“The next time Samson spent a morning in bed was the morning after we got Pebbles. It had been rather horrific weather all week and it was fair to assume that storm season was upon us. The rain had been refusing to let up for a few days and I had been monitoring it from the front window. I remember staring up at the sky and searching for a blue break in the sea of grey, yet the break never seemed to come. Day after day the rain seemed to be worsening until I eventually I was struggling to see out of the window. It was over a week since I had last managed to make a run to the shop and the weather seemed unwilling to make the trip any easier. It reached Thursday and following two nights of cereal for dinner the cupboards were practically bare and I realised I had no choice other than to make a break for it. It was still fairly early but I saw the hail turn back to rain and thought I would take my opportunity. I threw on Samson’s rain coat which was conveniently placed over a chair by the door and held my shopping bags above my head in a deluded attempt to remain moderately dry. I don’t think that I have ever run so far in my life yet it seemed not to do anything. As I ran the weather worsened until it was hailing once more and I felt obliged to take shelter in the door way of a puppy shelter. After ten minutes I decided to venture inside and wait in the warm for the weather to calm down once more. After three hours I was still stood in the puppy shelter looking down at the noisy, messy pups rolling on top of one another. I was lucky that the shelter had a phone or else I would not have been able to call Samson to warn him I may not be home for lunch. When I called him he seemed to find the situation much funnier than I did and told me to hold on a moment. After that he hung up, I was fuming. He could be very infuriating sometimes. Ten minutes later in ran Samson, wearing my little pink rain coat which hardly covered his chest. He pushed into the shelter bursting with laughter and threw his arms around my shoulders mocking my fear of the rain. And that’s when Samson met Pebbles. He saw him over my shoulder looking dirtier and messier than the rest of the excitable puppies and he realised that he had to have him. He paid the fees on the spot bundled the little feller into his coat and made a dash for it. The next morning I awoke to find little Pebbles sleeping soundly on the shoulder of Samson. I pulled myself out of bed and went to get a cup of tea and a few hours later wondered back into the bedroom to find that Samson was still in bed playing with Pebbles. Those two were always inseparable. Samson never went anywhere without Pebbles.
The last time Samson slept in was 4th October last year. I remember it so clearly, the day after our Rosie passed. Cancer. Isn’t it funny how those five letters have the capability to devastate a nation? Rosie had fought so hard, become so fragile and in the end I could tell she had given up. She first was diagnosed with it when she was five, when we were told she slid her little hand into my own and told me “it’s alright mummy, I am stronger than I look.” And strong she was. She fought so hard and her faith never once wavered. No mother should ever have to read a letter to Santa telling him that all her little girl wanted for Christmas was for him to make sure that no one would ever have to get cancer again. She beat it by six and by seven had fully bounced back, the only difference was that she was wiser. She had lost the innocence my little girl had once possessed. Other than that Rosie was healthy on the most part. Of course she had a few colds and coughs here and there but never anything serious. The next time I saw my little girl in hospital was when she had a daughter of her own. Desperate not to be my step mother I asked her where she would want I and she asked me to stand by her side, in the same way I had done her whole life. Stephanie, my granddaughter, she is 11 now. So when her mother died she was only ten. She seemed worse off this time round yet her faith still did not waver. She never complained but I could tell she was not well. Call it mother’s intuition. Rosie had always been a daddy’s girl, so as soon as she was diagnosed the second time round Samson was not going to waste a moment with his precious little girl. He remembered her telling him how she had always wanted to summit a mountain and so Samson went about assisting his little girl achieve her goal. He walked with her as far as she could go and when she couldn’t walk any further her father, who was not the strongest man himself, picked her up into his arms and carried her the rest of the way. He carried her like he did when she was a babe. Looking at her with the same love and devotion he had since the first time he laid eyes on her. The love held between a father and his little girl was a love stronger than any other. “I have fought all my life dad, I don’t want to fight anymore.” She had said on the day she left us. I remember Samson telling me to go home and that he could handle it from there. I cannot say what happened from there on in, all I know is when he returned that night my little girl had gone. The next morning he would not get out of bed. He said it could not possibly be morning yet for there was no light. I opened the curtain to reveal the sun but he wouldn’t hear a word of it. He told me that all light in his life had gone.”