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VIP Pets Go To Work




Story by Kayla Fugate

It’s said that when we adopt a pet, we know it will end with us having to say goodbye, but we still do it. We do it for the optimism and joy and happiness that pets bring. Pets make us whole and our lives special. Here in Bowling Green, several pet owners are lucky enough to bring their best friends to work.

Ashton Michael Anderson and Rocky Moran Anderson

“You will always catch my baby, Rocky Moran Anderson in his chair or walking around the salon welcoming all our fur guests and clients,” says Ashton. Ashton has been a master stylist for about six years and has always dreamed of opening a salon. “I made a five year plan and stuck to it,” she says. She opened Meraki in November 2017 with a vision of a salon with a unique twist. “All of our products we carry in the salon will always be cruelty free.” To top it off, Meraki is a “fur friendly” salon, which Rocky loves! “All well behaved pooches are welcome with their moms and dads,” says Ashton. Ashton says she wanted to bring awareness about animal testing in the beauty industry.

“My fur babies always help make every day beautiful and always keep me smiling,” she says. Ashton’s husband rescued Rocky for her in 2012 knowing they would be a perfect match. He is an American Pit Bull, and the two bonded instantly. “Rocky has been by my side ever since. He is now also a trained and registered service dog,” she says. Every day at Meraki is comical with all the fur babies around. Ashton says her favorite part of the day is when Loki, the salon’s other furry greeter who belongs to first hair stylist, Kayla Gilbreth, and Rocky greet each other in the morning. They make their rounds, circling the salon, happy to see each other.

Ashton says that when the salon’s clients walk in the door, they are so used to being greeted by their furry friends that when absent, the dogs are immediately missed. “Having them has brought the true light that I wanted for my salon,” she says. “I always tell everyone to rescue,” she adds. “There are so many wonderful dogs and cats that do not have homes. Many rest their heads at night in humane societies wondering if they are ever going to have someone to love them.”

 

Alex Sewell and Hank

Hank has been at work at Southern Touch Lawn and Landscaping, LLC everyday for the past 9 months. His person, Alex Sewell has owned Southern Touch for seven years.

“Bowling Green has been great to us,” he says. “We’ve recently expanded to owning a garden nursey to offer more to BG.”

Hank is a Weimaraner, and he has been with Alex since Fall 2017. “Hank enjoys eating flowers and mulch. It’s an endless battle,” says Alex.

Hank’s typical day consists of helping to greet customers in between relaxing in his black recliner at the Southern Touch office. He also enjoys going on ride-alongs with employees. Alex says customers also love seeing and petting Hank.

Alex says for those wanting to bring their pets to work too, start them young. “Start taking them everywhere with you as a puppy so that they are used to that lifestyle as well as people and other dogs.”

 

Susan Hoechner and Lizzie and Margot

Susan Hoechner, owner and interior designer at Barbara Stewart Interiors, loves what she does, and she loves her dogs.

In fact, her store is dog friendly. “I inherited Lizzie, a 12-year-old teacup poodle, from my mom two years ago, and I’ve had Margot, a 2-year-old miniature schnauzer, since she was a puppy,” she says.

Both have been coming to work since they were puppies. In the morning they nap and play. They get to work by visiting with customers, and then repeat the entire process. Susan says Margot’s internal clock will go off around 5:00 p.m., and she starts dancing about.

Susan says everyone at the shops, workers and customers alike, love the dogs—except when Margot barks too much! Susan says her advice for those thinking of adopting a best friend is to make sure you have the time to devote to a pet.

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