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  • John M Donovan

In Which Sam Wonders What the Heck is Going On


This is our cockapoo Sam. He's five years old and he's been a lovable curmudgeon since he was a puppy. He's also been in dire need of grooming for a while but when I contacted our regular groomer they were booked till the first of January at one location and till the end of January at the other. I called two places in Adel but they were completely booked and not taking new clients. Finally found a place that had an opening for yesterday, Dec 3. I took Sam in at 8 and said he needed a good haircut but to make sure they didn't give him the poodle poof on top of his head. They said they'd have him done by 11, so I headed home looking forward to having a dapper Sam again.

The twins had spent the night so I delivered them to Caitlin and drove her around to a couple of errands. When I realized I wouldn't be back to the groomer by 11, I called Cybil. She was taking the rest of the day off, so she said she could pick Sam up. I called the groomer, paid for Sam's haircut over the phone, and started heading home. When Cybil arrived at the groomer they told her that Sam wouldn't be ready till 1130. No problem--I'd be there at 1115.

Walked in the groomer's door at 1120 and asked for Sam. They went back in the back to get him. Seemed to take a long time, and after a while they came out and said we can't find her collar--was it pink with polka dots?

Well, first, I said, Sam is a he, and his collar was multicolored but not pink with polka dots. They went back in the back again. Five to ten minutes went by. This seemed like a long time to find a little brown dog whose hair they had just finished cutting. Eventually a young woman came back with a white spaniel-looking dog on a leash. "We couldn't find her collar," she began.

I said we weren't worried about the collar. She said "Well, we just gave her this one." I looked at the dog, the young woman looked at me, I looked at her, she looked at the dog, and the dog looked seriously confused. I said "I just want my dog." She said "This isn't Sam?"

No, I explained. She went back in the back again. More time went by. The young woman came back and said there had been a massive miscommunication, but that they could have Sam ready to go by 2. At that point I had to assume that Sam had been eaten by a larger dog and that they were frantically scouring the shelters and dog pounds for a cockapoo lookalike, so I said no, maybe I'd just better take my dog. They refunded my money, apologized, and brought Sam out looking just as unkempt as he was when he went in.


As I took him home, I started wondering what must have been going through Sam's mind while he was sitting there: "Nobody is giving me any shots, so I'm not at the vet. Nobody is cutting my hair, so I'm not at a groomer. Why have I been taken to this place where I don't know anyone and left to sit for three and a half hours? Why do people keep walking by me and asking why this little brown dog is here? Why do they keep calling that white dog Sam? I would have been happy spending the morning sitting on the back of the recliner like always, so what am I supposed to have learned from this experience? None of it makes sense."


You're absolutely right, Sam. None of it made sense.



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