Furry Friends at Work


According to those who live, work, and play in Lake Country, a laid-back vibe isn’t just for the weekends. One of the many benefits of living in a small(er) community is having more flexible rules—like bringing your dog to work. Lake Country has many storefronts with furry friends relaxing inside, and eagerly waiting to greet all who enter. 

Sully & Decca – Tibetan Terrier | English Setter

Brainerd Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV)
Sully is a two-year-old Tibetan terrier, also known as the “lead greeter.” Decca, a one-year-old English setter, is known as the “greeter in training.” Managers Donny and Traci and their staff are no strangers to a busy, stressful day at the Brainerd Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) in Brainerd, Minnesota, which is why their pups come to work with them. “They have a great calming effect on both staff and customers alike,” Traci said. “They really do make the workplace so much more enjoyable.” 

Colt – Australian Shepard 

Custom Upholstery & Awning Center
Colt is a one-year-old purebred Australian Shepard. His owner, Trace Cruikshank, says he was supposed to be a “cow dog.” He has turned out less of a cow dog for herding, and more of a friendly greeter at Custom Upholstery & Awning in Brainerd. Colt gets many compliments from customers. The most popular compliment is about his eyes—his golden-brown eyes. Colt has quite the trick: he can crack open sunflower seed shells and eat just the seed. Although Colt hasn’t turned out to be the herding-type his ancestors were, he owns who he is—the happiest greeter.

Ellie May & Melody Zippy – Bulldog | Black Mouth Cur/Basset Hound Mix

Carlson Hardware
Melody Zippy Carlson is a black mouth cur and basset hound mix. Ellie May Carlson is a bulldog. Together, they are the official mascots of Carlson Hardware in Nisswa, Minnesota. The Carlsons are keen on bringing everyone in the family to work, and that, of course, includes their beloved fur babies. Owner Cari Carlson quips, “I bring Ellie and Melody to work every day because they have separation anxiety, and because everyone just loves them!” Customers who stop by Carlson Hardware are greeted with tail wags from Ellie and Melody. Carlson Hardware is a family-owned business, and all enjoy having the dogs at work every day. “It’s like the girls (dogs) have twelve owners. Everyone treats them as their own. They are just a part of the Carlson Hardware family!” 

Loona – Yellow Labrador Retriever

D.H. Docks
Owner of DH Docks, Mike Morgan, brings his yellow Labrador retriever, Loona, to work most often in the springtime. It’s when business is the busiest, and she does great with the high level of activity. Loona (notice the very Minnesotan spelling) is two years old and loves people, chasing balls, and anything to do with water. Loona is very comfortable with the large pond outside of the DH Docks storefront. When she was a puppy, she jumped in the pond right after they had put coloring in the water to off-set the algae. Loona came running out of the pond, looking like a blue Lab, instead of a yellow Lab.

Samson – Australian/German Shepard Mix 

14 Lakes Brewing
Samson, or “Sam,” is an Australian/German Shepard mix. He is also the official greeter for 14 Lakes Brewing. His owner, Dan Trombley, got him from a farm northwest of the Twin Cities. Sam’s calm demeanor makes him a fast friend to kiddos—even if they think he’s a bit intimidating at first. During longer brewing days, Dan and the assistant brewer, John Durham, bring all of their dogs to the brewery so they can play. “Sam influences us here at 14 Lakes Brewing in a positive way,” Dan said. “He is a very loving dog that enjoys a good butt scratch, and he always puts a smile on people’s faces.”