By Lauren Grose
Owen Lima expected an immediate rejection during his job interview at Lowe’s in North Regina, Canada. Suffering from a brain injury, he attended with his loyal service dog, Blue.
“It’s so hard to find a job where people can accept me for the way I am and the fact that I have a service dog with me,” Lima told CBS News as he reflected on the day he was hired.
To his surprise, store manager Paul Gallo promised Lima he could keep Blue with him at work as long as the canine wore a bright reddish-orange Lowe’s vest.
“We don’t care about your past, what you are — we care about what you can do,” Gallo reassured to him.
Lima now is the new Lowe’s customer service associate. Each shift, he greets customers and manages carts, all alongside 10-year-old Blue.
When he begins to get frustrated or has difficulties understanding the store visitors, Blue calms him down, ultimately preventing anxiety attacks.
“[Blue] being in the store has made my job easier to do,” Lima said.
Lowe’s Canada uploaded a photo of Lima and Blue to the company Facebook page that immediately went viral.
“We’re overwhelmed,” Gallo commented on the attention the story received on social media. “We never intended for this to happen. We listened to an individual and we took him on board like we would anyone else.”
With over 45,000 likes and 18,000 shares, there’s no doubt that Lima and Blue will drive instant traffic to the store. Lima is expected to control Blue in such situations, but Gallo believes the dog will be showered with love.