Sampson is one of the most well-rounded, easy going, laid back dogs I’ve ever met. We took the time when he was younger to socialize him and expose him to as many things as possible.
We have a very quiet home life which I think is a big contributor to why he is such a mellow fellow.
Typically Sampson loves to have company over, but I do notice after a certain amount of time on the holidays, my mellow fellow will start chewing on a toy, or licking his paws. That’s when I can tell he’s had enough. If the party is still in full swing, I’ll lead him to the bedroom and settle him down, allowing him the peace and quiet he loves so well.
Despite our best efforts to expose him to as many situations as possible, we can’t expose him to all.
I found this out last week, just before I went on vacation.
The phone rang at the office and it was my mom. Something was beeping upstairs, did I know what it might be?
Well there is a smoke alarm up there. But this was not the slow, methodical chirp of a smoke alarm with a low battery, nor was it the piercing, continuous screech of the “oh shit I burned the dinner” alarm.
Yes, it was piercing and yes it was methodical as I could hear as soon as she opened the door to the upstairs.
The other sound I heard was the frantic and labored panting of a dog in distress.
Sampson was freaking out. And I was five minutes away and all alone in the office.
As soon as Sampson saw my mom, he knew his savior had arrived. Unfortunately, she couldn’t comfort him and in the process of trying, he scratched up her arm (she’s on Coumadin and her skin is very thin) he also tried to climb into her lap and in the process he stepped on her foot.
What could I do? I waited a few minutes hoping someone would come back to the office, but when no-one did, I locked the door and flew home.
My mom couldn’t disable the smoke detector, so I pulled it off the wall and pulled the battery. I took Sampson and Delilah outside, away from the source of the noise and let them relieve themselves. I brought them back inside, urged them to have a bit of water and then I had to get back to work. I felt horrible leaving them, but there was no-one at the office and I had to go back.
As soon as I had someone in the office, I went back home and grabbed Sampson and Delilah and brought them to the office with me. After about fifteen minutes, lying beside my desk, then and only then did my big guy settle down.
It was a heart-wrenching experience both for my mom and me to watch Sampson panic like that. Thankfully my mom is on the mend and I think we both learned valuable lessons from the experience. Not the least of which (for me anyway) is no matter how much you think you’ve prepared your dog, you can’t prepare them for everything.
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