog aged, or became ill, and their time to leave us arrived, they began to look beyond us. Never at us. What did they see? What did they know? I guarantee you – they saw and knew more than we did. And let me add; I feel our hearts always break so they can wiggle in there and remain forever. Do they not reach us to live in the moment? Be happy? Rest when we are tired? Love cookies? And so many, many life lessons.

    Oh, and I KNOW our beloved pets are in Heaven. Our Lord will be returning on His horse! And all the saints riding (their horses) with Him!!! If there are horses there….so are our pets! God never created anything to be discarded. Just transformed.

    I send you both hugs, and peace.

  34. So sorry for your loss. Glad you were able to see him through. I was away at college when my last dog left this earth. Cere (suh-REE) had to be put down after tangling with a rabid racoon at the home place protecting not just the farm animals but my 6 younger siblings. She was a lab shepherd cross that helped me through a rough stretch of teenage years.

  35. What a high quality of life Sampson had! I am saddened by the shortness of dog life. I have lost two old-timers this year, and it’s hard to fill their places. I am so sorry for your loss.

  36. Ken and Mrs. J
    At a loss for words.
    Dogs are a part of the family never “just a pet”.
    All Dog’s go to heaven, Samson will be waiting for you at the Rainbow Bridge.

    Blue sends his condolences and knows Samson is in a good place.

  37. This makes me so sad, I know how much you loved him. I had a dachshund named Sadie for 15 years, I loved her like a child. She’s been gone for 10 years now, and I can still cry. They creep into your heart and make themselves at home there. I’m so sorry you have to feel this pain. Please accept my condolences to you and Mrs J.

  38. Dear Ken and Mrs. J,
    My heart aches with you. I was always happy when Sampson was mentioned or pictured in your articles, the character of a person (in my opinion) can be judged by the relationship they have with their dog. Sampson was part of this blog family and is archived for all, never to be forgotten. This is not the time, but in time I would like to recommend the book “The Art of Racing in the Rain” by Garth Stein. This book helped me to understand the grief I felt for the four Goldens we have lost, and have hopes it will help with the fifth one that comforts and entertains us every day. Grieve, but know Sampson knew he was loved and feels pretty dam lucky to have been a part of yours and Mrs. J’s life.

  39. Ken and Mrs.J. Sorry for your loss. Nice pictures to have to remember him. We have an OLD Man that is 17, and we see him sliding down hill as well. It is so hard to give them up, but we can not hold them when it is their time . Lost my Spotted Dawg , and i have few pictures of him, and his black turning to Grey muzzle. Glad you have these, .

  40. Dear Ken
    I am so very sorry for your loss , it has been obvious to all I sure your feelings for your great pet and friend the number of comments reflect that ! The overwhelming grief will fade but the joy he gave your family will stay . I have lost best friends over the years but they stay sharp in my mind and still bring a smile .

  41. Ken…… has been said that death is Gods release from the pain and suffering here for all living things……my animals that I have lived with good times and bad, have always brought smiles and warmth in my being just reliving the moments in remembrance……..blessings to you and yours

  42. Ken and Mrs J
    Sorry for your loss. So hard to have to go through this, just seems so hard to let go!

  43. Sorry to hear about Sampson, dogs are indeed a special creature.

  44. Ken :
    I know your grief.
    I’ve stated this before in your column –
    When my beloved German Shepherd died suddenly, totally unexpected, my grief took me back to the battlefield in Vietnam, some 40 plus years before.
    I had a ‘Flashback” to when my closest buddy was killed, right next to me.
    I cried steadily for 3 days.
    God Bless.

  45. To quote Will Rogers –
    “If dogs don’t go to Heaven,
    I want to go where they go.”

  46. Dear Ken and Mrs. J
    We are So sorry to hear of your loss. I always enjoyed seeing the pictures of him on your web sight. We to also hade a mini Dachshund, “Buddy” He played a huge part in our lives. The first time I saw Buddy, he was sitting on my 12 year old daughters lap, and with here big blue eyes says “Daddy Please”! Buddy was with us for many years.

  47. So sorry to hear about Sampson. It’s devastating to lose a furry member of the family.

  48. So sorry for your loss. I am dreading when my soulmate dog is gone, so I am trying to be grateful for every day I am with him. I was at the vet’s yesterday and saw the sign, “Heaven is where you go to see all the dogs you have lost.”

  49. My thoughts are with you. When losing a loved one a stillness comes over you.

  50. I am so sorry for the loss of Sampson. Remember that dog is God spelled backward. You know the rainbow bridge poem about pets. Sampson is waiting on the other end of the bridge.

  51. I truly empathize with your loss. As time goes by, may those dear memories increase as your grief subsides.

  52. My condolences, Ken. I know the grief you are going through. Old friends will forever be missed. As another dog lover once said to me, “we don’t deserve dogs and the joy they bring.”

  53. Haven’t commented on a post in a very long time. Couldn’t not for this one. Sorry for your loss Ken! We’ve got 3 ourselves and the wife and I occasionally talk about how terrible it will be when any of them leave us. Just have to focus on all the good times you guys had with Sampson. He looks like he was a great dog!

  54. – Ken and Mrs. J, and Dennis and a few others I noticed in the notes,
    Anytime a member of our family passes, their species doesn’t matter. I have had several beloved animals pass, and everyone of them has left his or her own little hole in my heart. Condolences to you.
    – Papa S.

  55. Condolences Ken and Mrs. J. I have slowly been loosing count of our lost pet/family members. But all I have to do is stop for a second and think of them and their love (and tears) comes flooding back. Each and every one will always be with us. ‘Till we meet again.

  56. Ken and Mrs. J, I’m so sorry for the loss of your sweet and faithful companion. I’m praying for peace and comfort for you both.

  57. Ken & Mrs. J,

    I’ve been running to vets all week with our 15 yr old mini who was just diagnosed with liver cancer. His time is coming and nothing makes that easier. My heart breaks for you. You were obviously incredible doggy parents and I hope you can take some comfort in the fact that Sampson is running around doing what he loves now in Heaven, like the puppy he always was inside.

  58. Condolences to you and Mrs. J for your loss. No words can describe the love you had for him nor the love he gave you. May peace be with you.

  59. There are many on this site that have lost pet-companions in the past year or more. My apologies for not sending my condolences to all of you at those times (Stand with Pork Chop, Far North, Dennis). For me it is sad and taking an animal to the vet for the last time is an incredibly sad experience.
    Ken, those of us that have been following this site for so long have watched Sampson grow up and grow old. Over the years he became, in a sense, our dog.
    This site is/has become very popular over the years and Sampson was a big part in adding levity to the articles and life in general. Thanks for sharing the adventures of Sampson with us all these years.
    In addition to the Rainbow Bridge, I also found some solace in the book Marley and Me by a journalist named Grogan. (now made into a movie). For me, the other side of the Rainbow Bridge is getting mighty crowded and one will see that I was one of the crazy cat people when I cross over. I have at least one dog in the house to help herd the cats at all times.
    To all of us that go to work and pull out dog treats from one pocket/poop bags from the other pocket.

  60. Samson has crossed the Rainbow Bridge and when you and Ms get up there, he will be waiting to greet you.
    We lost our Priscilla in 2014, and though we have had lots of beloved pets up until her, she was something special. We haven’t been able to get another pet since.

  61. Ken you will see Sampson again and share joy again with him.

    Your in my prayers


  62. My deeepest condolences to you and your family on the loss of your little buddy. I have owned dogs since I was 10yrs old. The worst part of owning a dog is when it is time to say goodbye. will be your friend when one is ready to find another buddy…!!!

    All of my dogs except the first one, have been rescues….

  63. Today is Day 5 for us having lost our best friend, Sampson. Thank you to all who have posted your thougts. We have read them all, and it has helped to hear from other dog people who understand this emotional shock and grief. We’re getting through it a day at a time. Hour by hour, and even sometimes minute by minute. The days since his passing has exposed the stunning extent as to how he was interwoven into our lives, routines, thoughts, and behaviors. We were his pack, 24/7. And he, ours. When that’s all gone, life feels empty. The house is so quiet now. We’ve gone through many a Kleenex. But we know it’s a process. A long one. The mind’s thoughts keep coming back to that warm bundle of love. And that our grief seems directly proportional to our shared loved with him these 13 years. Our lives will never be the same without Sampson. Those chapters of our lives are now closed. Where we go from here, remains to unfold. Until then, we seek the strength to carry on. I hope to begin posting again pretty soon. Life goes on. Thanks again for your consoling words.

    Ken and Mrs.J

    Although it’s difficult right now to go through pictures (more Kleenex needed), I want to post two more. One, Sampson snuggled next to me on a recliner as I work on the MSB laptop. Another, Sampson in a common position, snoozing on my lap. What an absolute lovebug he was/is…

    1. Ken –

      When my daughter lost her Mitzi at 16 years old she was a complete wreck. They were inseparable. My daughter even did the whole phoney-baloney “Emotional Support Dog” certification, do they could travel together in the main cabin. We started to worry about her despondency a week after Mitzi’s passing. In her case the ONLY thing that pulled her out of it was a visit to the county animal shelter. Magic happened there. No thing or no dog could ever replace Mitzi. But whoa oh Black Betty (ram-ba-lam) has opened a new chapter of joy and love which filled that blasted hole in her heart almost instantly. FWIW.

    2. Ken, I have been out of pocket for months. First time back and I hear the sad news about Sampson passing away. Most here totally understand the grief you and the missus are going through. We too grieve over our MSB mascot passing. There maybe one who comes afterwards but they never replace the one we lost. Fortunately for us they have their own route to our hearts…

    3. My deepest sympathies to you and Mrs J and everyone else who has lost a loved one. I love the photos.
      All my pets were dumped strays that we took in. What big blessings these were, completely unexpected. God planned these pets into our lives (when we were growing up) as a means to teach us how to be better people. As others have mentioned above that better than most people, they show love, loyalty, good companionship and mischievous cheek at times. Great role-models.
      Some more good can come from this. May I point out that my cat of 13 years developed thyroid disease, after breathing in the toxic fumes from a house newly carpeted and fuming out toxic vapors. As I was moving into a rental, at the time, I could not avoid this causing her thyroid issues, which eventually took her life. People, please research whatever chemicals you use for your next renovation / project as to their likely toxic side-effects on you, and your loved ones. Seek out safer ones, if you can.

  64. Ken, reading it and I have tears in my eyes. I feel your pain. I hope it gets better.

  65. The candle that burns twice as bright burns half as long and our companions truly burn bright in our souls. They are true members of a family. Your loss takes me down the memory road where I walked many a mile with my many companions. Find peace in the memories.

  66. I’m sorry for your loss. I hope the pain in your hearts will be eased by the beautiful memories you shared with Sampson.
    My Condolences,

  67. I feel your grief, lost my best pal MC my pit and my Beloved wife both last year, and nothing can help, absolutely nothing, but TIME. Only God and Time. Tough Men Do Cry! Trekker Out

  68. So sorry, praying for God to comfort you and the Mrs. I know how heart breaking it is. Thank you for sharing those precious photos of him. What a blessing that you had him for 13 years, and he clearly had such a terrific life and family <3

  69. Ken and Mrs. J…so very sorry to read of Samson’s passing…I had a beautiful, red long-haired dachshund named Beau…he lived to 18…and it broke my heart when he died. I believe in the Rainbow Bridge, and know that we will be re-united one day…until then, he will always remain a part of my heart. I now rescue dogs who are looking for a furever home…and it is very rewarding to receive that unconditional love…it’s just meant to be shared…Blessings~

  70. It has been three weeks and a day. I miss my little-bud…

    2017 – Sampson wearing his sheriff hat

    1. Ken, my heart just aches for you, because I know EXACTLY how you feel. I wish I had words, but I don’t. It will get some what better, but it takes time and strength. You have both.
      God Bless you and your buddy SAMPSON.

    2. Ken J.,
      it’s a hole in our heart when a beloved family member passes. our dogs are like our children to us but we know that they will not live forever. we have always had it least three. our beloved lab, Moses, passed two years ago and the two we had left were as sick as we were. they would look for and call out for him every day. three months later a stray came into our lives and filled the void. a border collie, he’s a good boy and SMART.
      it’s all good now. it’s just the circle of life.
      take care.
      ” this too shall pass ”
      when things are bad: remember: it won’t always be this way. take one day at a time.
      when things are good:remember it won’t always be this way.
      enjoy every great moment.
      “This too shall pass” is a Persian adage that expresses that our life is made of little and passing moments.

  71. I’m so sorry to hear about your wonderful dog. We understand such enormous grief for the innocent creatures God gives us to take care of. And what would heaven be without our dogs? Much love to you and your DW as you work through this.

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