A Family’s Loss

Leashed is Loved

This letter was received by GRRMF a number of years ago.  We believe it affirms our leash policy.

To Whom it May Concern:

We are a family of four. Our daughter, age 9, goes to Carillon Elementary School and our son, 4, goes to Tuskawilla Presbyterian Preschool two mornings a week. My husband and I own our own advertising design business which we run from our home. My husband does most of the actual design, while I do more of the accounting work. Because the majority of our work is transported by phone, fax, email and federal express we are almost always at home at any given time. We have lived in the Orlando area for ten years. We moved to our current home from Casselberry in March of 1997. We live in an enclosed neighborhood with sidewalks and a park.

In April of last year, we adopted a puppy, (Lady) from the Animal Shelter in Longwood/Sanford. After a few days or so of being home, she got sick and the Vet diagnosed her as having Parvo. He said that is was hopeless. She died. This was particularly difficult for our daughter, then 8. On the advice of the Vet we waited just over two months before getting another dog. This time we bought a Golden Retriever from a breeder in Eustis, Florida. His name was Sammy. During the spring, I enrolled him in puppy school in Sanford. They taught us how to crate train Sammy, as well as some simple commands. Sammy loved his crate, as he got older it became his refuge. He would go there to sleep or when he just got home from the vet or groomer and was still upset. The puppy school also told us to always have him on a leash. For months we did this. We walked him just outside our sliding glass door on the side of our house. (We did not walk him in our enclosed fence in our back yard because this was where Lady was walked and we were told to keep Sammy away from this area for several months). As Sammy got older, I, regrettably, became more confident that he would not run off. When I walked him in our yard, I did not have him on a leash. For six months he never went past the sidewalk. Occasionally, he would greet a person walking by on the sidewalk, but he never went into the road. It’s not that I didn’t think that this was a possibility, it’s just that even if he did, there is hardly any traffic on our street. Even so, he responded well when I called him. As you might be able to tell, I’m still feeling (and probably always will) guilty.

On Monday March 9th, at approximately 8:30 p.m. I walked outside with Sammy by our house. Before I knew it he was running toward the road, I yelled for him to come back but by the time I even got the words out he had already been hit. There had been a woman walking a Siberian Husky on the opposite side of the street. I never saw it happen, he got out to the road too fast. I was told that the man driving the truck was not going fast at all. It’s strange, most of the time if Sammy was barking at another dog, he was usually running back towards me. (He was the puppy in puppy school that was always hiding under the chairs, while the other puppies wrestled and played). In hindsight, I know that there were other options besides letting him loose.

Sometimes we learn things the hard way.

I realize that I have probably rambled through most of this, but I think that I needed to get it out.

Thank you for your consideration and please let us know if you would like to visit us to talk to us about adopting a Golden Retriever,


We have been given permission to reprint this letter for educational purposes.


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