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Dogs at work

See larger Willow, a 5 1/2-year-old Affenpinscher, had been abandoned at a vet clinic because the dog looked ill. She wasn't sick, she was pregnant, and soon had three puppies. Don Bunnell and his wife adopted the young dog. 'The kids moved out,' said Don 'And we needed company so we got Willow.' Not only does Willow join him at his business, Professional Dry Cleaners of Marco, but she pretty much goes anywhere he goes. 'I take Willow everywhere but the grocery store.'

Sharon Yanish/Special to the Eagle

Willow, a 5 1/2-year-old Affenpinscher, had been abandoned at a vet clinic because the dog looked ill. She wasn't sick, she was pregnant, and soon had three puppies. Don Bunnell and his wife adopted the young dog. "The kids moved out," said Don "And we needed company so we got Willow." Not only does Willow join him at his business, Professional Dry Cleaners of Marco, but she pretty much goes anywhere he goes. "I take Willow everywhere but the grocery store."

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  • Lucy started life as a frightened, abused puppy rescued by county authorities. 'I was the first one she let hold her,' said Mike Held, co-owner of Keep in Touch, a gift and greeting card store at the Shops of Marco. 'I saw Lucy, she saw me, and I named her right then.' Now 5-years-old, she accompanies him to work each day, and customers often stop by just to bring her dog cookies. 'I didn't realize the reaction from customers who feel a connection with Lucy. She brings joy to people and crosses boundaries.'
  • During the busy tax season when Lori, left, and Roger St. George work long hours, their Jack Russell terrier, Lucky, hovers over the computer keyboard at Charde & St. George accounting firm. 'I hate leaving him at home,' said Lori. While they consult with clients, Lucky heads for the Critter Cafe to romp with friends and run off some energy before he comes back to the office. 'I like having him around,' said Roger. 'He takes the edge off.'
  • Lambeau is the constant companion of Kevin and Lisa Howard, owners of the Critter Cafe. Found wandering the streets a year ago, Lambeau was emaciated, covered with scabs, his hair filled with ticks and fleas. The Howards adopted him, gave him some much needed TLC, and now he's a fixture at their business. 'He goes wherever we go,' said Kevin. 'What a life for a dog,' said Lisa. 'He gets to come to work every day and play with all his friends.'
  • Fia Kaplan, owner of the Island Woman boutique in Goodland, brings Olive, her 6-month-old yellow Labrador, to work each day. 'I don't have a 9 to 5 job,' she said. 'Sometimes I'm here until 9 o'clock at night. She keeps me company.' Olive benefits, too, since being around a lot of people helps the young dog become socialized. 'I never wanted a dog to be in a crate all of the time,' said Fia.
  • No one can have a sad expression for long once they spot Lena at Progressive Auto Center, said Lisa Kelly, owner. The 20-month-old Boxer can improve anyone's mood, and after one look at Lena, they start smiling and telling stories about their own pets. Lisa has been bringing her dogs to work for 15 years. In fact most of her customers will remember PeeWee, a Chihuahua-rat terrier mix, who is now retired and stays at home. Now, Lena has taken his place, sitting proudly in her desk chair behind the counter. Lisa said her northern customers who've had to leave their dogs behind will come in to see Lena and say, 'I need my dog fix.'
  • Lena, the Boxer, sits in her chair on duty behind the counter at Progressive Auto Center. 'She's very people oriented,' said Lisa Kelly, owner, who brings the dog to work each day. 'Boxers tend to get into mischief if left to their own devices.'
  • Romeo is only 16 months old, but the little Chihuahua romps with Lena the Boxer at Progressive Auto Center. They're best friends and miss each other when they're not together. Romeo's owner, Rene Robles, got the okay to bring him to work even before the little dog joined her family. 'I wouldn't want to leave him home all day,' she said. Romeo goes everywhere else with her, too, strapped in a kangaroo pouch on her chest. 'He's my baby,' she said with a smile. 'In fact I call him a baby in a baby dog's body.'
  • Willow, a 5 1/2-year-old Affenpinscher, had been abandoned at a vet clinic because the dog looked ill. She wasn't sick, she was pregnant, and soon had three puppies. Don Bunnell and his wife adopted the young dog. 'The kids moved out,' said Don 'And we needed company so we got Willow.' Not only does Willow join him at his business, Professional Dry Cleaners of Marco, but she pretty much goes anywhere he goes. 'I take Willow everywhere but the grocery store.'
  • Found close to death by volunteers at the Human Society Naples, Lucky now resides with Jim and Amy Kauffman. They were thrilled to be able to 'save a little creature' and take the four-pound Yorkie with them to outdoor restaurants where other diners are drawn to him. 'He loves a little pat on the head,' said Amy.

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