SPECIAL REPORT: Four-Legged Employees


As you head off to work, what do you take with you? Most people would list common items, like a wallet, purse, keys, and briefcase. But a surprising number of people are now taking their pets with them to work.

Tax time can be stressful, but at Jackson Hewett in Wheeling, the birds liven up the office by talking to clients and staff. “The birds inject a little humor into it. It gives the kids something to do because they can talk with the birds, said owner Sam Lapp.

“One night when they didn’t know the rest of us–they didn’t know anybody was here, my wife said Mya asked the other bird, Hey Free Bird, and Free Bird responded with What do you want?,” Lapp added.

At Bordas and Bordas Law, clients are greeted by a chocolate lab named Caroline, and a wheaten terrier named Barley. “They greet ’em and they want to be loved to death. And that makes people good. A lot of the people that come have had bad injuries and they’ve had bad situations–a loved one dies and so forth, and the dogs put a smile on their face,” said Jim Bordas.

At Wheeling Truck Center, an eight-year-old basset hound named Lola has been working her whole life. “She loves to go to the bank and she knows that they have treats then as well. She sits very patiently,” said Mary Alice Remp.

Banking is also Winston’s favorite thing. He is an Olde English sheep dog, and the counter man at Wheeling Rubber. He waits to see the daily deposit envelope. “It sits there until I’m ready to go and then as soon as I pick it up and go to the cash register, Winston knows it’s time to go to the bank,” said Pat Cronin.

Love is how Howard’s Diamond Center came to have Sophia, a yorkie-lhasa apso. She waits patiently for customers, and showers them with love. “We’re really blessed to have her and be able to have her here,” said Franni Schiffer, the manager at Howard’s.

At just 19-weeks, she has nap time in the back, but some customers need her help in making the big decisions. “They were shopping for diamonds and the guy loved dogs and he picked up Sophia and she fell asleep for 45 minutes in his arms,” Schiffer said.

At Susan’s Antiques, Callie the border collie plays ball until the cows come home. She loves her beach ball, and even among the delicate china in the store, she never misses a beat.

It turns out a wagging tail, or a big doggy smile is amazingly good for business. If you are not a fan of animals, the businesses certainly respect that. They always ask people if they mind before the animals come out, but they said 99 percent of people don’t mind one bit.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.


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