Touching Lives, Warming Hearts

Through Human & Animal Interactions

Salute to Sammy’s Legacy

KPETS Says Good-bye to KPETS’

K9 CoFounder Sammy

Samson Michael Gerth – Sammy

November 12, 2001 – August 30, 2013


Since KPETS inception, ten years ago, I’ve had my partner Sammy by my side. –  until Friday, August 30, 2013.

In 2002, after my golden, Cinda was burned out from too much pet therapy, agility, etc, I convinced my husband I needed another dog! With a little – well, maybe a lot of help from his little girl’s pleas, we convinced him to add Sammy to family.

With Sammy by my side, we pursued the dream of KPETS. He was by my feet through all the tedious paperwork of incorporation and non-profit status filings. He was the one who went with me as we pursued new places and opened doors to visit – like Schreiber, Lancaster Rehab, Lancaster General and many others.

Whatever I needed him to do, wherever I needed him to go, he did it willingly and with a grin on his face, a wag in his tail and a strut in his step. My ever-nosy boy had no fear as long as we were together – and vice versa. I over-came my fear of public speaking as long as he (or his brother Podley) were by my side.

That boy learned to ‘dance’ and perform for folks in retirement communities, scout meetings and even in malls! He would show off all his tricks and then take donations from folks at Bon Ton days and give them to ‘mommy’ to put in our donation jar. He did Dock Dogs for fun. He won pet contests at various local venues. All in fun, never anything serious – that was not a side of our boy.

Sadly, in June and after a multitude of tests it was determined he had Degenerative Disk Disease; BUT through those tests we found he also had cancer. Two kinds! And bad ones. So over the next three months, I watched God take him slowly and gently. The way I had asked.

His job visiting with his friend Dottie was over when she passed away earlier this year. His job walking with a special friend came to an end as summer schedules became to hard to connect. All his KPETS jobs had come to completion.

My walks in the mornings with all three boys stopped sometime this spring when it appeared Sammy would rather sleep in with Daddy. Then our walks together – just the two of us – got shorter and shorter as the months passed. Was it due to his back or the C-word? We didn’t know and it really didn’t matter.

The swims at Sun Hill with all three changed to just the two boys. Then, thanks to our gracious neighbors, Sammy started swimming in their heated pool for 15 minutes a couple times a week. An activity he enjoyed even three days before his passing! Sleeping in bed with me changed to sleeping in the dog bed by my side. Then, he moved onto the cool floor by the fan for his resting spot. Watching TV alone was another way he weaned me off of him. He’d again rather be on the cool floor. All such subtle ways of him helping me let go.

Toward the end, my whole life revolved around his comfort, his pills, his home cooked meals. I had to do something to feel like I was helping, all the while knowing there was nothing I could really do to save him. We lost the battle on 2:30 am, August 30 with him resting in my arms.

But I must thank God for this past year. You see, we had a close call last June. We never really did find out what was wrong, but he rallied and was back and doing great for a dog his age. He was a young, old dog…. So I look at this past year as an extra special gift from God above! He and I went to Goldstock, a Labor Day weekend camping trip for Goldens with our friends Nancy and Gilly. He got to go to Dewey Beach for a week with our family – our first family vacation we’d had in over 10 years! Thank God he was able to be with us!

So in honor of Sammy, please say a prayer to God thanking Him for precious little Sammy

because without him, not a one  of us would be KPETS’ volunteers.

Thank you sweet boy! I miss you every day. You will never be forgotten!

Sammy will live on in the therapy work KPETS’ volunteers continue to do through a special fund being set up in Sammy’s memory to support new programs and projects.

Salute to
Sammy’s Legacy

To contribute to this fund, please donate in Sammy’s name online or by mailing to KPETS.  It will be applied directly to this special fund. 

Be sure to note  for  “Sammy’s Legacy” but you may contribute in honor or in memory of your very special pet or therapy dog, too. We will acknowledge with a special card. Thank you.

Karen Gerth
KPETS – Keystone Pet Enhanced Therapy Services
630 Janet Avenue
Just click on the puppy to donate


 Thank you for you contribution!