The Lowe's in Abilene, Texas does not discriminate.
Clay Luthy joined the Air Force after 9/11. After serving as a C-130 loadmaster on Dyess Air Force Base, he could not reenlist because of knee problems. He then found himself in Abilene, Texas looking for a job with a wife and three kids to support.
He would frequent the Lowe's in Abilene and one day inquired about jobs. But there was one important addition to hiring him: He would have to bring his service dog, Charlotte. Clay cannot bend his left knee at all and uses his 10-year-old Golden Retriever as an important emotional and physical resource.
"I can do pretty much everything. We grew up with nothing, so we fixed things and did it ourselves," he told Abilene Reporter-News.
Clay and Charlotte were hired as "flex members," who help customers find what they need.
"That way people don't have to wait," he said.
What Lowe's nor Clay realized was how much Charlotte would comfort customers, especially kids that were bored with their parents' home improvement searches. Even though Charlotte is a service dog, she is allowed to be pet and especially likes belly rubs.
"Everybody loves Charlotte. This definitely was not part of the job description," Clay said.
Charlotte has become a local celebrity and visitors of the the Lowe's in Abilene are always happy to see her.
Clay and Charlotte have been at the Lowe's for two months now and are loving their work. Lowe's allows dogs in their stores and this isn't the first time they've hired a service dog that came with an employee. A man at a Lowe's in Canada was also hired with his service dog, who also got his own Lowe's vest.
Lowe's seems to truly appreciate their employees, even allowing Clay to have Fridays off so he could watch his oldest daughter march in the band at Cooper High School before football games.
And the employees appreciate it, too.
"I made it here. I have my family, my wife and kids," Clay said.
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