Even if they knew Samson would have a short life Ric and Sue Heimke would have adopted him anyway. The Golden Retriever lived with them for just over a year. A large tumor was found on his esophagus and his condition deteriorated fast. He was around 5 years old when he died in January.  He came to Memphis Area Golden Retriever Rescue after a jogger in rural Arkansas found him wandering. She searched for the owner through the normal channels, but no one responded. She called MAGRR and we picked him up.


It was clear he had a serious trouble with his breathing when he got excited.  The couple adopted him even though this respiratory condition prevented him from making a sound when he barked. He fit perfectly into the Heimke’s Collierville house, which was also home to Jenna, a blind Golden Retriever (also a MAGRR alum) and Maggie, a deaf Cocker Spaniel.   “I used to call them, see no evil, hear no evil and speak no evil,” Sue said.

Sampson-Heimke4Samson wasn’t the sort of dog that fetched balls, tugged ropes or abided stuffed squeaky animals. He desqueaked and unstuffed them within minutes after he was handed one.   But what the beautiful silky red Golden Retriever lacked in goofy playfulness with toys, he made up for with a gentle heart that was polite and patient. Samson never jumped up on houseguests.   He didn’t need a leash to be walked because he never left their side, Sue said.  Even when the couple took him to Iowa where he could run in a big wooded area, he would romp, then turn around to make sure the Heimkes were in eyeshot.

When the couple’s 6-month old granddaughter came over, Samson would sit and guard her. As she got older, he patiently laid on the floor while she covered him up in blankets and kissed him.

“We haven’t met a golden that wasn’t sweet,” Sue said. But there was something so special about Samson. “We didn’t know that he was going to have a short lifespan, but it just didn’t matter. He was part of our family.




Come With Me

God saw he was getting tired
and the cure was not to be.
So He put his arms around him
and whispered, “Come with Me.”

With tearful hearts
we watched him fade away.
Although we loved him dearly,
we could not make him stay.

A special heart stopped beating,
hard working paws laid to rest,
God broke our hearts to prove to us,
He only takes the best.