Photo by Danny Fulgencio

Claude Lee had been a cat person, but since December his antique, collectible-filled home now has a new resident. Samson is a three-legged pit bull mix whose enthusiasm and happy leaping never knocks over a bauble. After living in a stairwell at Baylor with a homeless man, Samson seems to instinctively know how not to outstay his welcome.

Neighbor Vince Lee Stevens reached out for a forever home on Nextdoor, and Lee responded. “Well, I thought he’d be smaller, and I didn’t know he was a pit bull. Something said, ‘Let’s give it a shot. He has a lot of energy.’ “

Stevens and her ex-husband originally took in the homeless man and the dog. “I actually care more about animals than I care about people,” Stevens says. She took Samson to get fixed and to get his shots. After finding the man an apartment for a year, they tried to find him a job and checked on the two. They found Bible verses scrawled on the wall of the apartment, and the formerly homeless man still hadn’t found a job. So when their year commitment came to a close, they decided to focus on the dog.

“I actually care more about animals than I care about people.”

Sampson has been an expensive pet. He had heartworm disease. Then in April, he was staying overnight with dog walker Pam Silverstri. He and another dog, Oreo, had their leashes on, but when she opened the car door, they leaped out, and a car hit Sampson on his ankle, crushing the bones. The driver never stopped. The best thing for Sampson was amputation.

Sampson is so strong now that sometimes he forgets about his missing limb and balances on his front paws to pee against a tree. He sleeps on his bed in the middle of the living room, near the chimney. He attempted to co-sleep with Lee a couple of times, but the 64-pounder has a tendency to spread eagle in the bed, so he was banished to his own sleeping bed.

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