NEW PORT RICHEY, Fla. — During the height of the pandemic, there was a credit union in Pasco County that was bringing a puppy to work to help brighten up their customers' days.
That puppy became such a success he is now a permanent fixture at the branch.
When you pull up to the Achieva drive-through in New Port Richey, people often find themselves asking, "how much is that doggy in the window?"
"I honestly never thought that bringing dogs to work would be a good thing. I thought it would probably create too much confusion," said branch manager Sherry Jackson.
Jackson said her two-year-old Shih Tzu Bear ended up being the perfect little escape for members.
"Just to see the smiles on their faces during that very difficult time during the pandemic," said Jackson.
Achieva members and staff became so attached that even when the branch completely opened back up, Bear wasn't going anywhere.
"It's all he knows coming to work, so he is super well behaved, he just knows what to do when we are on the teller line, and members see that there is a dog and they want to come to my window just because they want to see Bear," said Jackson.
Bear is not the exception. Everyone is allowed to bring their pets into the credit union, both members and employees.
"It's very unique. You just don't see this in a financial institution," said Jackson.
"Brutus comes in almost every day and he immediately runs to the teller line and jumps up to the teller and she will have a treat ready for him."
"He gets along with the staff quite well; we are talking about the fury staff," said Brutus' owner and long-time member John Neder.
Jackson hopes Achieva serves as an inspiration to other businesses and office settings that bringing pets to work can be a positive experience.
"They love walking in the door and having dogs run up to greet them," said Jackson referring to their members.