R.I.P. Sam: Late Backroad Anthem Singer Craig Strickland’s Dog Has Died
The dog who stayed by Backroad Anthem singer Craig Strickland's side for a week after his death has died. Sam is remembered as "a loving, faithful, companion and our family dog."
The Craig Strickland Foundation shared the news of Sam's death on Sunday night (July 21), three-and-a-half years after the 29-year-old singer died during a duck hunting trip. His friend Chase Morland also died after the pair set out on a Dec. 27, 2015 expedition, but it'd take more than a week for rescue crews to find Strickland's body.
The Craig Strickland Foundation remembers Sam's role in the accident, sharing a touching anecdote with social media followers:
With great sadness, Craig's beloved dog, Sam, has passed away! As you remember, Sam was with Craig and his friend Chase, during their tragic accident. Sam lived, and was found next to Chase by the game warden and sheriff's deputy.
Sam was a loving, faithful, companion and our family dog!
A man once asked Dr. Billy Graham whether his dog would go to Heaven. The great evangelist answered: "God will prepare everything for our perfect happiness in Heaven, and if it takes my dog being there, I believe he'll be there."
The book of Isaiah (11:6-9) offers a stirring image of what Heaven will be like, including many animals living in a beautiful and peaceful coexistence.
We love you Sam!!
At the time of his death, Strickland had been married for one year. His wife Helen Elizabeth has since started a blog and podcast and remarried. She opens up about this change during a particularly touching trio of entries titled Navigating Widowhood to Marriage.
At the time, Backroad Anthem were a country rock band out of Fayetteville, Ark., who'd opened for several major headliners and counted artists like Justin Moore as friends. The band remain active on social media, but no tour dates are listed on their Facebook page. Shortly after the accident the remaining members spoke to Taste of Country about their decision to carry on and the family's support of that decision.
"Craig’s dad has been amazing to us and Randy has given us his full blessing … Craig’s wife (Helen) as well," fellow singer Toby Freeman shares. "They all came to the shows.” At the time the band had just released their debut EP, Torn.
Strickland's death was ruled an accident and the cause of death listed as hypothermia.
See More Pictures of Craig Strickland and Sam: