Paddling into Our Hearts | The Source Weekly - Bend, Oregon

Paddling into Our Hearts

In Bend, dogs are totally socially acceptable during business hours. A sizable symbol of puppy workplace mainstreaming: This annual Dog Days of Summer issue, brought to you by the Source Weekly. Whether as staff work companions or as petting opportunities, animal therapy can be good for morale, productivity and sales.

Around these parts, Old McDonald would be in high desert fur baby heaven; a favorite Corgi here, a particularly adorable mixed breed rescue there. Here a dog, there a dog, everywhere a dog, dog. With a woof, woof here and a woof, woof there, read on for a tribute to the "Bend famous" K9 paddle professionals that hold it down at Tumalo Creek Kayak & Canoe. (Disclosure: I work there.)

Paddling into Our Hearts

Name: Nami

Type: Corgi

Job title: Director of Barketing and Tails

Coat: White as snow laced with cedar patches

The token staff girl in a male-dominated industry (and this week's Source cover model), she's all business; a vocal alpha female through and through. This lady is a workhorse. Fetch, chase and chew toys are all in her portfolio—but she's not just brains and brute; she's a beauty too. Though all the shop dogs have local followings of sorts, Nami is easily the most recognized and gets the most likes, shares and comments when she graces social media. Some might call her a "cover girl," but judging by her love of the water, in a past life she was definitely a marine mammal.

Paddling into Our Hearts

Name: Wilson

Type: Yellow Lab

Job title: Professional Disappearing Act

Coat: Natural blond

This big guy is easy to please, playful and he enjoys his co-workers. Constantly leashed to his work duties, Wilson likes to escape the confines of the upstairs office whenever possible, sneak out the back door and cool off in the river. Colleagues often find him wandering outside and guide him back to his office. Admired and appreciated for his well-adjusted and even-keeled demeanor, Wilson possesses just one agitating habit. Staff are not super impressed by the decorative drool that often leaves his lips and latches onto cotton products. When brushed on clothing it dries into a rocky bio-crust film. If only Nami could think of a way to market it (or "barket it"). 

Paddling into Our Hearts

Name: Hank

Type: Mixed breed rescue

Job title: Chief Operating Pup

Coat: Full platinum, Gwen Stefani style, with coffee stains

As the OG shop dog, after many years helping manage the retail floor, Hank earned his way to the upstairs offices as supervisor. Partial to rafting, Hank loves to lie at the back of the boat, periodically nodding off. Caution is strongly recommended when waking him up. Doggie and human co-workers alike know when the frequency of Hank's low-tone growls increase, the only cure is more river time. Though he has required some medical attention after swallowing tennis balls and such, he's highly respected and the community has always rallied together to support his recovery.

Paddling into Our Hearts

Name: Jake

Type: Mixed breed rescue

Job Title: Clean-up Crew

Coat: Salt, pepper and other savory spices

Every staff needs that relaxed-fit oldtimer who keeps things mellow when the high tides of summer tourism threaten to overwhelm. Jake is that guy. Being besties and roommates with Hank, they balance each other nicely. With river trips and shop BBQs, Jake can often be found rooting around the kitchen for scraps. His thoroughness precedes him, leaving no stone unturned or corner un-sniffed. The secret to his snack success? The low-angle rubbish bin where discarded lunch bits can easily be fished out.

Paddling into Our Hearts

Name: Tillo

Type: Mixed breed rescue

Job Title: Program Director's Right Hand Man

Coat: Brindle with chocolate and copper stripes

While small, he packs a big punch in personality. Like Ma Anand Sheela to Osho, anywhere the programs director is, Tillo is close by. Tillo's self-appointed duty is to carefully guard the programs office, giving him cause to pat down any entrants and give an occasional high-pitched bark to identify funny business. Tillo has a one-track mafioso mind, rarely straying from his master without separation anxiety. The only exception: distractions by foreign smells or K9 comrades. Rafting on the river, Tillo prefers to be the lead boat and whines profusely if circumstance don't allow that. Tillo's most endearing quality is his youthful appearance; the term forever puppy is not misused on him.

About The Author

K.M. Collins

A native Oregonian, K.M. Collins is a geologist-gone-writer. Covering everything outdoors and a spectrum of journalism, she's a jack of all whitewater sports and her favorite beat is anything river related. Don't blow her cover as a freshwater mermaid amongst humans.
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