I had no plans for adding another bloodhound to my gang of three. I had passed on the opportunity in November 2022 of taking the offer to re-home him. At the time I was getting good results training his littermate Watson, who I bought at 8 weeks old in June 2021. So it was a surprise he was back up for re-homing again in January 2023. Initially based on the photos I had seen on the breeder's website back in June 2021, he would have been the puppy I would have chosen once I got to see him in person and how he acted, but he was picked and gone 30 minutes before my arrival.
He had a history of biting adults and nipping at young children while being in two different households with two different owners. The word "biting" made me change my mind that early morning after I had told the owner and breeder's assistant that I would take him. I kept thinking though, maybe with a change of environment, no young children around, another bloodhound (his brother) and a fenced backyard away from the front street would be good for him. I'd take him even with his history of biting.
About the time I was going to send a text to Chris (his 2nd owner) and to Janeth, (the breeder's assistant) that I had changed my mind and I would take him ... those two photos above showed up in a text from Chris. I won't say that was a factor in my decision but he sure was a beautiful bloodhound. He looked harmless.
Chris and I had talked for a little over two hours on the phone the previous day. He told me all about him and left no stone unturned, good and bad. It was a case that really hurt him to give him up but at the same time it was best for his family with two very small children. I had no doubts that I could help this bloodhound named Samson, with a different environment, lots of ear and belly rubs, my gang of three to keep him occupied and a policy he could sleep anywhere he wanted inside the house.
We let him sniff and explore out front when he arrived. The plan was to introduce him to my bloodhound first, then gradually let my bulldog and basset hound come out to meet their new housemate. I had rescued a re-home bloodhound (Stella) in August 2015 and based on that result I was hoping for and kinda expecting the same with Samson. The hounds and dog did not show any problem with the new bloodhound in their yard. In fact the bulldog was the first to get close to him and start to play with him.
We stood there observing all four of them. I could tell right from the start that Samson loved this yard, the hounds and the dog I already had. We were off to a good start. We let him roam off leash and let him get familiar with his new home.
Chris told me he had weighed in at 125 pounds recently. I knew he was about a year away from being full grown. His sire was around 145 pounds so I had to think before he was delivered, I too am getting older and would I be able to handle a bloodhound of that size when I am older and possibly weaker? I asked myself the same question before I bought Watson in 2021. I think I can.
Unlike Watson, he did not jump up on me for attention when I wanted to pet him. He stood right next to me as I stroked his head, neck and back. He liked his ears rubbed and his neck massaged. I could see he was just slightly bigger than Watson. He was one big beautiful bloodhound.
Outside or inside he had one of the deepest, loudest barks I had heard with my time with bloodhounds over the years. Although my last three bloodhounds before Watson were females. Of course like any bloodhound that gets excited when he sees people near his property, he and Watson would bark in unison when they saw someone walking by the house or in their backyard next door.
He was perfect from the time he arrived.
Just like Sadie back in August 2015, Watson was not that all enthused about the new bloodhound in his yard and in his house. His look of disappointment was the same as Sadies but he never growled or showed any kind of possessive issues you might expect. I knew eventually Watson would get use to Samson and they would be long lost brothers, which they were actually. Littermates.
By that first morning after Samson arrived, seeing Watson let him ID each other finally, I knew Watson was accepting Samson into our family. About an hour later of getting to know one another, they went outside and played and ran hard all over the backyard. Henry didn't shy away from the larger hounds and got right in the middle of the two bloodhounds playing.
Watson loved to play I was told ... and he proved to me he did. He love to run fast also, as they all did from one side of the yard to another. Around a 150' in length.
I always had the feeling it was Henry and Watson chasing and wrestling Samson ... a two on one disadvantage for him. He didn't mind rolling on his back and letting Henry win the wrestling match. There was never any time that wrestling and playing turned into a dominate type male dog fight.
Inside they would play tug of war with the toys that came with Samson. Sometimes he would start the game or other times he would get Henry to play with him, like the photo below.
When you play hard and run hard, there is always time for a nap. He chose that spot the first day he was here and would sleep there every night. Later I found out from the first owner, John, that Enoch would sleep on their large ottoman and living room couch. I think I remember he slept on the couch of the second owner too.
It never failed though, after their breakfast and early morning play time, he would craw under my computer desk and sleep either where he is pictured or length wise across my feet. With his history of biting I didn't dare try to move him or do anything to wake him up during the times he was asleep. I never wanted to startle him, just as a precaution.
You cannot be more relaxed as that. He had adapted to his new home very fast and very well. Each day he was here, he was the perfect bloodhound. I was finding it hard to put his behavior next to what I had been told before I adopted him. It was just hard to believe based on what I had been witnessing for days and nights since his arrival.
What caused him to bite in the prior 21 months of his life ???
Besides the differences of straight back legs, a trail that was straight and just a little bit bigger than Watson, the only way I could tell them apart many times was by the collars they wore. Samson wore the choker chain collar and Watson wore the black canvas collar. Their other markings and colors were identical.
There were a couple of tug of war toys that came with Samson but within a day or two, those ropes had been torn apart and the whiffle ball on one was tore off. The other had the blue plastic piece not only separated from the thick rope bone type but those ropes were nothing more than one long string to pull on.
Watson and Samson were big, strong and fast bloodhounds and were going to get even bigger this next year and a half.
It would be funny to see them stop all of a sudden and trying to figure out what they might have heard or seen. They would sniff in the air to catch a scent or look in the direction of what they heard.
Then back at it at 100mph ...
It wasn't all playing all the time as they all like to roam the yard, explore the scents of animals most likely were inside the fence at night while they slept.
Not only that, from that first morning after he got here, he followed the routines of the other three I had for their meal times and going inside and outside. He was part of the gang now and I could tell he was happy.
It was a Sunday morning while I was watching tv, some shows that were either taped earlier or had just been released on Apple TV. The two bloodhounds and the basset hound were playing inside. I didn't think anything of it because for two years my bloodhound and the basset hound had always played in the house and at times were chasing each other at high speed.
Then the unexpected happened. One of those "one in a million chances" we hear about on occasion ??? Well Samson is chasing Henry when Henry decides he can run to the right of that photo and possibly run under the tv to escape the chase by Samson. He stopped just as Samson stopped just at the front edge of the tv. I saw a quick "nip" at the tv by Samson and just like that ... I had lost my tv picture. The tv was ruined in a matter of seconds. Long story short ... no screaming or yelling from me as I really couldn't believe what I saw ... a replacement was bought, installed and working within three hours ... only this time the tv went back on top of the gas fireplace ... for its safety and my sanity.
Like the other hounds and the dog, he would stretch out in the computer room and sleep different times of the day.
He did not mind Watson licking his jowls clean while he slept. Or get his ears cleaned by Henry or Walter while he laid down with his eyes closed.
If the house was not warm enough for him, he found where to lay quickly. Right in front of the heater in the computer room.
The morning I broke out the three brand new knuckle bones I kept a watchful eye over all of them, hoping they would not lead to a dog fight over who gets which bone. Each hound took theirs to a different room. The dog did also. Samson laid by the patio door and spent hours chewing on his new treat.
Before Samson showed up here at the house, the living room love seat was my seat to sit and look out at flying snow, or a downpour of rain or just to look at my great neighborhood. Samson didn't take long this day though to climb up beside me. As I gave him more room he let me know I was on his seat. NOT by growling but just by putting his long leg over my arm. That was how gentle this large bloodhound was.
He was so laidback and slow moving it is still hard to believe what happened just four nights ago from the time I am writing this. He had been here ten days and was the perfect bloodhound and not even one hint of what was about to happen.
On a Saturday night, February 11th 2023, Samson attacked me, unprovoked. This link describes what happened. Now into my 5th day after it happened, I still cannot believe it. I still hope it's just a bad dream and he is back sleeping on his loveseat in the living room as I type this page for him. Still, it's all real ... too real.
After I posted about the attack on me, I found out about "Rage Syndrome In Dogs". I had never heard of it, knew nothing about it. When I had two blog readers make comments about their knowledge of it, I did a search on the internet and found that many people had the same experience I had a few days prior. It is not known what the cause it but many feel it is genetic and nothing can be done about it except euthanizing the dog.
What hurts the most as I write this, is the image in my head of seeing him alone now for five days, sitting in an indoor kennel away from people and other dogs (their requirement) because he is quarantined for 10 days since I reported that I was bitten by him. That is a state law. It kills me to say and to imagine a bloodhound as gentle and friendly as the pictures I have shown here ... will be euthanized at the end of his 10 day quarantine.
RIP Samson ... you didn't deserve your ending ... it wasn't your fault.