Samson is an adorable black lab, but his owners got rid of him after realizing how much space he needed to roam and express his energy. He bounced between homes and shelters before landing with his forever-owner, a farmer in Canberra, Australia named Jayson Mesman. After realizing Samson had a crazy-good sense of smell, Jayson brought him to a truffle farm to see if he was able to sniff out the elusive — and valuable — mushrooms. As Smithsonian magazine reports, within 10 minutes, the gifted pup had found almost 10 pounds of Australian black truffles. Samson and Jayson had found their calling.
The dog and his owner now run The Truffle Farm, where they take guests on truffle hunting tours and prepare gourmet meals with their finds. That’s right: you can hunt for truffles with cute rescue dogs and then eat an amazing meal at a gorgeous farm. We are ready to buy our tickets to Australia right now, how about you?
The best part of discovering Samson’s hidden talent and opening the farm was that it allowed Jayson to help more dogs. “When [local shelters] found out what I was doing, they were excited to learn that I was giving these dogs a farm life,” says Jayson.
He’s since added five more rescue dogs to his truffle-hunting brood, most of them labs who were put up for adoption for the same reasons as Samson. The dogs love the work, but Jayson is careful not to work them too hard. “Although the dogs can work for extended periods, I try to make it a game for them,” he says. “Once work no longer is fun, we no longer want to do it. So I don’t force them to do something when they’re not interested.”
Amazing, right? While you’re saving up for your plane ticket, we highly recommend following The Truffle Farm on Instagram to get your cute truffle dog fix. So much cuteness!