Sampson is another dog that had a big impact on me as a groomer. He is a giant breed, a Great Pyrenees to be specific. His story is a rather sad one, but luckily has a happy ending. Sampson started out as just a customer’s dog. The customer had already given the owner of the groom shop another Great Pyrenees. His name was Ben, and the original owner couldn’t handle his food aggression. The shop owner took him in, trained him, and he lived out the rest of his years with her. He died at a young age of bone cancer. So, imagine out surprise when she showed up with yet another Great Pyrenees.
One phone call started Sampson’s journey. His owner called and told us that they were moving out of state. Keep in mind, we also offered boarding services for regular clients. She wanted us to watch him for four weeks while they moved and got settled. Most of us that worked at the shop were skeptical. We thought that is was a great excuse to dump the poor dog. However, the owner of the shop has a heart of gold, and told the owner she would watch him for a month while they moved.
Sampson hated the groom shop. He drooled so much that we got used to slipping and sliding on the drool he left in the bathing area. You could see the stress all over his face. We felt horrible for him. We are known as a kennel-free groom shop, meaning that if the dog is well behaved with other dogs they can have free run of the shop while they are there. I think that really helped Sampson. I cannot imagine how stressed he would have been if he had to be kenneled the entire time.
A month came and went, and we heard nothing. Sampson’s original owner wouldn’t answer phone calls, emails, or any other form of communication. Like we all thought, she had dumped the dog on us. Poor Sampson was now left without an owner, without a home, and with enormous stress. Luckily, his sweet personality had already won over most of us. Once we realized no one was coming back for him, the owner started taking him home at night with her and bringing him back to shop while we were working.
It took about a year for Sampson to calm down. Eventually though, he did calm. He grew to love coming to the shop. We had 6 Great Pyrenees puppies that were dumped at the shop, and he took them under his wing. We found homes for all of the puppies. One of them went to an owner that travels a lot, so he stayed with us most of the time. Sampson and the puppy, Bandit, became good friends. If you were to walk into the groom shop today you would see Sampson and Bandit spending their time guarding the other dogs. They have become our guardians. The transformation that Sampson took from a lonely, stressed dog into a well-mannered, happy dog was amazing.