When the deputies of Pottawatomie County first looked at an old Labrador retriever named Sam, she was curled up next to her deceased owner. Confusion and sorrow crossed the face of the dog as authorities watched Arthur, her beloved owner, wouldn’t wake up. With no one left to look after her, authorities called 1 Day Ranch – a local animal rescue organization to take Sam while examining the body of Arthur. Ranch staff told KOCO-TV that when she left home, even after giving her time to say goodbye, Sam was visibly upset. “She whined and hurled back to the ranch the whole way,” said the staff. Ranch staff on March 8 took Sam to Arthur’s funeral for a final time to say goodbye.
“We allowed her to see Arthur one last time when they opened the casket,” staff wrote on Facebook. “She was interested at first, she definitely recognized his face — but it was different from before, she knew that he was no longer there.”
Back at the ranch, Sam has mostly been resting, exhausted from grief and battling medical problems of her own.
“She has been grieving, she is still grieving,” 1 Day Ranch founder Maeghan Olsen told KWTV. “The first five days that she was with us she did not want to eat, she pretty much slept the whole time.”
Arthur’s friend Phillip Gordon said Arthur had heart issues and had recently checked himself out of the hospital against the recommendation of his doctors because he wanted to get home to be with Sam.
“They were best of friends,” Gordon said. “Anywhere Art would go Sam would wait in the house on him, look out the window. And as soon as he came home, she was all over him, just excited to see him.”
Gordon said Arthur had hoped to live longer than Sam, but he knows that Arthur absolutely would have wanted Sam to attend his funeral.
In a moving picture, Sam is seen laying near Arthur’s casket, which was wrapped in an American flag. She seemed to understand her owner is gone, and is grieving the loss alongside caring staff at the ranch.
Ranch staff are undecided if Sam should go to a new home or if she would be better served living out her senior days at the ranch. For now, they are letting her grieve and honoring the bond she shared with her owner.
“It’s a testament to these two and their life together, and how much they loved each other,” said Olsen.