My name is Charles Pankow and I started Hostal de Sammy in the later part of 2005. The hostel is named for my best friend, Sammy The Dog. I met Sammy in the Rohnert Park Animal Shelter in October 1997 in Rohnert Park, California. He was easy to choose as he was the only dog out of about 50 that wasn't barking at me. From what I recall, he had a ball in his mouth and simply wanted me to play with him. They let me take Sammy home for the weekend to see if I would like him but it didn't take long to realize how very special he was. From the moment I got him into my truck, we were inseparable.
When I made the decision to move to Chile in late 2003, there was no way that I could go without him. I couldn't imagine not be able to have him around for more than a couple of weeks.
Everyone that has had the chance to meet Sammy would agree that he was more than just a pet. I liked to say that Sammy was very much a people dog. He didn't seem to care much for other animals as much as people, mostly because animals couldn't throw him his ball. Although at times he was a little over zealous about playing with his ball, he was always a lot of fun to have around. When I was starting the hostel in August of 2005, it was clear who the hostel should be named for. I knew that everyone that would come to the hostel would be more likely remember Sammy then even myself. And that thanks to Sammy, people felt more at home in the hostel.
In January of 2006, Sammy had surgery to have a cancerous tumor removed but was left with one inoperable in his liver and I was told that he was only to live about another month.
Sammy died at home in the hostel with me on the morning of February 15th, 2006.