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Working like a dog (or cat)

Mon, Aug 25th, 2014
Posted in All Features

Sunny of the Root River Veterinary Center

While most of us go to work each day and make the best of it there are several businesses in the area which get a little help from some furry friends.

Just as having pets to come home to is comforting and meaningful the same can be said for having animals at the workplace.

True Value Hardware Store of Spring Valley has a cute little helper not only around the store but also making deliveries. Owner Todd Jones brings his family dog “Jack” to work with him each day and regular customers will ask where the dog is if he does not greet them when they walk in.

Jack is a one year old male Pomeranian mix who still has a lot of puppy in him, said Todd , but he is such a loveable dog he has turned people around that were not dog lovers. Jack also loves babies explained Todd saying that Jack can be in the office sleeping and if someone walks in with a baby, even if the baby is sleeping, Jack knows there is a baby in the store and runs out to see it.

When walking into True Value Jack is happy and excited to see customers just as their own pets are when they get home. Todd said that everybody loves Jack and after meeting him once it is easy to see why.

Scott Brunsvold of Brunsvold Enterprises in Preston, Minn. has had “Ricki Lee” for 14 years and says the Norwegian Forest Cat makes for a good “ice breaker and conversation piece” when customers come in.

Although Ricki Lee is 14 years old, age doesn’t stop the feline from doing what it feels is its job such as the day a bird flew in through an open door and within 15 seconds the cat had the bird caught. Scott says that the cat was as proud as the day is long after catching the bird.

Ricki Lee has always had seemingly labored breathing but is healthy and at an advanced age may not be as soft and fluffy as a kitten but is a treasured pet and co-worker to Scott and regular customers have grown attached to the cat as well.

The black cat that can be found at Preston Equipment is not so much a co-worker as “a stray we let come in,” said owner Steve Ille. The cat they call “Charlie” showed up one day a couple months ago and someone fed it stated employee Sierra Haugerud so it keeps coming back.

Charlie is allowed inside each morning and is put outside at 5 p.m. each day. Ille and the employees of Preston Equipment are not sure if the cat belongs to someone in the area or not, but he spends his days sleeping, eating, and getting attention at Preston Equipment.

Chosen Valley Care Center has a soft fluffy cat named “Callie” that residents of the facility consider their own. Callie roams the halls stopping for attention now and then or finding one of her favorite spots in the building to take a nap.

Callie was donated to the care center over 10 years ago and she was not a kitten when they got her, so no one is sure of her age. The cat not only makes the residents feel more at home, she also offers comfort to anyone who may need it.

The employees of the care center tend to think of Callie as theirs too as they see her and spend time with her often.

At the Root River Veterinary Center customers, other pets, and delivery people are met by “Sunny” who is a 5 year-old female beagle who definitely has a sunny disposition.

According to Linda Sifford, owner of Root River Veterinary Clinic and the dog’s owner, Sunny is the family dog and goes home each night but also has work to do during the day.

She is a Certified Therapy Dog and co-worker who visits local schools, participated in a reading program in Winona, Minn. this summer, and plans to visit nursing homes and hospitals in the future.

Kristin Schwier, technician at Root River Veterinary Center, says Sunny gets along well with animals and people. She especially likes the UPS driver who brings snacks.

Regular customers have become so close to Sunny that if she does not greet them when they walk in, they ask where she is. Sunny is a very polite dog and rarely barks. Schwier stated, “If she barks we wonder what’s going on.”

Just as pets can bring so much into our lives at home the same can be said for pets on the job. Many pets have an instinct as to what their job is and they do it well.

Having pets of any kind on the job can make for a more relaxed and enjoyable workplace, making the day go by just a little bit faster. They can also bring strangers together with a common interest. Be sure to acknowledge these and other pets you see “on the job” in our area and give them a pat on the back for a job well done.


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8:52:32, Aug 25th 2014

Rae says:
I wish that you had included Stab from TJ's Liquor in your article. Stab has been a fixture at the store for over 10 years and customers come in specifically to see him. It isn't like you should not have known about him as he advertises in your paper.

Perfect Glossy