Learning the Ropes: A Shop Pup’s First Day on the Job

IMG_8252 Hi. It’s me, Opie, the dog of the store manager. I’d like to introduce you to my friend, Eleanor Roosevelt. ^ That’s her. She used to be the “special correspondent” of our shop dog team, but now that she’s not a baby anymore, it’s finally time for her to start work at the store. That’s where I come in. As senior store-hound, it’s my job to teach the junior store-hound how everything works. Here’s how the first day went.

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Step one: The interview. My Andy asked Eleanor about her greatest strengths (cuteness and sniffing), her biggest weakness (fear of garbage trucks), and her favorite book (My Dog: The Paradox by Matthew Inman). They negotiated the salary for a while, ultimately agreeing two biscuits per day would be a good start. Then they shook hands, and Andy proclaimed her ready to begin.


Next, we received our instructions from the store people. I was to take Eleanor Roosevelt around the store for a training rotation with each department. Got it.


I made sure Eleanor Roosevelt got to know each bookseller. Here, you can see Nathan showing her where to find books by strong female leaders (in the biography section, of course).


When you’re short, sometimes it’s fun to make yourself tall. You can see EVERYTHING from up here. We had a grand ol’ time climbing on the chairs until Andy said it was time to get down and back to work.


find the book
Then it was time for a test: Let’s say a customer comes in and requests an autographed book to give as a gift. Where do you go to fetch it?


Next question: What do you do when you need to know what’s on order for the coming week? Answer: Go ask Tristan. (We let Eleanor Roosevelt sit there for a while and look at Tristan’s face, because she has a fondness for glasses. Honestly, it’s kind of weird. I’ve never known a dog so fascinated by eyewear.)


Then we checked in with Pete, the receiving manager, to find out what was in all those boxes that had just arrived. Eleanor Roosevelt learned that Parnassus receives stacks and stacks of packages every day, full of regular stock and special orders for customers. I also passed along an important tip: Pete gives great ear-scratches.


Then, just for fun, Niki taught Eleanor Roosevelt to do the “Sparky sit.” This is Sparky’s famous move: sit up, show how cute your belly is, and look pleadingly at someone until that person gives you a biscuit. Personally, I find the circus act a bit twee for a dog my size, but the little ones can really pull it off.


the register
Next stop: The front register. Yashwina and Stephanie showed Eleanor Roosevelt how to ring up a purchase and ask, “Did you find what you were looking for?” If a customer is visiting from afar, we usually throw in some extra bookmarks and postcards for them to take home. We also offer everyone a York Peppermint Patty from the bowl by the register. (I warned Eleanor: Don’t try one. If you eat chocolate, all the people freak out and make you go to the vet.)


We did a quick pass through the children's section, where the small customers are always friendly. Eleanor Roosevelt checked the train table to make sure everything was running smoothly.
We did a quick pass through the children’s section, where the small customers are always friendly. Eleanor Roosevelt checked the train table to make sure everything was running smoothly.


HoooOOOoo, what a day. Time to settle into one of the shared doggie-loungers for a rest. I declared Eleanor Roosevelt ready-ish for work (she does have to repeat the class on not howling indoors), and she celebrated by ripping the squeaker out of a stuffed monkey.

Come visit soon, won’t you? The shop dogs like all customers — even cat-lovers. And they love social media, too. Follow along on Facebook, TwitterInstagram, and Lucky Stars (our tumblr) for candid snapshots and whatnot.

NEW: Limited-edition posters, designed by Nashville’s own Sawtooth Printhouse. Only 150 were made — available until they run out!

sawtooth shop dogs poster


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Shopping with the shop dogs: 

poster banner
Featuring Sparky, Gracie, Opie, Bear, and Eleanor Roosevelt
By Sawtooth Printhouse
Availability: Limited edition — while supplies last
ISBN-13: 9781449437527
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 days
Published: Andrews McMeel Publishing, 5/2013

Underwater Dogs (Hardcover)

ISBN-13: 9780316227704
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Little, Brown and Company, 10/2012

Dog Shaming (Paperback)

ISBN-13: 9780385349345
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Three Rivers Press, 9/2013

ISBN-13: 9780983442165
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Smart Guide Publications Inc., 3/2012

ISBN-13: 9781607743620
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Ten Speed Press, 8/2013
ISBN-13: 9781402293498
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Sourcebooks, 6/2014