Posting a Boxer in Need

I'm sure everyone knows how much I love animals. I was contacted today by a rescuer friend of mine with the sad story of a Boxer named Sam. He's been in animal control, had heartworms and been shot. Now he's losing his home for a second time. If anyone out there can help Sam. Please refer to the contact information below and help us find this big guy a home.

My name is Vickie Criswell and I am the proud Mom, caregiver and best friend to a wonderful two and half to 3 year old Boxer name Sam.
He understands all of his names such as Big Boy Sam, (Mom is Proud) or Dam Sam (what did I do this time?) Sammy Baby (mom is a push over sometimes). We also have another furry love one, a Lhasa Apso named Friso, he was adopt about 11+ years ago. Back to me. I am a 67 years old, 5 ft grandmother who had admired the boxer breed for many years. I had looked many times on Pet Finder at Boxers but wasn't sure or the time was right.
I thought Frisco needed a friend so I decided to stop at our the animal shelter our Sherriff’s department ran (old SPCA) and there was Sam. I went back each week for 3 weeks before I said yes, I committed to him .As far as I know had I not taken him the shelter would have put him down. Have you ever seen the space shuttle take off. All the fire power from the rockets, seem pale compared with the impact Sammy Baby made in my life. It started like this he had a slight cough and needed to be neutered. I told the sheriffs dept I want to take him to Frisco’s vet and have them check him before neutering him. 8:45 next morning vet called I have to get him out of vet office because he may have kennel cough. (I did understand) no neutering. Sheriff deputy left said he was mine. I got dressed and ran over there I was told kennel cough and he needed medicine, big cost, he has heart worms, huge price, neutering later, cash check or charge card, out door.(slam bam thank you - funny now but the vet was good) I regained some brain power, when I realized I was sitting in my car with a BIG dog I knew nothing about, plus a bag of medicine I was suppose to put in that big mouth. Did he like to ride, had he ever rode before, did he get car sick, was he going to jump over the back and take part of my head off. What had I done? It seems so funny now, but did I tell you his adoption made a lot of fire works, in my life . Also I was worried about my Frisco if Sam did have kennel cough. What was going to happen when I got him home????? While all of this was going on in the back of my mind I remember the sheriff Deputy said if the dog was sick I could bring him back and get my money back. They would put him down for sure, I had committed and that was not an option for me. The next months at least 4 seem to be filled with just taking care of him, get him well, vet visits, medicine, a large sum of money spent that I could not afford. The truth is if I was reading about someone else I would say they were crazy as a bed bug. But we don't know our destiny. Now I will say How very much I would have missed out on. All the love, joy happiness, companionship, laughter and just plain keeping your heart warm I would have missed far out weighed anything I needed to do for him to be part of my family.

SAM and his new life.
We headed for the front door and the last huge problem for the day I hoped. Would he and Frisco get along. If he tried to bite Frisco I would take him back. Frisco is a little afraid of large dogs. (that ended) they smell each other with distance between, each went to their own corner. One of us was nearly always home and if we did leave I would shut Frisco in the bedroom for about 6 weeks. Just until I felt they would not fight each other.
My husband was not a happy camper with me and a large unknown dog. Sam is devoted to me I never question that. But I would say within hours and certainly by the next day he was my husband’s dog. A man must have owned him before. Two days and it was clear I was probably number two on his list and my husband was a happy man with Sam. I was very happy because they had bonded other than the hand. I like to walk and knew I would walk him at least 2 miles a day but with him sick that idea had to go on hold. He needed time to get to know us first. My husband started taking him on short walks. They visited a neighbor behind us. Went by there a few days later Sam snapped at the man not what you would call a bite but a little spot did bleed. My son was here holding clothes from cleaners walked to Sam pulled out his hand to pet him Sam caught the edge of his hand. Later my grown daughter was throwing the ball to him he bit her hand. I cannot imagine me keeping a dog that would bite. But somewhere I seem to have blind faith in Sam. Somewhere about this time I took Sam to the vet he was having so much stomach problems and coughing again. We did an x-ray of his throat that was fine but they found his stomach full of shots. No visible marks when he was adopted. We don't know how long they have been there. While going to the vet he has jumped up in the face of one of the people working there. He has done this a couple of times. He will growl and that growl sounds like he will eat you alive then he jumps down. The vets call him unpredictable. Something about the hand, I don't know but I do know he has not tried to bite or gone after anyone ever.
My husband started walking him just around our little block. Oh the best part my husband found if he pulled his socks a little to start he could call Sam and he would pulled my husband socks off.They both had a good time.
Sam's good Sam's bad.
I think a man had him before that whistle. Bad news I can't. If you whistle he will come running. If someone comes to your front door he doesn't know he will do a spread eagle on the door and let the people know they have been seen. Once a new mailman just laid my mail on the porch, boxer is 1 ft away. Sam is big is loud and has a big mouth people are sometimes afraid of him just because of that. If the front door bell rings he knows that sound and takes off running to the front door and not happy. If a car horn blows (even on TV he has the same reaction. All of this was taught-caused by a past owner. Something I have never dealt with before I guess you would call car aggression. I had a station wagon. when inside the car if anyone comes near it he starts growling barks and is not happy. I think that about covers his bad points if not I will come back to it. In my opinion all of these were caused by some past owner.
Note here- the pecking order in this house Frisco thinks he is first then me then Sam. But Frisco has helped teach Sam some things he can or cannot do.

Sam's good.
For me I love Frisco very much. But we three seem to have found our place in this life. I take care of Frisco and Sam takes care of me. Sam doesn't know he is 68 lbs. He follows me everywhere. He wants to sit on my lap and be where I am most of the time. There is no one else here but I have to close the bathroom door or he gets a little too close. I laid vinyl tile in my kitchen he smelled of nearly every tile until he got board. He is always around. It will take me a long time to not throw my hand back as I walk and come in contact with his mouth then have to wipe the slobber off my hand. Sam for whatever reason is very afraid of small dogs. He will run if possible but if backed in a corner he could bite out of fear. It took us a while to understand that but it has worked very good between Sam and Frisco. It has also made them act like two children. I have seen Frisco get in the middle of my couch lay there and growl at Sam who barks at me because he wants to lay on the couch it is his bed time. They can go on for over a half hr doing this.
The biting of a hand I have spent a long time teaching him the hand will not hurt him. He is a cheese alcoholic. And yes I know human food is bad for dogs. But it helped teach him about the hand. I fix mac and cheese using the lowest in salt and fat I can find. I use app. a third of the sauce on the noodles. He loves to eat that out of my hand. Not to much but he is happy guy.

Sam is an inside dog he has never made a deposit of any kind in my house. I am sure he was an inside dog before me. He does not like heat or do well in the hot sun. I have a small fenced in yard but he never wants to be out to long. Oh, he hates snow, I mean he really hates snow. When it snows he hates to go out and will wait until it is coming out his ears.

Sam did have stomach problems. He can not eat Science diet. He is on Blue Buffalo. It is expensive and I am sure something less expensive would work. But it has been a long time since he had stomach problems.

Sam did snap at people’s hands again that was a year and half ago. He has a very different view now. But can he do it again that is possible. I have failed Sam in so many ways. I feel like I have been so unfair to him and not the best parent for him. Not by choice. We were working on Sam’s taking longer walks but my husband was getting tired. Doctor said virus. He stopped and I had a small job and could not take up the slack. My husband died some months later with cancer. And then there were three.

True story Frisco always slept on my bed or under it his choice. He would not let Sam in the bedroom. I decided that was a good thing. He never came in. NOT the night he died but the night before ,my husband died, I started to bed and Sam was lying on my bed. I was so surprised started to try to move him but just to tired. Sam slept with me for many nights. Even that with Sam can be an event. First he has to get on the bed. He wants to be first before Frisco. Closeness counts. Thank goodness he goes to bed around 10:30-11:00 and doesn't sleep with me to often. Once he goes to sleep unless you have a back hoe you will not move him.

I bought a truck because of moving, 4 doors so Sam had room in the back. I let the boys work it out who rode where. Frisco does not ride well, he likes to hide. He likes the back with the option of jumping up front a few times. SO, Sam is riding in the front seat with me. Note here Sam is a great rider he can ride for 2-3 hours at the time, no problem. So if you ever see a little old lady with a big Boxer in the front seat, driving a little cherry red truck that could be us. The good news is by being in the front seat I could talk to Sam better, and take control. That means I am hungry and you will NOT Bark at the McDonald’s people. It is amazing how much I calm him down just by having him close to me. Now when I am not there he still guards the truck. This past year he has needed so much that I could not give him. About 3 months after my husband died I was told I needed some major surgery, the next week after that I was told I needed gallbladder surgery, all of which were put on hold for a while because of a tooth abscess. Now I am in the middle of selling my home of 20yrs. How I kept going I am not sure but one thing is clear Sam was a major player in keeping me going. It was the belly flop at night and the words I can't put in print I would say. The mornings when you wake up might have just laid there. Sam had other ideas.
I am sitting in my recliner now he is asleep beside me, first he sits down with his back to me, that means scratch my ears. Sam is very trainable, he understands the word no and he understands he has to stop what he is doing. Somebody was watching over me because they gave me Sam to fill some big voids in my life. I am not happy with myself but I just don't seem to have the energy level to give to Sam that he needs. He needs people around him where things are going on. He needs someone that can take the time to socialize him more than me. Its pretty much been just us this past year. People come I put him in the bedroom. He does love my 21 year old grandson. He is no problem except to excited when my daughter-granddaughter -another daughter come to see us. But overall I have done nothing toward training on these problems. I do not know how he is with children, other dogs, no small dogs, larger dogs I only have through the fence reaction, but he seems fine. No he does not like cats

My house is supposed to be sold closing 6-30 or maybe the next week. I had to move somewhere another big unwanted decision. The place I am going has no yard for Sam with many people and kids walking around. There is nowhere for Sam. I should have written this letter before now. If this sounds disconnected it probably is. It has taken me all day to write it. You just have to stop and let it out once in a while.I am not going to reread it I can't. Sam is so full of love and caring you can't help but love him. My vet said he may have a hard time without me.If you adopted from another county they may not understand English. With Sam it might take him a while to settle in just remember he has to learn your language style. I have been told he might be better to put him down. The thing I fear most is someone taking him then beating him and turning him into a mean dog or dog bait in a dog fight. I would rather put him down than see that happen. I don't know how I am going to handle this. You say your prayers pat your dog and with the feeling of being, loved go to sleep. So with tears in my eyes and such a heavy sad heart Sam needs a home, One that I am sure, they will not let him go to just anyone or best to someone that can give him a good home forever.
Sam has all shots-on -Frontline-Heartguard

I live in Wilson NC----you may call me home- 252-291-9349

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