Regular shoppers stop by just to see him. His droopy ears waggle when he hears the sound of children coming to play with him. His name is Bozley, and he's a basset hound who spends much of his time in the Webster City True Value Store.
Vicki Olson, who owns the True Value store with her husband, Jim Olson, said Bozley is about 18 months old. Still very much a puppy, Vicki Olson said he's too young to let loose around the house all day.
"He comes to work with me when I come in and goes home with me at night," Vicki Olson said.
Bozley comes out of his cage to enjoy some play time with Vicki Olson, employees and customers of the Webster City True Value store. Bozley, an 18-month-old basset hound, travels to the store every day with Olson, who, along with her husband, Jim, own the store. Bozley spends much of his time napping in his bed, but Olson takes him out for walks and to play with customers. Olson said that several regular True Value customers will come in just to see Bozley and give him a treat if he’s lucky.
As customers come in and out of the store as the morning turns to afternoon, Bozley is sleeping in his cage near the back entrance. Vicki Olson said, like most basset hounds, Bozley loves his sleep. However, upon approaching his bed, Bozley pulls his sleeping face from the side of his cage and rustles with excitement on his stubby legs.
Vicki Olson said people who regularly visit True Value get to know him pretty well. She said that some customers will stop in just to see him and bring him a treat.
"People really seem to like him," Vicki Olson said. "He's great with kids and he's nice to have at the store."
The Olsons began bringing the pup to work shortly after they first got him. Vicki Olson said Bozley is the third basset hound that she's had and the last one passed away in January of last year.
"We weren't going to get another dog," Vicki Olson said, laughing as she looked down at Bozley. "And I missed my dog, and I cried and cried, and I got another dog."
While there's nothing like a small, furry friend to help a person heal through grief, anyone who's owned and trained a puppy knows it's no small feat. Vicki Olson said she knew she couldn't potty train Bozley if he stayed at home all day, and preferred to bring him along to work rather than putting him in a kennel all day.
Being a young dog, the Olsons are content to let Bozley sleep in his cage most of the day. Vicki Olson said she takes him out for walks several times a day, and he gets plenty of attention from shoppers and visitors.
"We don't let him roam around the store," Olson said. "Because he is a puppy and really likes to jump on people to say hi. We can let him out if someone wants to see him."
After a bit of playtime and a lots of tail-wagging and licking, Bozley headed back into his cage to resume his nap, getting ready to play with the next group of visitors to the True Value store.