Poor Sampson was sad. Big T had a conference out of town (in Ottawa in point of fact). I've been exploring options just for times like this and found a boarding establishment on the way to my workplace that offers day boarding. Parkers Pet Care has a great reputation and so far Sammo and I are both thrilled.
I was a little leery of trying it but there were a few things I liked. Dogs can be fed through the day; they are kennelled individually; they get out three times a day; water is changed three times a day. Sampson is already a staff favourite and was very relaxed and happy to return to the kennel today. Staff really listen and try to oblige requests. I watched him being walked toward me today and the staff person was positive and persistent - Sam wanted to be bouncy and rush but the staff person remembered our discussion yesterday and just softly asked him to walk nicely. He was happy to oblige her and was nice and relaxed by the time he got to me!
He was mellow and content last night and, despite me having to go back to work for 3 hours tonight, is mellow tonight too. He isn't exhausted; he's playing with Sally and bright but also fine with lying at my feet. I'm so glad to find him something to enjoy for my long stupid days. A couple of days a week should work well. I'm wondering about trying Sally too - but if ever there was a dog who will be a problem it's Sally!