Clay Luthy, an Air Force veteran in Abilene, Texas, had a difficult time finding work after he left the service. Injuries to his knees prevented him from reenlisting, but working in the private sector wasn’t any easier. Luthy needed to find an employer that would work with him and his service dog.
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Charlotte, his dog, was part of the package. The pair have been together for 10 years. Luthy relies on Charlotte to calm his nerves. She’s an asset that Luthy has chosen to use over medication, and it has worked well for him.
“We were interviewing people for his position. And he was one of the applicants. And so he showed up for the interview and he had Charlotte with him,” Jay Fellers, a human resource manager at Lowe’s, told KRBC-TV.
“Instead of medications, I have Charlotte,” Luthy said.
The decision has paid off. The pair have been working in the Abilene Lowe’s for two months. Charlotte comes to work wearing a Red vest, just like the rest of the Lowe’s employees. She’s been an asset for the store, too. Customers like that Lowe’s is willing to make such accommodations, but they like Lowe’s willingness to work with a veteran’s distinct needs even more.
The pair are often scheduled for departments, like paints, where Charlotte can sit. It is fine for her to be seen, but she’s still a working service dog, so she’s not there for the customers to pet or play with.
With all of the talk about jobs, outsourcing, and automation that dominated the political discourse of 2016, Luthy and Charlotte serve as a reminder that there’s a willing workforce here in the United States. And the service industries, like home-improvement retail, can’t ever be automated or outsourced.
It is great to see a company, especially one so monolithic, take special consideration for the needs of someone who served this country. It would have been very easy for them to pass Luthy over, as many others did when Luthy and Charlotte showed p as a pair.