Sammie’s story isn’t as sad in some ways as others who we have helped, but just as heartbreaking in others straight from the source. He had been with the same family for 10 years and due to a change in the family circumstances, they were heartbroken to not be able to look after him anymore and took the painful decision to surrender him to Labradors in Need.

In July last year I was asked if I would be able to help out fostering an old boy. I had fostered for another rescue before this and have to say I was dubious about agreeing to do so again. After a discussion with the trustees and other volunteers, I decided to give it another go. I have to say admin sent me picture they had taken during his assessment and I was already a little in love before I had met him!

I was worried though as I live in the country spending ½ my life on a smallholding with sheep and chickens and such like, plus 3 cats at home. Sammie was a town dog, with no experience of living with cats and no real interaction with farm animals! (I must have been crazy!) The first couple of weeks were interesting to say the least. Sam would ignore cats completely out of the house, but my cats being raised with dogs thought he should be in integral part of their pride, much to Sam’s annoyance! So the baby gates came out, that way the cats could get out the way once they had harassed him enough, and gave him time to get used to them. Sheep to Sammie were just great big dogs to be played with, and chickens were really funny when they all took to the air when you ran at them! Within a few weeks he had realised that the chickens and sheep did not want to play, and foster mummy made big fusses when he ignored them. The cats took a little longer, but we have gotten there now, he still likes to chase them occasionally, but like everything with Sammie, there is never malice, just cheekiness! And he walks away with a big smile on his face with the cats following behind him!

We didn’t know Sammie had separation issues, and the 1st time we left him on his own we came back to him sitting with his head out of the hole that was once the cat flap, with the cat flap around his neck! And though he still struggles with this, he is so much better then he was. I may make it sound like it was stressful, but honestly condensing this makes it sound so much worse!

Needless to say, I adopted Sammie in October last year. Samson is a kind, youthful, loving cheeky chap, who has given me his love wholeheartedly and unconditionally in such a short time. My life would not be complete without my daft buffoon! He keeps my son and I company and is always there at the end of the day and with a slobbery kiss and a wag of his tail makes my day so much brighter. He completes me in a way I thought would never happen again after the loss of my last dog.

Anyone who is thinking of adopting one of our rescues please do not over look our oldies, I have never regretted it, just because they are older doesn’t mean they have less love to give! I know I may not have him with me for more than perhaps 5 years or so, but he will always have a warm and comfortable bed and a loving home for however long he is with us.