Sammi Jo by Jennifer Gulseth / Mom

I am writing about my very best friend,
who I am still deeply mourning after almost a year.

Her story starts the summer of 1993. I worked in a hospital where I happened to be glancing out the window one day. A black puppy named Sadie was tied up to the porch. Her tail was wagging as her owner walked up to the house. As any puppy would, Sadie jumped up on her owner to see him. Apparently he didn’t like that because he started kicking her until she fell over unconscious. At this time I was only 22 years old, living in a very small town in northern Minnesota. Animal rights were not the “in” thing. Everyone told me to mind my own business, but I couldn’t get her out of my mind. A couple of weeks later I got up the nerve and knocked on the owners door. I made myself all teary-eyed, and told the owner that my dog had just died (which it hadn’t, but he didn’t know that). He had three or four other dogs, so I asked him if he would be willing to let me have the black puppy. He told me I could take her for $20.00. I gave him the money and
got her out of that horrible place.

I renamed her “Sammi Jo”, and she spent the next 9 1/2 years repaying me. She was the most loving, loyal, protective dog with the funniest personality. She was my very best friend.

Last April she started to limp. I took her to the vet, where she had numerous tests. No one could say for sure, but the x-rays looked as though she had swelling around one of the discs in her back. The doctor put her on prednisone, but she continued to deteriorate. I could have taken to the university for surgery, but at almost 10 years old, the vet told me she didn’t have a very good chance of recovering.

A week later, I got home from work and found her completely paralyzed. My husband lifted her into our van as she screamed in pain, and we took the grueling 25 mile ride back to the vet. There, as I whispered “I love you” in her ear, she was finally put out of her misery.

I honestly think a part of me died with her that day. I had her cremated, and she sits in my bedroom where she loved to be. Some people say pets don’t go to Heaven-that they don’t have a soul. I don’t believe that for a second. But just in case, I’m having her buried with me. I figure I’ll get her there one way or another.

Sammi Jo, I miss you so much. You will always be the best friend I ever had. I hope and pray that you are up in Heaven where
I will join you one day.


I Love You-
Sammi Jo
Jennifer Gulseth