I am so saddened to hear of the loss of Sam.
He has a brave and special dog and Aileen was a generous and caring person who opened her home to him when he literally had nowhere to go.
Sam came to rescue in late November 2006 from a breeder who needed to place him as he was downsizing. Sam was not a very old dog, only 6, but he already had a heart murmur as the initial fosterer was given some medication for him. But when the fosterer got him to the vet it turned out the vet was amazed he was even alive; he has a grade 5 murmur and his heart was beating only about 25 beats per minute!! The first vet thought he might only have a few weeks to live and I debated what to do, whether to give him his wings, and if not, where would he go? It is never easy to home a dog with a health issue (incredibly the breeder rang me to ask where he would be homed so he could remind me that he was a great stud dog and still had some more use in him for his new home! And this was someone who knew he had a severe heart murmur already!).
We brought him along to Dublin and had him checked by one of my vets who noted he was on a human heart med and not a vet medication so the dosage was all wrong! Once we got him on proper meds he improved quite a bit within a day. Aileen offered him a home for as long as he would stay with us. The vets didn't think this would be very long -- a few months perhaps, maybe a year.
Cecily very kindly helped with transport as did NESSR springer rescue.
As it turned out he had a happy, loving home for nearly two years with Aileen and her gang. He was one lucky boy and obviously decided to stick around as long as he possibly could.
Thanks once again for providing him with such a lovely retirement home. My thoughts are with you Aileen as I know how hard his loss is for you.