I blogged Birth Stories for each of my kids, so it’s only fair that Samson gets one too…
So we’ve never had a family dog. We always figured we’d eventually get one, but between babies and many many moves, we never felt settled enough for it. Until now of course. We started really discussing it about a year ago and put A LOT of research in to breeds. Not only do we prefer larger, long haired dogs, we also needed to accommodate for Knox’s and my allergies, and of course a kid-friendly nature was a must. Fairly quickly we narrowed it down to a Labradoodle or Old English Sheepdog and in the end we just felt that the OES was more Us. (The fact that some of the more beloved Disney dogs were OES may or may not have played a part in
my our decision…)
Sooo back in September I found a fairly local breeder, the only one that I know of in Texas. Long story short - she was expecting a litter, it turned out to be a false pregnancy, so she referred me to another reputable breeder in Kansas who was expecting several litters. After speaking with the new breeder we decided to put down a deposit for a pup. And this was way back in October.
Our Samson was born as “Gabriel” on November 27th, 2012, to Gracie and Hoss.
He was one of eight - 5 boys, 3 girls. We got to watch Gracie’s pups grow via pics over the next several weeks, and on December 27th, as we were making our way back to Memphis for Christmas with our families, we picked “Gabriel” as our final choice…
We loved his big boxy head, beautiful markings, and the fact that he has 2 crystal blue eyes! Not an everyday occurrence for sheepies.
Our baby continued to grow big and strong over the next month until he was cleared to come home at 8 weeks… Meanwhile Knox and Hadley are oblivious to it all!
Oh my what a journey our boy had! Originally he was supposed to fly in on Monday January 21st, but the Airline cancelled due to dangerously low temps in Kansas. The breeder found another airline who offered climate controlled shipping and booked his flight for Tuesday instead.
Samson was set to arrive at the airport at 3:40 and James was going to pick him up after work, but he “missed his connecting flight” in Houston so he didn’t get in til 8pm. Poor baby! His 1st flight left Kansas at 11am, so that’s over 9 hours in a crate. I felt so bad for him :( Not to mention it sort of complicated our big SURPRISE plans for the kids, but we still made it work.
James went to pick him up after dinner and I pulled out all the snacks and a movie (101 Dalmations, of course!) to keep the kids awake and happy until he arrived.
Meanwhile, I was setting up for the big arrival in the den.
On the name… We threw around a few, but after seeing him we (okay, I) just felt he was a Samson. Strong, hairy, gentle giant… Don’t you love the biblical parallel there :)
I gave James strict orders to send me a pic as soon as he saw him (see above) and to text me when he got here so that I could meet him first. I mean I‘m his new Mama. We needed to bond :)
James had his crate in the passenger seat, facing him. He’d had the door open and been rubbing him the entire way home. I’d also sent a treat for him to eat and his Duckie lovey. Already spoiled!
We told the kids that we had a big surprise for them. (A BIG surprise, then bed because it was already 9pm!) We had them sit in the den with their eyes shut…
The moment Knox opened his eyes. Priceless!
We had the video camera set up on the tripod…
Knox has been asking for a dog for SO long, he kept asking us if this was really OUR dog and if he was going to stay here everyday.
Poor Samson. As if his day wasn’t traumatic enough, he gets ambushed by these little people.
I loved his first few moments in the house. He was timid and excited all at the same time, just taking it all in. It didn’t take him long to warm up.
Knox is so proud of his dog (and that’s what he says - “MY dog”), he wants to tell everyone about Samson. When I put him to bed that night he asked where Samson was going to sleep (the crate) and he asked if Samson could open the door. Umm no. That was very concerning to him and he said, I quote, “Mommy, in the morning you be sure to open your eyes and open my dog’s door!”
I knew this would happen! Hadley is a HUGE animal lover, especially dogs, and such a nurturer at heart. Samson is her new baby doll… More on that in Part 2, but let’s just say that the hardest part of adjusting to life with a new puppy, has NOT been the puppy… #exhausting
Ok, I’m a dog person but more in the sense that I Like dogs. I Like them, but I’ve always kind of liked control and order and a clean house more, which is probably why it’s taken us so long to actually get one, and why I almost got cold feet on it several times, right up until the day before he came home.
But oh my gosh, there’s just something about a puppy… Something about knowing he is YOURS. That he was just taken from his real mama, has had the most traumatic day, but that he feels safe in your arms. Just like that, you’re his mommy.
I may only Like dogs, but it didn’t take me 3 minutes to LOVE Mr. Samson.
We were able to get him to eat a decent amount, then once the kids went to bed he passed out as I rubbed his belly…
…Samson’s first night, trip to the doctor, and first day coming up in Part 2 :)