While I’ve grown up I’ve always had dogs around, most of the time they have been German Shepherds Labrador Retrievers or a mix there of. The first dog that I can remember having was a Shepherd named Princess, for as long as I could remember she was blind from cataracts, but I remember as a little boy how she would always know where she was going and whom she was with. She also had very bad arthritis and it was difficult for her to walk some times. But despite all of that she was also very protective of us kids. But then one day she wasn’t around anymore, and when we asked my parents where she went; they said she was old and that old dogs some times leave to die. That they don’t want to die with their families because it would be a bad thing to deal with. It wasn’t until much later in life that I realized my grandfather had her put down. She was a good dog. Around the time Princes was old my grandfather got another German Shepherd. They guy he got it from said his name was Maple, but my grandfather didn’t know English every well and thought the man said apple, so apple was his name since then. Apple was more independent then Princess, I probably only thing that because I knew apple in his prime while I know Princes while she was an older lady. But apple was gentle and playful. Apple was also put down when he got to old, but by this time we where old enough to know what was going on. The first dog that we had, that was actually us kids was a golden retriever named Lightning. He was more aggressive then Apple was, but the two got along well and Apple was the dominate one. Lightning was more adventures then both of the Shepherds. I have a lot of great memories trekking through the mud and the muck with that dog. He to got too old one day to soon and he too had to be put down. We didn’t have another dog for a while until for my birthday we got Elmo, another Shepherd, but he must have been mixed with something else as he was much smaller then Princes or Apple. Elmo was a good dog as well and a good companion. People would always call him a stupid dog, on account of this goofy face he always had on, but he was my dog and so I would have none of it when people said it. The face might have been goffie but it was because he was always smiling and they just hadn’t seen a dog smile as much as him is all, he was a happy dog. But unfortunately his happiness could not save him from his tragic ending. A few years. 3 or 4, after we got him, which was as a pup, my parents bought their home and we moved out of my grandfathers home. The plan was to leave Elmo with my grandfather for a little while as we settled into the new house and got things set up. The two hours where only blocks apart so we saw Elmo everyday and had him over in the backyard. Emlo from that point had a tendency to jump the fence at my grandfathers house and come over to our new house. We would take him back and a few days latter he’d do it again. Well that was dangerous so my grandfather started to tie him up while he was outside. Well one day with out thinking my grandfather left the gate one to the back yard, and when open it was just long enough to reach to where Elmo was tied up. Elmo, who had no learned that jumping said fence meant he could come see us, jumped that open gate yet the leash that was holding him was not long enough to get him to the ground. It was a few hoarse before my grandfather found him. I remember the night my father came to pick me up from work, he looked acquired like he had to tell me something but didn’t know how. She like my dad is, he cut to the chase and said “Your dogs dead” and then explained what happened. I was devastated that night. I think out of all the pets I’ve ever lost its Elmo who I most want to see again, him and his goofy face. After Elmo, we didn’t get another pet for close to ten years, until my mother feeling lonely now that he kids had all grown up and all but moved out of her home wanted something to take care of. That’s when we got Molly a Cocker Spaniel, she took to me right away as it was me who was up late at night taking care of her. As we left the crate behind she would sleep with me. Molly and I parted ways when I got married and moved out of the house. She’s still doing good. Since moving into our own home my wife has wanted a dog of her own. She had always wanted a Basset hound so we searched the Web for a Basset rescue in our area. It was quite a trek to get there, but where happy when we did. The place was nice and the people friendly. They interview us and we told them we where looking for a younger dog, it didn’t have to be a pup but we didn’t want an dog that had more years behind then in front. They didn’t have any at the time, but they said they liked us and would keep us in mind if they ever did. A few months went by and they called us and said an abandoned pup was found and they had rescued her. They asked if we wouldn’t mind coming back and being interviewed again. We did, then went home and we week latter we went back up to them and picked her up. We named her Samantha after a Basset doll I use to have when I was a young boy, I carried that doll every where I went. We call her Sammy for short. The funny thing is she has that same Goofy look that Emlo use to have. Its so cute.