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Rich Lafferty's Journal

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Goodbye, Sam.
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This past weekend, while I was in retreat, our family dog Sam passed away at the age of 15.

Sam


15 is very old for a dog as big as Sam, the equivalent of about 93 human years, and as is typical for big dogs, his hips had deteriorated to the point where it was painful for him to walk. But the last time I saw him, at Christmas, he was the same happy mutt he'd always been since he was a tiny puppy who "wasn't going to get THAT big".

Sam puppy!


Those giant paws should've been a giveaway!

Before Sam I wasn't really a dog person. We'd always had cats growing up, But Sam was a Good Dog, friendly with everyone, gentle, affectionate, and completely devoted to my father. "He turned me into a dog person," I told Dad when he let me know. "Yeah, he turned a lot of people into dog people."

(And you were a good dog owner, Dad, Sam was lucky you adopted him. He was one happy and well-cared-for dog.)

I don't have much more to say. I know Sam's karma will protect him as he moves from this realm to the next, and I know that Sam left behind a lot of happy memories to fill the hole his passing created.

My stepmother Golda commissioned a painting of Sam shortly before he passed away from a local artist, Jesus Estevez:



Thanks, Sam, you were the best dog.



Candice and I held a brief memorial service for Sam.

O Buddhas and Bodhisattvas,
abiding in all directions,
endowed with great compassion,
endowed with fore-knowledge
endowed with the divine eye,
endowed with love,
affording protection to sentient beings,
consent through the power of your
great compassion to come forth.
Consent to accept these offerings concretely laid out and mentally created.

O Compassionate Ones,
you who possess the wisdom of understanding,
the love of compassion,
the power of doing divine deeds and of protecting in incomprehensible measure,
Sam is passing from this world to the next.
He is taking a great leap.
The light of this world has faded for him.
He has entered solitude with his karmic forces.
He has gone into a vast Silence.
He is borne away by the Great Ocean
of birth and death.

O Compassionate Ones,
protect Sam, who is defenseless.
Be to him like a father and a mother.

O Compassionate Ones,
let not the force of your compassion be weak,
but aid him.
Forget not your ancient vows.


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oh i'm so sorry. what a beautiful tribute you gave him here. the photos are wonderful and i must say the portrait is really good.

the impact animals have on our lives is such a big one, and the attachments are huge. i couldn't live without them.

RIP Sam. sounds like you had a lovely life.