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Shelbyville, TN 37160
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7/13/2024 3:29 PM
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Sammy's Journey To Happiness From Rescue to Recovery
(Spoiler Alert: Sammy gets saved - Scroll down for his best life photo!)

Sammy photo before being rescued

Sammy's health and environment prior to being rescued

The Story of How Sammy Was Saved
February 3rd, 2010: 

Sammy is 8 years old and this picture depicts what his entire life has been like up until this month. Living in the mud and surrounded by snow and ice, Sammy sits chained to a filthy and leaky dog house.  Sammy has never known the gentle touch of a hug or the warmth of his own bed. He doesn't know what its like to have shelter from winter's toughest storms and to feel safe in his person's arms.

If that isn't bad enough, Sammy is paralyzed. He only has use of his front legs. Just to stay out of the rain and to eat what little food
he was given, Sammy was forced to drag his tiny body across the
freezing, hard ground to stay alive. His pain is excruciating and he
has been living this way for 4 years! His muscles have atrophied and his body has deteriorated.

Despite all of this, when a good Samaritan came to pick up Sammy and to meet his previous owner, Sammy showed nothing but happiness! His complete focus was on his previous owner despite how he had been treated. Sammy has a heart of gold and unwavering devotion.

Due to Sammy's condition and to the amount of time it has been left untreated, we have no doubt that his recovery will be expensive and time consuming. He needs back surgery desperately, not to mention he has not been given shots and heart worm prevention and has not been neutered. Sammy's medical treatment will cost in the thousands yet we know that he is worth it! All American Dachshund Rescue could not let this sweet boy continue to live like this and we are dedicated to his well being and happiness.

How you can help

Update: Friday, February 5th, 2010

Sammy was picked up today from the vets office where he has been staying for a couple of days till one of our members could get him. The vet's office said that he was hard to handle in the crate he came in but once they took him out he was fine. He was updated on his shots and thankfully tested heartworm negative! 

From our member: They brought Sammy out to me from the back room and put him in my arms and he just relaxed against me like he knew things were FINALLY going to be ok in his life. I held him tight and whispered in his ear that this was the first day of the rest of his life and life was only going to get better from here on out. He seemed to understand and when I put him in the crate to take him to our vets office over 2 hours away he rode in complete silence. When I got him to our vets office and went to the back of my SUV to get him out of the crate he had burrowed under the bed and blankets and didn't seem to want to come out. I'm sure it's probably the first time in a L-O-N-G time he's had enough blankets to burrow under. We went inside and first he went on the scale, the old owner said he weighted 16 lbs when the wheel chair was gotten(4 yrs ago) well he's 11.6 lbs now so we are testing for intestinal parasites. I discovered several wounds on his legs from him dragging his legs while being chained. One is pretty deep. First thing the vet's office is going to do is give him a much needed bath and then schedule a neuter and badly needed dental. We will keep the updates coming as we know more about what can be done for Sammy and his back. Please keep Sammy in your prayers and send him many well wishes. He'd love to get cards while he's at the vet clinic.

Just send them to:
% Companion Animal Hospital
2340 S. Ellington Pkwy.
Lewisburg, TN 37091

Donations can be send directly to the vets office also but be sure to put his name on the memo line so they know who the donation is for.

Thank you all for caring so much for one little guy that didn't choose to be on the end of a chain and unable to walk.

Sammy's feet

Update: Thursday, February 11th, 2010 
Sammy has gone though a transformation. He went from a dachshund that didn't get any attention on the end of the chain that he lived on for 4 yrs to being the hit of the vets office! They have given him a much needed bath. Dressed his wounds and starting to put some much needed weight on him. Sammy is thriving in the environment of love and attention. He's loving and friendly to all who stop to see him or come up to pet him.
But the sad news is that after Dr. Story did x-rays, probed and prodded he has determined that Sammy is not a candidate for surgery on his back. He's been down too long you see and he has no deep pain sensation so that means that nerve is probably completely or most compressed. So sad for Sammy as we are sure that if we or someone would have been able to get to him when it happened he might have been walking today.

Sammy says DON'T BE SAD, he has discovered a NEW freedom. A wheel-chair that gets him where he wants to go and he doesn't walk he RUNS. Free to hunt, free to smell all the new smells but best of all NO CHAIN to keep him in one spot. The girls at the vet office put him in his chair and a leash on him and OFF he goes, like a flash to the door to go outside to smell all the new smells from the last time. Sammy didn't realize that LIFE could be SO good!!
Dr. Story has gotten Sammy UTD on shots, neutered him and gave him a much needed dental, he's now ready to go to his foster home in upstate NY where he'll have a fenced in yard to roam in and he'll even get to go to the day-care where he'll be kissed and petted by all the kids at the day-care. Sammy couldn't be happier!!

We are going to get Sammy into physical therapy for his legs to strengthen them and hopefully some acupuncture to see if that will help his bladder control.

We are trying to get a volunteer flight to get Sammy flown up to NY so he doesn't have to go on a ground transport. Nothing but the best for Sammy from here on out.

Stay tuned for more pictures and updates as Sammy makes his way to NY in the coming weeks.

Update: Tuesday, February 16th, 2010

Sammy feels love!!! Today Sammy felt very special!! When mail call came today Sammy was shocked! Not only did he get some cards to wish him well along with donations for his care, but he also got some food, toys and a blanket to keep him warm. 

Sammy is handling his celebrity status very well. He's not letting this fame go to his head instead he continues to wag his tail and greet everyone and anyone willing to stop and give him a kind word or a pat on the head.

Sammy continues to amaze Dr. Story and his staff with his kind and gentle nature. Please keep those cards coming to show Sammy that people really do care and that he is loved.

Sammy enjoying his new set of wheels!

Update: Saturday, February 20th, 2010

We are very excited to announce that because of our amazing and dedicated Supporters, AADR has EXCEEDED our donation goal for Sammy! We can not begin to express our deep gratitude to all of you who have been behind us and following Sammy's story. This precious and special little boy is now experiencing a whole new life that includes things he has never known such as a full tummy, a warm bed, kind words, a gentle touch, love, loyalty, and a home to call his own.

Sammy will be traveling this week to his new foster home. A long transport for someone like Sammy could be very uncomfortable and even painful. However, because of your generous donations, we are able to use a paid transport that will be able to meet all of Sammy's needs. He will be let out to get his bladder expressed at regular intervals and will have the best of care.

Here is an update we just received from our transport coordinator, Wendy Mendola:

"Sammy is traveling this Thursday on a paid transport to CT and this means he will finally be leaving the vet clinic.  This will be his first time in CT and Jessica Mendola (my lovely daughter ) will be meeting him.  She is very excited to meet Sammy as well.  I will be traveling to CT when he arrives to finally bring him home."

We sincerely thank each and every one of you for making this happen!! Sammy only has happiness upon his horizon and we will continue to keep you updated on his journey!

Update: Thursday, February 25th, 2010

SafeDogExpress - Today at 1:30pm Sammy was at the site where we met SafeDogExpress and we loaded up Sammy for his trip to NY. Sammy said good-bye to all his friends he's made at Companion Animal Hospital but he knows that that was just another step in a better life for him. With eager anticipation off he went to be with his new foster mom Wendy. We did take some time to show Shirley and Walter of SafeDogExpress how to express his bladder so he won't be uncomfortable on his ride to NY. He took with him his blanket and toys that a wonderful angel donated to him and his wheelchair. He was anxious to get moving so we took a little video of him heading off. 

Having trouble playing this video? Click HERE

UPDATE: Saturday, February 27th, 2010

Sammy is now in his home! He has met all his new friends and they are quite jealous of his cart which he is becoming a master at maneuvering.  If he gets caught on something --- I just say back and he backs up and moves on again.  He has explored the house and is in love with Velvet- a voluptuous red doxie- who just finds him a bit  odd.  He was in his cart for probably two hours and I just dressed his feet and tail with A & D ointment, given him a new chewy and put him to bed.  He has to be very tired.  He wants to thank everyone for getting him to a safe loving home.  He has gotten and given a whole lot of kisses today. More info will follow as Sammy settles in to his new foster home in NY.


Having trouble with this video? Click HERE

UPDATE: Monday, March 1st, 2010 

Today was his first day at day care.  He met and greeted everyone - until I thought he had better go home to get some rest.    I took many pictures and hope to get them out to everyone soon to see.
He is the sweetest little guy. Thank you all for giving Sammy a 2nd chance. Sammy will be going to his vet in NY soon to see what more we can do for him.
- Wendy, AADR Foster Mom

UPDATE: Monday, March 22nd, 2010
We found out Sammy is NOT completely paralyzed! Sammy had x-rays completed on March 11.  He has feeling in his back legs and can actually stand on them with support.  It was found that he has severe calcification between the back 1-3 disks due to an injury and not receiving any medical care.  He has an appointment with a well know therapy clinic in Webster, NY on March 25th at 1 PM.  Hopefully we can help him to start to use those back legs once again and get better control of his bladder. 
He is such a sweet loving little pup.  He loves his wheel chair as it provides the mobility that he so desires.  He runs ( yes runs) outside, but gets caught in many things since he really believes he is a typical dog and tries to leap over branches and climb into wood piles to catch chipmunks.  I follow behind and untangle him as needed. 
I will let you know the results of his therapy and what type of therapy they think is best for Sam.  He is a happy little guy and love attention, kisses and his new friends.  By the way he has gained 2 lbs and loves to eat!  (Sort of like his mom)
- Wendy, AADR Foster Mom

Update: Thursday, March 25th, 2010

Sammy is very busy these days.  He is going to Thera-Vet in Webster , NY. He is getting PST (pulsed signal therapy) everyday!  This is used to regenerate cartilage and regenerate bone, tendon and ligament healing. He does the underwater treadmill two times a week which improves range of motion and strengthens muscles. He also gets laser therapy to regenerate scar tissue on his legs and tail and speed healing.
In addition, at home he goes for a least an hour walk in his cart and I bicycle his legs and walk him with hind legs moving (I am moving them and run around the house pumping his legs like a nut.  It is something to see. ) In addition, he stands using his back legs for at least 5 minutes. 
Believe me Sammy is a full time job - but he will walk if it kills me! 

- Wendy, AADR Foster Mom
Therapy: Laser, PST and Underwater Treadmill. 

Sammy in a therapy treatment

Update: Saturday, April 24th, 2010

Sammy just received his new Hug-a-Dog harness! and he looks incredibly handsome in it.  Thank you so much for this great gift and the gift certificates.  Lou and Frank (his brothers) are quite jealous. 

-Wendy, AADR Foster Mom

Sammy's New Harness

Update: Wednesday, May 12th, 2010   
He's Getting Stronger! - Hi Friends! It's the month of May and I thought I would give an update on my recovery. I am getting stronger every day and a little more spoiled as well. I am still in therapy and will be starting acupuncture this week. This is me on that blasted floppy blue mat- they expect me to stand on it - but it is wobble and I am not steady anyway. They just do not understand that I would rather be 1. running down the hill in my cart or 2. Watching TV under my favorite furry blanket. See you soon in Tennessee!


- Sammy (Sam I am. The AADR Mascot)

Update: Saturday, May 15th, 2010
Picnic Adventure! - Below are some photos of Sammy's big journey to TN for AADR's Annual Picnic! He got to ride in an airplane and get comfy at his hotel! Here is a note from his foster mom, Wendy:
"He was a perfect angel on the plane, but he loved the hotel beds the best.  Sam next appearance will be Fido Fest on June 19 at Boomtown in Farmington, NY.  He will be raising money for AADR and making people aware of the importance of rescue organizations.  Feel free to make a donation to this important cause on behalf of Sam I Am. "


Update: October 2010
Its been awhile since our last update! Those of you who follow us on Sammy's Facebook page see updates every day. What a long way he has come since those terrible days last winter! He is doing great and so is his Sister DeeDee! DeeDee also went down in the back over the summer but she was able to have back surgery and walk again! You can read about DeeDee HERE. Sammy is being a great big brother and he is looking handsome! Way to go Sammy!


Update: Sunday, December, 18th, 2011

Sammy woke up this morning, unable to move anything but his head.  His AADR family has mobilized into action.

A visit to the ER vet indicated that Sammy may have herniated a neck disc or possibly have a tumor. He is being flown this coming Wed December 21st to see the canine neurologist, Dr Newman in Nashville for a possible emergency surgery.

The wonderful program Pilots n Paws is flying him down there.

Please, the AADR family asks that you Pray for Sammy and for good weather to fly him on Wednesday.

Sammy is scared but alert, and his Foster mommy, Wendy, is so very worried about him. He is on medication to make him comfortable. Here are some pictures from today



Update: Wednesday, December 28th, 2011

Surgery was a success! Sammy flew down on December 21st to Nashville and had surgery on 12/23/11. We are happy to report the surgery was a success, and Sammy is already rolling around. Tomorrow his foster mom is flying down to Tennesee to bring him home!

We have our own Christmas miracle, and soon Sammy will be back to work making people feel wonderful!

Thank you all for your prayers.

Read here about Sammy on the Pilots and Paws website

Update: Monday, January 2nd, 2012

Sammy is home! His surgery was a success and we here at AADR are convinced YOUR prayers and love were what made the difference.

Here is the reunion picture of Sammy and his mommy Wendy, who is so very very happy to have him home.  He will need a few weeks of recovery and we hope soon he will be making the rounds and greeting the kids at the daycare as he so loves to do.

 Reunion of Sammy and his mommy Wendy

Update: March 2013

Sammy's Birthday is just around the corner!!

Sammy was rescued by AADR in 2010 when he was 8 years old.  On April 8, Sammy will turn 12!  This picture shows the condition that Sammy was when he was rescued.  Sammy is 8 years old and this picture depicts what his entire life has been like up until this month. Living in the mud and surrounded by snow and ice, Sammy sat chained to a filthy and leaky dog house.  Sammy never knew the gentle touch of a hug or the warmth of his own bed. He didn't know what its like to have shelter from winter's toughest storms and to feel safe in his person's arms.  If that isn't bad enough, Sammy is paralyzed. He only had the use of his front legs. Just to stay out of the rain and to eat what little food he was given, Sammy was forced to drag his tiny body across the freezing, hard ground to stay alive. His pain was excruciating and he had been living this way for 4 years! His muscles have atrophied and his body has deteriorated.  

Because of a good samaritan, Sammy's life changed!  Four years ago  he was gently picked up and taken away from his former life.  Unfortunately, the years had taken a heavy toll on his body, but not on his spirit!  Sammy little resembles the sad little bag of bones that was rescued!  You might say only the bark remains!!  Sammy has a new life.  Even though it was too late to save him the use of his legs, Sammy can scoot in his wheels! 

Sammy is now the face (and bark) of AADR.  He even has his own Facebook page!  Sammy is more than just a couch potato that sits and mopes about his "lost" years.  Sammy accompanies his mother every day to work.  This little guy who sat in the mud and filth for so many cold and lonely days spends his days now at a children's daycare.  There he serves as the ambassador of love and capable!
Maggie MaeWhile Sammy is living proof that it is not where you have been, but where you are going, he doesn't want others to travel the same road he has to happiness.  Last week, there was a little doxie in a Greensboro, AL shelter that was suffering back pain.  Little Maggie Mae (we thought at first Sammy was saying "Maggie Moo", he gently corrected us) needed help and needed it fast!  The problem with Sammy's job is that it doesn't come with a paycheck (believe me, he gets paid in ice cream and hugs, but he still campaigns for cash).  The problem with his cashless condition is that he can't reach out to help other little doxies to keep them from going through what he did.  So -- in honor of Sammy's birthday, we are wondering if Sammy's friends could maybe help him a little?  See, back surgeries are expensive (around $3,000).  But, Sammy says, "I have over 4,000 friends."  If all of Sammy's friends could just spare him $1, he could get this little girl a chance to get back on her feet!  Folks, we are going to get Sammy's wish, this little girl is going to get the treatment she needs.  But, what if Sammy's friends could celebrate his birthday with him by helping make this possible from Sammy's funds?  Can you spare a little bit to grant Sammy's wish!
You can give through PayPal by Clicking on the link on the left hand side of this page (under description, just put "Happy Birthday Sammy!".  You can also send a donation through the mail! See the our mainpage to Donate.
Please indicate "Happy Birthday Sammy!"

UPDATE: Maggie Mae's Surgery Donations

Sammy encouraging Maggie
Sammy Encouraging Maggie, "Taking a Bite out of Pain"

Sammy is excited that so many of his friends have given for Maggie's surgery.  The Dr. decided Sammy had a stellar credit rating and extended him the credit for the surgery.  So, while Maggie is recovering, Sammy is hitting the hallways with his cart and collection jar.  There is still a need for funding to support Maggie's surgery and recovery.  It will be a long journey for little Maggie, but we remain hopeful for her recovery.

Update: April - Maggie Mae's Improvement

Maggie Mae continues to improve each day with exercise and therapy. As you can see from the pictures she can stand on her own and potty as well on her own the only times she has a problem with her back legs is when she tries to go too fast with her front and the back legs can't keep up. Strengthening her legs and time should help that. 

Maggie Mae Standing! Maggie hoping Sammy 
can help "break her out soon"