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All we know about Sam is that he was being kept in a cage in his owner's garden. A neighbour who witnessed this horrible treatment paid his owners £50 and took Sam home with her.

Sadly just a year after her heroic rescue, Sam’s new owner started to struggle with the cost of looking after him. After some careful thought, she decided to put Sam’s needs first and reached out to the team here at Woodgreen to rehome him.

As you can imagine, it was very upsetting for her to say goodbye to a dog she saved from such a truly awful situation. They may have only spent twelve months together, but that didn’t make letting him go any easier. It was also difficult for Sam, who’d been enjoying so much love and companionship, (not to mention a comfy sofa) – everything he had missed out on in his old life.

“When you’re the first person who shows a mistreated dog a bit love, you can form a strong, deep connection with them.”

Our dedicated team were there to help timid Sam settle in

Everyone loved Sam, but it was dog handler Clarissa who spent the most time with him. She was very moved by Sam’s heart-rending story:

“Dogs who have been badly treated in the past can tug on your heartstrings a bit more, and they often need more time and patience.”

For Sam, this included ‘kennel comforting’, which involved quality one-on-one time, cuddles and delicious treats! Giving him lots of fuss and love helped him feel reassured that he was in a safe place. He was also invited to spend time in an office away from the kennel environment, which did him a world of good.

“It would be completely understandable after being mistreated if he’d lost his faith in people. Our job is to slowly try and build up that trust again.”

Clarissa, Sam's handler

Our vet team step in to help Sam eat without pain

He seemed to be in good shape overall, but the state of his teeth gave us cause for concern. He had periodontal disease, an inflammation of the gums that needed urgent treatment. It was so severe that the team had to extract 21 of his teeth in surgery. Brave Sam recovered well and soon enough he was ready for the next chapter in his life – a new home.

Shy Sam tries to win over Laura and Martin

A friendly, easygoing chap, Sam needed owners who could give him plenty of attention and always have a spot for him on their sofa. After a search through some potential matches, we introduced him to Laura and Martin during the filming of The Dog House.

Laura owned a shop and was looking for a friend to keep her company on the shop floor during the day. Their first meeting didn’t have the most promising of starts. Sam was very shy at first, and Laura seemed taken aback by his size, joking that he was more like a “baby giraffe”. She was worried about whether he’d be too big for her shop. But, eventually, Sam warmed up to them and sparks started to fly. He even rolled over for a good old belly rub!

Laura had a change of heart too, and despite her initial reservations, she and Martin decided that Sam was the dog to make their life complete.

Brave Sam got the love he needed in his final months

Our team were overjoyed – we’re always delighted to see a dog find wonderful new owners, but our experience sometimes offers unwelcome reminders that you never know what’s around the corner. This was sadly the case with Sam, whose time with Laura and Martin was cut short when he passed away from an inoperable tumour on his heart.

Whilst this was devastating news for Laura and Martin, as well as the team here at Woodgreen, we were so happy that Sam spent his last few months being loved and cared for the way every pet should be, if only for a short while. RIP our best boy Sam.

Meet our Dog House stars!

Go behind the scenes to learn their stories and why they came to Woodgreen. Learn about how we helped them and whether they found their match on the show.

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