Ruby joined a few of Minneapolis' furry-finest this week for a Minneapolis Star Tribune feature on Shop Dogs!
It was so fun to sit (and stay! and shake!) with the folks at the Star Tribune for an intimate behind-the-scenes peek into the life of a shop dog.
Workplace: The Foundry Home Goods
Weight: "More than a baby goat, less than a miniature pony."
When school's in session, Ruby knows when the neighborhood bus is about to drop off kids and she's there to greet them. When she sees other dogs approaching, she lies down and waits for them to fully appreciate her kind and gentle heart. She even demonstrates merchandise by allowing it to be perched on her head for Instagram posts. She is Ruby, chocolate lab in residence at the Foundry Home Goods in south Minneapolis.
"She was born the day before I opened the shop, so it felt like fate," said owner Anna Hillegass. "I knew I wanted a dog in the shop — I like the energy they bring."
Ruby's mellow nature makes her a neighborhood favorite. "In the past, when we were open for customers, we've had parents bring kids in to show them how to meet and interact with a dog," said manager Lillian Egner. "People who have new puppies brought them for socialization with Ruby."
What's the secret to this model canine citizen's behavior? Hillegass credits Ruby's natural temperament and an adherence to the principles of "dog whisperer" César Millán. "I watched a lot of his videos when Ruby was a puppy," she said.
Still, not every dog is right for every shop. Ruby's younger sister Turnip (same parents, different litter) was described by Hillegass as a "contrarian with wildfire eyes." Turnip goes to work with Hillegass' husband at One on One Bicycle Studio in Minneapolis. "They have a fenced yard with bike and skateboard ramps where she can run up and down. She just does better in a jock environment, and our two dogs get along better at night if they spend the day away from each other."
Read the whole feature (with the rest of the pups' "interviews") here!