When “Heaven” first came to live with Jackie Rakers, she was sᴄᴀʀᴇᴅ of everything. The scruffy rescue dog from the Kentucky River Area Animal Rescue has had a rough start in life and is very nervous around strangers and loud noises.
Luckily, her mother found the perfect place to help her come out of her shell – Home Depot. “Home Depot activities started as a way to help her overcome her fear,” says Rakers. “She’s worried about new places and new sounds, so we’ll be gone in five minutes and she’ll get all the treats. Then we started going farther and longer and showing her more and more things in the store.”
The large and dog-friendly store is the perfect place for Heaven to socialize, and the pup is such a good girl on her visits that she’s earned her own tiny staff apron me.
Now, heaven knows, when her apron is taken off, she’ll be on her way to her favorite spot. “I leave it in the car so we’re always ready,” says Rakers. “As soon as she knew we were in the parking lot, she just shivered until I put on her apron and went straight to my ‘work'”.
Heaven has become a bit popular at her local Home Depot, where all the staff know her name and there’s even a photo of her in the break room. And while she may not be a full-time employee, when she’s at her favorite store, she’ll deliver great customer service.
She was walking around thinking about her business and then suddenly asked to meet someone. She just sat and stared. In the end, they always say how they need someone to pick me up. It seems like she knows who needs to be shown that they are loved that day – and one of her favorite places to do that is Home Depot !
Heaven loves to run errands with her mother and everywhere they go, she sees someone having a hard day in need of her smile.
“She was sᴄᴀʀᴇᴅ of everything, but with a lot of practice and patience she’s learned to trust and now it looks like she’s paying the price,” says Rakers.
The only downside to all Home Depot operations is that each time they visit, the Rakers come up with a new home improvement project. But all the retail therapy is worth it when she sees how happy Heaven is and how far she has come.
Heaven is the perfect example of what happens when you meet someone they are with and love unconditionally. She went from being a very sᴄᴀʀᴇᴅ and sad dog to being the happiest!