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Mr. June 2020 - Louis
Canine embraces new retail career

N
autical Wheelers has a gregarious new staff member. He greets customers, provides traffic calming services, and never complains. If he has any faults, it’s the occasional long white stands of hair he leaves in his wake.

But one forgets any transgressions when Louis turns on his soulful, puppy dog eyes.

Two-year old Louis is the fresh face at Nautical Wheelers, and in the Wheeler household. Though he may have spent nearly half his life wandering county roads, he is now a domesticated man. Louis is Mister June, the TownDock.net Pet of the Month.

Louis - Mr. June 2020
Louis

Camilla Wheeler had been looking for a dog. “I wanted a dog. I needed a dog. But I wanted the right one.” As for her husband Bill – not so much. The Wheelers had not owned a dog for years. “We had been too busy raising children and operating two stores to think about a dog.”

When Louis and Camilla first met, he was in the foster care of Mary Taylor. “She’d found him on the side of the road,” Camilla said, “dirty and hair all matted. He’d been wandering for a long time.” Camilla would come to find out that ‘long time’ was about 10 months; from February to November of 2019.

Louis - Mr. June 2020
Relaxing at Oriental’s Nautical Wheelers

Mary had named the long haired, mixed-breed pup Chewy. She already had two dogs and though she loved him, she couldn’t keep him. But, said Camilla, Mary “was adamant about making sure a new home for him would be a good home.”

Louis came to the Wheeler’s home for a two-day trial run. “Mary had to see my house, and brought an over-night bag for him.” Louis never left. “I fell in love with him.”

It appears the love was mutual. “He felt right at home and bonded with me instantly,” Camilla said. “I am his person.”

Louis - Mr. June 2020
Camilla fell in love with Louis on his trial visit to the Wheeler home. The feeling was mutual.

When Louis – then Chewy – joined the household on a permanent basis, Bill opted for a name change. He felt that a name like Chewy for a dog could be interpreted as a negative connotation about the dog’s personal habits. “Bill called him Chuck, but the kids didn’t think that was just right – not exactly dignified,” Camilla said.

Louis’ bark provided the needed inspiration. “When he came to us, he didn’t have a full blown bark,” she added. Bill said, “It was more like a low, bass trumpet sound.”

That sound made them think of famed jazz trumpeter Louis ‘Satchmo’ Armstrong. “And that’s why he is Louis, not Chewy,” Camilla said.

Louis - Mr. June 2020
When there’s a lot of foot traffic in the store, Louis does double duty as a traffic calming device.

There are some lingering impacts from Louis’ life as a county nomad. “He has night terrors, and we’re always careful to give him his space and let him know he’s safe when that happens,” Camilla said.

Ten months on the road is a long time. Camilla thinks he may have left his first home to pursue a new interest; “he discovered that there were little girl dogs out there in the world. He left his yard and never returned.” When Mary found him, she had the vet redirect his attentions.

Louis was already house broken which translated into being retail business broken. He loves people and enjoys greeting everybody who visits the store with his tail wagging. Camilla said, “That makes him a really good fit. We think there is some hound in his face and nose but his back and double coat of fur make him an Australian shepherd. Dr. Sherri Hicks recommended a DNA kit and a sample has been sent off to determine his DNA.”

Louis - Mr. June 2020
Louis follows Camilla everywhere.

When Nautical Wheelers is filled with customers, Louis calls on his shepherd instincts and practices herding them around the store. He approaches humans from behind and nudges them with his nose, perhaps to guide them to particular counters of merchandise.

“At home, we throw balls to each other but he doesn’t retrieve them. He just runs back and forth between us.” Camilla thinks he didn’t play much as a pup. But he does seem to be catching on. “He has just started getting the ball, though. He’s done it a few times now. I think he’s finally learning how to play.”

Louis is adamant that he go wherever Camilla goes. “There have been a couple of days I didn’t take him to work with me because I had meetings with vendors. At home on those days, he whined for me and he stretched out by the door waiting for me to come back.”

Louis - Mr. June 2020
Bill Wheeler gives Louis hands-on-affection in the inner office of Nautical Wheelers. It also doubles as the afternoon nap room for Louis after a busy morning greeting customers.

But Bill hasn’t been left out of Louis’ regard. When Bill runs errands into the county or around town, Louis rides shotgun. “One day Bill said he’d take the dog home with him,” Camilla said. “And so Louis got up in the front seat of the truck. He loves it there because he can see everything. But now Bill Wheeler likes to have his little dog up in the front seat going on errands with him.”

Bill and Louis are also becoming closer. Louis’ trainer is helping with that, too, making sure both Wheelers have time teaching and treating their new four-legged family member.

But no matter what’s going on, Louis positions himself so he can always see Camilla. They even make bank deposits together.

Louis - Mr. June 2020
Louis knows it’s not money or bank notes coming out first for him.
Louis - Mr. June 2020
Louis makes a milkbone withdrawal, not a deposit a the bank drive-through.

“I do walk-through instead of the drive-through at the bank next door. The ladies at the drive-through love him so he has learned to go with me to the bank, walk up to the window, and stare at the drawer until she opens it for me to get a treat out for him.”

Customer service is tiring work. “In the afternoons,” said Camilla, “especially if we have had a busy morning, he goes into our little office where we have a gate to keep him in there. He has a rug in there to lie on for his naps.”

Because of his love, loyalty, and distinctive bark, Louis is the June Pet of the Month.

Celebrity most resembles: Actor Chris Evans

Likes: Making withdrawals at the bank drive-through, customer service, family time
Dislikes: Bad dreams
Professional Title: Customer Relations Specialist
Rule to Live By: Don’t let the mistakes of your past dictate your future


Story & photos by Ben Casey.

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Know a pet that is a standout? Send in some details and a photo to pet@towndock.net. Tell why that pet deserves the coveted TownDock.net Pet of the Month Prize Package --- accolades, a pat on the head (snakes excluded) and a box of Milk Bones ( or snack suitable for the species).

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