‘Sweetest’ Way Man Gives His Dog A Surprise In The Morning

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Waking up is always a joy for this lucky golden doodle, who often starts the day with a staircase filled with his favorite toys.

Over the past two years, Sampson has woken up full of excitement to see what his dog dad spent the morning doing for him before heading off to work. Michele Miller, 41, explained that once a week, her husband Colin puts a bunch of Sampson’s toys along the staircase “so he starts his day with a fun surprise” as soon as he rolls out of bed.

Of course, he doesn’t want this to become a predictable game, so Miller told Newsweek that “he changes it up each time” to keep Sampson guessing. It’s normally a mixture of his favorite socks, squeaky toys, a ball, and sometimes, if he’s particularly lucky, “his favorite frisbee.”

It’s become such an adorable ritual in their San Diego, California home that Miller couldn’t resist sharing a TikTok video of Sampson waking up to his latest surprise. Since posting the clip on his dedicated social media account (@sampson_the_dood), it has already gained more than 206,900 views and 8,400 likes in a matter of days.

Sampson the doodle waking up to his toys on the staircase. Sampson’s owner loves to surprise him with different toys each week, as it keeps him stimulated and happy.
@sampson_the_dood / TikTok

“My husband has been doing this ever since we started living in this house two years ago. If Sampson left toys out from the night before, he may include one of those, or a sentimental stuffed toy like the limbs he chewed off his oldest toy,” Miller told Newsweek.

“Sampson always looks up at me as if to say, ‘is this for me?’ Then he immediately starts wagging his tail and will sniff each one before choosing the one he wants. It’s so cute.”

Waking up to a house full of toys is not only hugely exciting for any pup, but it can also help with their mental stimulation. PetMD suggests that destructive behavior can be resolved by just giving a dog more mental exercise each day, as it can improve their mental health, cognitive function, reduce hyperactivity, and strengthen our bond with them.

Rotating their toys is a great way to keep a dog engaged and prevent them from becoming bored with the same old games each day. But if that doesn’t appear to work, owners are also encouraged to try games such as hide and seek, hiding a toy and telling them to go find it, changing your daily walking route, and even freezing treats (such as carrots) to keep them occupied for longer.

When Sampson wakes up to “the sweetest surprise” on the stairs, he knows he’s in for a fun-filled day before it’s even begun. After sharing the video on TikTok, Miller has loved seeing the responses from so many dog owners, and she hopes more people might consider rewarding their pup with surprises.

She continued: “You don’t have to have stairs to surprise your dog like this. You can leave toys by the front door, or a trail around your house. Everyone thinks it’s just the cutest idea and that Colin and Sampson have a very sweet bond. Some are sharing it with their dog dads hoping they will do the same.”

Among the comments on the viral post, there was great praise for the novel idea, as one person commented: “That is so sweet and thoughtful.”

Another TikTok user responded: “That’s a good idea! My puppy always has something in his mouth when he sees me.”

But not everyone thinks it could work for them, as one person joked: “my dog would ignore all the toys and steal the slippers at the bottom.”

Do you have funny and adorable videos or pictures of your pet you want to share? Send them to [email protected] with some details about your best friend and they could appear in our Pet of the Week lineup.