If you need a helping hand at Otis Orchards Hardware, look no further than your feet. That’s where you’ll find Sammy, a pure-bred springer spaniel with big brown eyes and a soft, velvety coat, eager and ready to be your personal shopper.
“Customers get relaxed when they are around Sammy. New customers are really surprised when they see what he can do,” said Kim Rose, Sammy’s owner.
For the past five years, Sammy has strolled up and down the aisles of the 20,000 square foot hardware store, ready to take tools, plumbing supplies, and household items gently from a customer’s hand and deliver each item straight to the front register.
“He can carry just about anything, even brooms. He walks with his head sideways when he has a broom because he knows not to knock things off the shelves. Customers are blown away at how smart he is and how gentle he is with the products,” added Kim, who has worked at the locally owned store for six years.
Sammy learned his customer service skills from Kim and another store dog, who has since retired. Sammy is the store mascot now. In fact, some customers stop by just to pet Sammy and see his short tail wag back and forth. This sweet dog is loved by so many people, making it even harder to understand how at one point in Sammy’s life, nobody wanted him.
“I found him at the SCRAPS shelter when he was just four months old, someone just threw him away,” added Kim.
Kim believes Sammy was discarded because his tail was cut shorter than breed standard. At the time, Kim visited the SCRAPS shelter every day for more than a month hoping to find a dog that touched his heart. One look at Sammy and he knew they were meant to be together.
“Having Sammy helped heal my heart,” added Kim.
Almost two decades ago, Kim’s first dog, also named Sammy, was poisoned by antifreeze. Kim still gets choked up when he talks about how his beloved dog died.
“It was devastating, I was so shattered. She was such a good dog, but not as good as my Sammy dog now. I kept the Sammy name to keep my other dog’s memory alive” added Kim.
Where Kim goes, Sammy goes too. The pair works five days a week at the hardware store. Even when the store is really busy, Sammy makes sure every customer is taken care of. Sammy isn’t on the payroll- carrots and mini Milk bones are all the rewards this pup needs. And at the end of the day, Sammy curls up in his own recliner at home and rests his paws for another day on the job.
“Dogs are awesome. He’s my buddy and I’m very proud of him,” said Kim.