Meet some of Little Rock's beloved shop dogs helping their owners bring home the bacon.
Diamond Bear Brewing co.
You can’t have a bad day with a corgi puppy, and Lily brightens the days of the whole Diamond Bear staff. She is very sociable and loves to greet customers, and they love to see her running around.
“Her job is to be cute,” brewery owner Joe Mains says. “I’ve had her since she was 7 weeks old and she’s about 4 months old now. She was gifted to me on a Saturday and I took her to work with me on Monday.”
Lily's personality is much bigger than the rest of her body, and she’s often just happy to be around people and other dogs. She loves running around in the offices and greets the staff when they come in each morning. She especially loves saying goodbye to the chefs as they leave because they smell like food. She mostly stays in the brewhouse with Mains because she is still too young to roam, but the team is training her to be in the brewhouse and out on the patio.
“She’s a great little dog and is so social and loves people so much,” Mains says. “This is where she should be, because she gets enough people.”
MASH & MOOSE
Moose grew up in the Box Turtle store and is completely used to customers coming in and out all day long. Whenever any of the Box Turtle employees walk in the door, he immediately jumps up to greet them because he knows they will give him his daily treat. He loves to lay in the middle of the floor, almost like he is tempting people to pet him, and he adores children. (It helps that they're on his level.) He has a huge sweet tooth, so anyone who wants to be his best friend should bring him a cookie or some cake when they visit.
Moose is recognized by his signature wiggle-butt walk and sweet eyes, but make sure to give him pets or a treat when he wants it, or he might start herding you.
Mash Potato is a (mostly) gentle giant who is loved around the store. Sweet as he is, he doesn’t always realize his size. Mash wants to be petted so badly that sometimes he’ll tap you gently with his paw to remind you that he’s there, only it’s not so gentle because he’s more than a hundred pounds. He only ever wants to give and receive love (and treats). Mash will quite literally be happy with attention of any kind.
“One time, he was shedding so bad that Collin vacuumed him, and Mash didn’t move a muscle,” shop owner Emese Boone says. “He’s occasionally mistaken for a polar bear or a horse, but he’s a hoot to have around and he loves getting to come to the store. In fact, he often refuses to get up when it’s time to go home. If it were up to Mash, he’d stay at Box Turtle all day, every day.”
Belle & Blush
Dolly is a Shichon, or a mix of a Shih Tzu and a bichon frise. Belle & Blush owner Merry Kline adopted Dolly in 2019 and she is now 2 ½ years old, hypoallergenic, doesn’t shed and is the most chilled-out puppy Kline has ever met, which makes her the ideal shop dog.
“She is super sweet and friendly and really likes people,” Kline says. “When she’s in the front of the store, she greets every customer.”
While Dolly may be fluffy and adorable, she’s anything but dainty. She loves jumping in puddles any chance she gets and will plop down in the middle of the store to get people to rub her belly. She loves children, especially babies, and has, on occasion, attempted to climb into their strollers with them. She also likes to lay on the counters, particularly at checkout where customers are most likely to pet her.
“She’s smarter than all of us,” Kline says. “She does not bark at people unless they are ignoring her and she wants you to pet her. She’s a little bit spoiled. Maybe a lot. It’s ridiculous.”
Bella Vita Jewelry
Chester was adopted in February of this year and is just more than 2 years old. This chocolate lab and Chesapeake Bay retriever mix weighs in at 95 pounds, but is a very friendly giant.
“He’s probably the sweetest animal you’ll ever meet,” owner Brandy McNair says. “He’s got a great personality. Very mellow, very protective.”
Because of his size, McNair likes to be cautious with Chester, so when he comes to work every day, he stays upstairs during the busy mornings and comes out and about during quiet afternoons. But even with his limited appearances, he already has a great fan base around town. Chester is eager to become best friends with everyone he meets.
“I’ve never met a dog like this,” McNair says. “He has such a sweet personality. For being 2 years old, people tell me I’m lucky he's so calm. When he’s in the store, he’s super cautious. As big as he is, he’s so gentle.”
Rock Town River Outfitters
Grizzly has become such a staple of this bike and kayak/canoe rental shop because his owner Samuel Ellis got him the same year he started Rock Town River Outfitters.
“I think he picked me,” Ellis says. “He’s been my shadow ever since.”
Follow Grizz on Instagram: @grizz.lee.bear16
Ellis wanted to be a good dog dad and not leave puppy Grizz alone all day, so he took him on kayaking trips. Grizz would sit on Ellis’s lap as they went floating, and Grizz loved it. Grizz is a bit bigger now at 60 pounds, but he still loves kayaking.
Ellis says customers sometimes ask to book a tour "with Sam or Grizz," not knowing Grizz is a dog. Grizz also likes to lay by the window with his legs up in the air, waiting for belly rubs. He loves greeting people and helps build confidence in those who are paddleboarding or kayaking for the first time. Grizzly also has a knack for retrieving paddles from the water for customers.
“He has just been the perfect companion for this,” Ellis says. “The type of breed that he is, he wants a job, he loves going to work every day.”