Charlotte Luthy works at Lowe’s in Abilene, Texas — and when she goes on an employee break, she simply lies down in the aisle where she’s been working.
Charlotte is a service dog. She helps her human, Clay Luthy, an Air Force veteran, perform his job at the home improvement store.
“We were interviewing people for his position, and he was one of the applicants,” Jay Fellers, a Lowe’s human resources manager, told KRBC News. “He showed up for the interview and he had Charlotte with him.”
When Luthy asked if having golden retriever Charlotte at work with him every day would be an issue, Lowe’s said no — and offered him the job a few weeks later.
“I can’t stand sitting at home,” Luthy said. He has had multiple deployments — once to Uzbekistan, twice to Qatar — and had to have several knee surgeries. “Instead of medications, I have Charlotte. They schedule me in an area at least for a few hours where Charlotte can get a good break.”
The Luthy team’s story went viral when a customer, Judy Rose, snapped a photo after being moved by the sight of them working together (Charlotte wears a red and blue vest, too, as all the other employees do).
“I love Abilene Lowes, way to go!” she wrote on Facebook when she posted the photo. “This is a disabled vet who struggled to get a job because he needs his service dog! Lowes hired them BOTH!!”
Judy Rose’s Facebook post erupted.
“That phone [went] ding ding ding ding ding ding ding ding,” her husband, Brian Rose, said. Her post has gone viral — shared some 200,000 times.
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Lowe’s officials told The Washington Post that bringing Charlotte on board has not only benefited Luthy but has charmed customers. The retriever can often be seen at the center of attention in whatever aisle the duo are working.
“Everybody loves Charlotte,” Luthy told the Abilene Reporter-News.
The dog is especially good at keeping children entertained while parents shop.
Because 10-year-old Charlotte may soon need to retire from her service-dog duties, Luthy has been training a new golden retriever, seven-month-old Lola, as Lowe’s spokeswoman Karen Cobb told The Post.
Looks like several generations of Luthys will work at the home improvement store, assisting — and thrilling — shoppers and their kids.