Sampson’s Story

by John Delach

The following is a guest story written by my daughter, Beth.

I had avoided getting a dog for some time but my days were numbered. My excuses (our family move, young children, summer vacation) were running out and the day of reckoning was coming.


Late last August I had lunch with our 12-year old, Marlowe and my husband, Tom and they really put the pressure on –When were we going to get a dog? They were tired of my excuses and concerns and they were ready. Tom and I walked away from that lunch in different corners but quickly resolved our differences, as modern couples do, over text messages. I texted Tom that we should talk to our neighbor, Mark, who lived with a small, older rescue dog named P.B. to think about how we could do something similar. We reasoned that finding a dog, a little older and maybe lightly trained would make the whole situation easier. We left it at that.


I woke up early the next day, a Saturday morning, to head to the local bagel store. As I was getting ready to leave our doorbell rang. It was Mark from next door – he asked me to step into the hallway because he had a question for me. I thought he was asking us to dog sit for P.B. as we had done earlier in the summer.


Dog sitting was not on his mind but dogs were. He explained that he had had dinner at the new Thai restaurant across the street from our building and that the owner A. (short for a very long Thai name) had approached him during his dinner. It seems that A. had found a dog tied up two blocks over from our building on Friday morning. The dog was scruffy and alone except for an empty bowl of food. A. already had a dog – plus she had just opened a new restaurant – and she could not keep the dog she found. In fact, when she first saw the dog tied up she just passed him and went home. A true animal lover, A. could not stop thinking about this poor dog’s predicament and within an hour of returning home she went back and rescued him. A. had named him Sampson and Mark thought of us immediately when A. asked him about taking Sampson home.


I was a little overwhelmed by Mark’s proposition – Is this it? Is this how we wind up with a dog? I decided to take the kids to get bagels and leave Tom sleeping and revisit this all in a few hours.


As I headed out of my building with my kids in tow there was A. across the street walking her dog and Sampson. She knew we wanted a dog from Mark and we all stopped on the sidewalk for what would become a life changing transaction. A. introduced us to this small furry creature with a cheerful disposition and a serious under bite. He was beyond what we could have hoped for, small but sturdy, hypoallergenic and friendly. I told the kids to go get their father and Tom came to meet us from a sound sleep. After all agreeing, A. handed us Sampson’s leash and he was ours. Suffice to say, we never saw those bagels.


We took him to the Vet and learned that he had no chip, weighed around 16 pounds and was between 1 and 2 years old. We kept the name Sampson because it seemed to suit him. And, thus began our adventure of dog ownership.


Needless to say he is the love of our lives. Most of my original worries were fulfilled – the dog walker costs a fortune, as do all dog expenses, the kids don’t help nearly as much as they promised they would and he has occasional accidents. But owning a dog is not a rationale decision, it is an emotional one and he has captured all of hearts.


 I would be remiss if I did not note that Sampson has a particular love for my parents’ dog Max. Max, who some may know is the Robert Redford of Golden Retrievers, views Sampson as an unfortunate small beast to be sniffed and dismissed on each occasion they meet. Once Max creates action, Sampson insists on participating by biting Max’s back legs. To date, Max has refused to acknowledge this annoyance.