From Snoopy Dog Dog to Samson and sold for a tenner along the way
Those of you who go to the cinema or watch the TV regularly may well recognise Samson - not that he was always called that, as we first knew him as Snoopy Dog Dog - and yes, he was literally sold for a tenner!
Snoopy Dog Dog, or Samson as he is known today, was put up for sale in a pub by travellers where they tried to sell him to anyone who would have him. Not getting any luck they eventually said "we only want a tenner for him, surely someone will give us a tenner?"
In the hope that she would be able to re-home Samson, a woman involved with small-animal rescue paid the £10 they wanted. She did this simply because she was so worried about what would happen to him. In his short life Samson had apparently had four homes; what would happen if she didn't take him?
All was well until she got home but what she hadn't counted on was Samson's reaction to the various small rescue animals that she had in cages. He instantly went on a "Sea Food Diet" which in Samson-speak meant "see me, eat me", and as far as he was concerned, anything and everything in the cages was up for grabs!
The poor woman found herself in a nightmare situation trying to keep Samson away from the guinea pigs, rabbits and other small animals in her care, and so when he wasn't being exercised, he had to be contained in an inadequate, makeshift run from which he kept escaping.
After trying for several weeks to re-home Samson, even offering him to the Police who turned him down as not being aggressive enough, the woman contacted us.
It didn't take very long to re-home Samson and after hearing the story of why he came into the Charity, his new owners thought they might call him "Tenor", but within a very few days he became Samson.
As with many things in life, Samson's film and TV appearances came about by accident; it just so happened that when a trainer of dogs for TV and film work was looking for a Shepherd for a particular film part, Samson's name was put forward by some mutual friends of both the trainer and his owners.
The Charity was asked if we would have any problem with Samson doing this. Our response was that if Samson seemed to enjoy what he was doing and was not stressed in any way, then we had no objections. Well, Samson did enjoy himself and the rest, as they say, is history!
Samson thoroughly enjoys his appearances and is also very generous with his fees, donating half of whatever he earns to the Charity.
You have to wonder if the men who sold "Snoopy Dog Dog" ever give him a second thought or if they have any idea of what a super dog they sold for just the price of a few beers.
Samson's TV appearances include several episodes of "Midsomer Murders" starring John Nettles and more recently, episodes of "Hustle".
Amongst his film credits are "Children of Men" starring Michael Caine, and in 2007 he featured in "Hot Fuzz" with Simon Pegg.