The sound of the door chimes sends Katie scurrying to the front of the store. Before visitors even make it through the entryway she is already sitting in wait to greet new and familiar faces.
“Oh my gosh! Look we have a greeter!” most of our new visitors exclaim. Katie stands in anticipation of loves, her tail wagging as if it is going to propel her up into the air.
Katie is indeed The Book Garden’s “meeter and greeter.” We certainly aren’t the first, or the only, bookstore to have a four-legged employee but anyone who has met Katie will certainly agree that she is excellent at her job. In fact, I would venture to say our little Australian Cattle Dog Blend of a pooch with a bit of a paunch is an excellent role model for anyone who works in a bookshop.
- First and foremost, she is consistent – every single person who comes into the store gets the same welcome.
- Katie is patient and will sit and wait while a customer takes their time to peruse the shelves.
- Katie pays attention to body language. When other furry friends come to visit, she waits for them to decide how friendly they’d like to be. She does the same with little people – although every once in a while she lets a gentle kiss escape and dampen a rosy cheek!
- She can tell when a book isn’t really what someone needs. While people can give the proverbial shoulder, Katie is open to good long hugs. And she’ll give her undivided attention and climb into a welcoming lap for good measure – this is NOT recommended for two-legged employees.
- Katie doesn’t judge. Whatever a reader is passionate about — romance, sci-fi, memoir, thrillers, classics or any other genre, Katie is thrilled to accompany them on their search for their next favorite read.
Katie’s personal recommendations – A Dog’s Purpose and The Genius of Dogs – this video reinforces why this one is a favorite! And last but not least, Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus. Who wouldn’t recommend Mo Willems?
Katie wasn’t always the model employee. During her first few weeks on staff she would often jump up on newcomers in all of her excitement, sometimes having a tackle-like effect. Bags dangling unprotected from a hand were a temptation and the occasional attempt at thievery occurred – especially if the bag contained food or happened to be adorned with black paw prints – the signature sack of Katie’s favorite shop. If someone comes in carrying a Yellow Dog bag Katie will still escort them around the store and quickly sit in the “I’m a good girl now give me a treat” pose every time the person pauses in their stride. This is the only time Katie hesitates when the door chimes sound. Hey, we all have room for improvement.