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Mr. & Mr. December 2019 - Amos and Andy
Brand ambassadors, exemplary employees

f you find yourself in The Red Rickshaw at River Dunes, you’ll discover a pair of unlikely employees: Boston Terriers Amos and Andy.

Like any good salesperson, they know when to advance with a greeting and when to hang back. They entertain children as their parents consult with owners Scott Williams and Cindy Shockley, and even take deliveries (and treats) from UPS.

For their engaging demeanors and ability to work with any client, TownDock.net names Amos and Andy Mr. & Mr. December.

The Red Rickshaw is a custom home furnishings and interior design firm that relocated to River Dunes after repeated flooding to their location (the old Trawl Door building) in Oriental. Scott is originally from Wilson, NC and Cindy hails from Louisburg, NC.

The pair drove to Greenville 8 years ago to purchase a single Boston terrier. They’d grown to love Chewy, Cindy’s daughter’s Boston terrier. “We had never had dogs like this before,” Cindy said, “but because we loved Chewy we wanted one.” They decided to check out the breeders – the Tripps – where Chewy had been born.

Amos & Andy
Scott Williams cradles Amos and Andy in his lap in The Red Rickshaw.

Scott said, “When we arrived at the Tripp home, we discovered they had two puppies, the only two in the litter. We only went for one but could not leave the other one there. Especially since the Tripps retired their mom and pop Boston terriers after this litter. We were trying to think of two names that would mean something. I said to Cindy one day, ‘How about Amos and Andy?’ She said fine. So we had names for them before we brought them home.”

“They always come to work with us; they have become store personalities. People readily identify with them so when it’s appropriate, we use them in some marketing.”

“Some remember and just laugh when we tell them their names,” Scott said when asked if clients recognized the names from the 1950s Amos and Andy TV show.

“We have customers now who will come by just to say hello to them when they are not here to purchase any product or services. Some would take them home with them if we let them. All kids love them. Parents will go next door to eat and leave their children here to play with the dogs. We give treats to kids to give them and then the dogs just love them.”

Amos & Andy
Amos personified Hank on Halloween, a UPS driver he loves according to Scott Williams. Andy took on the stately role of a pontiff.

Cindy said, “They love the UPS man, whose name is Hank.” Scott added, “He has stopped several times when he had no deliveries or pick-ups because they are so used to interacting with him. Amos loves Hank to death. He will sit right there on those steps waiting for Hank to come. On Halloween, we dressed them both up, Amos as a UPS man and Andy as The Pope.”

Cindy said, “We surprised Hank before Halloween with Amos all dressed up in his UPS brown outfit and he just loved it.”

“Good gosh, he lit up like a Christmas tree when he saw Amos like that,” Scott said. “You can see why he will come by to visit them even if he doesn’t have a package for us. If Amos sees Hank in the truck sorting packages, he will dash out there and jump right up in the truck with him.”

Amos and Andy make themselves at home on the sofas, the rugs, and the chairs. Cindy said they love to get on the back of a sofa and lie in the sun. Amos and Andy have never broken anything and neither had any children who came in to play with them.

Amos & Andy
The condo-crate furnishings are so comfortable, Amos and Andy enjoy staying there during business hours.

Asked if the pair had ever pulled watchdog duties after hours when no one was present, Scott broke out in a big laugh. “Yeah, they would just lick an intruder to death.”

Not all customers are dog lovers. According to Scott, “Some customers come in and are a little skittish, but after a few minutes they warm right up. There are times the boys will go in their little crate for customers who don’t like dogs.”

The crate is a cabinet that fits right in with he decor. Amos and Andy enter when told, and they do not have to be quarantined as they generally follow directions and sense differing needs in different situations.

“Whenever we get in a new rug, these guys check it out first,” Cindy said. “We have had no clients that have problems with the Amos and Andy Quality Control Check, but if we knew some would have a problem with that, that wouldn’t happen.”

Amos & Andy
Amos can certify the comfort fine furnishings provide.
Amos & Andy
Andy, sleeping with one eye open and ears alert, reclines in comfort beneath the desk of his human, Scott Williams.

The popularity of the dogs stretches beyond the Red Rickshaw’s customer base and delivery personnel. Cindy said, “We have friends who will invite us to dinner and insist we bring them.” Scott said that on one occasion when they didn’t bring them, the hosts insisted they go back home and get them.” Scott noted, “They will have treats for them and while we sit down for diner, they will hop up on their sofa. Soon we will hear them snoring.”

Creatures of habit and routine, Amos and Andy know when it’s time for their humans to make a polite exit from the dinner party. Scott said, “If we have not made a move to leave by 9:30, they start nudging us toward the door, telling us it’s time to go home. At home, they even tell us it’s time to go to bed around 9:30.”

Amos & Andy
Scott Williams and Cindy Schockley share a lighter moment during their 24/7 parenting duties for Amos and Andy.

Scott said, “Understanding when it’s time to close the business at the end of each day, they will start circling near the door about 5:00. They know the schedule of treats once they’re home.” At 5p there is a piece of cheese, 6:30 is a dental stick, followed by a scoop of orange sherbet, and then a cookie.

The real food treat comes when employee Rodney White occasionally shows up with a rotisserie chicken from Oriental’s Piglet.

Amos & Andy
Cindy’s son-in-law, Marshall, provides a little pick-me-up of roast turkey.

The canine duo stays close to The Red Rickshaw, though one day last year when the air conditioning was off, the front door was left open. Amos took a stroll through the neighborhood to visit friends. Cindy said, “We didn’t know he was gone til we saw him coming back in through the open door.”

Their need to stroll away is countered by their enjoyment of rides in a golf cart. “They love to travel riding in a crate in the back seat,” Scott said. “They are so contented, we hardly know they are back there.”

The dogs, now at 8 years have normal health issues. Cindy reported that for some time last year, “Andy would not go down steps anymore. We could see his eyes were not right. We carried him to a veterinary clinic in Raleigh that specializes in cataract surgeries for dogs.”

Amos & Andy
Following protocol after cataract surgery, Andy was not allowed to lift heavy objects. He fully recovered and now bounds around, up and down steps as easily as before the cataract limited his vision.

Following protocol for human cataract surgeries, Cindy said they did not let Andy lift anything heavy after the surgery. “He had to get pressure checks every day for a month so he stayed with my daughter in Raleigh. The boys are always together; they have never been separated since birth. During the month Andy was getting pressure checks in Raleigh, Amos stayed there with my daughter also. Now Andy bounds up and down steps and does whatever he wants to do.”

Amos & Andy
It is apparent that Amos is the brother acclimated to the treat dispensing schedule.

How much of The Red Rickshaw’s business success can be attributed to Amos and Andy? That may not be a measurable quantity, but Scott said, “We have clients from Cape Cod to West Palm Beach. And we are a Southern Living named interior designer.” Amos and Andy are not on record with Southern Living, but perhaps they should be.

For their genial natures, adherence to a set schedule, and exceptional interpersonal skills, Amos and Andy are the December Pet of the Month.

Celebrity most resembles: Amos ‘n’ Andy.
Amos 'n' Andy, Mr. and Mr. December
Like: Hank the UPS man and Golf cart rides,
Dislike: The workday going past 5 PM
Want: More rotisserie chicken
Secret Talent: Brand Ambassadors
Claim to Fame: Comfort testers for fine furnishings
Favorite celebrities: Spencer Williams (Andy) and Alvin Childress (Amos)

photos and story by Ben Casey

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