Meet our new greeter Fancy, a Border-Collie and Cocker Spaniel mix — I think. Although, some customers have guessed a Border-Collie and Sheltie mix. Since mid-December of 2012, Fancy has been working for belly rubs and chest strokes in our Chevrolet showroom most days of the week, at least part time. She’s become a bit of a celebrity here at Williams and now has her own Fancy & Friends Facebook page.
Fancy is a found dog. She’s the most docile, loyal and humble little dog I’ve ever met. I rescued her on my way downstate from Traverse City Dec. 5. She was running against traffic in the middle of M37, a two-lane highway (who knows for how long). She was starving, weak, dirty and deliriously exhausted.
After a few days, when she was finally strong enough to walk, I brought her into the showroom. People sometimes bring their dogs into our showroom and in our service waiting area, so I knew it would be OK to bring her to work just one time. I thought, perhaps, I might find her a good home. (I have three cats and live in an apartment complex where cats are OK, but dogs are not. Although several of my neighbors have dogs.)
As the dealership owner came through the Chevy showroom that morning, I asked him if he’d like to rescue a dog. Upon meeting her and hearing her story, he made an appointment for her to get checked out at his own vet, the Grand Traverse Veterinary Hospital. He even offered to pay the bill to nurse her back to health. That’s one thing I really appreciate about my employer — his love for animals and contributions to local organizations that help animals.
I put a picture of Fancy on our Williams Facebook Page and people starting asking for updates about Fancy. The vet said she was between 8 and 10 years old. She suffered from malnutrition, had tape worm and her blood work showed problems with her kidney function and thyroid, probably due to malnutrition. She has some broken ribs, but not from a recent injury. The vet said he was sure no one ever took care of Fancy, whose name was “Dealer Dog” at the time of the vet visit, and she most likely had been abused and neglected. See more photos of Fancy.
Now Fancy is worm-free, her blood work is showing improved numbers and she’s gaining weight. She loves the homemade dog food recipe I make for her, but she’s not a fan of the veggies. Follow the link to watch a video of Fancy eating her favorite food. (I’ve since learned to finely chop the veggies, so now she eats it all gone.)
Fancy got her name from our dealership owner, Bill. In the early days of her arrival, she was still nameless and I didn’t bring her to work all the time. Bill would stop by my desk and ask, “Where’s Miss Fancy?” and inquire about her health. He said her demeanor was a good fit for the showroom and that she was welcome to be part of the family. So after a while, the name “Fancy” has stuck and I’ve started to bring her to work nearly every day. Customers enjoy meeting her and talking to her. Many people whip out their pictures of their own canines to share with us. Employees like seeing her come to work everyday, too. She’s one of the gang.
Fancy has come a long way since we’ve been taking care of her. She follows me around the dealership, from Kia, to Honda, to the back lot, to Automax — everywhere. She doesn’t need a leash because she won’t take her eyes off of me. In the beginning, she couldn’t relax, sit or lay down. She would just stand close to me, with her head hung low. It seemed she was so used to hanging her head, she didn’t even know she could lift it. But she’s changing and growing every day — she lifts her head and politely asks to be pet, her eyes are less sad and more bright, she wags her tail and enjoys visiting with everyone she meets, especially kids and other dogs.
At home, she’s great with my cats and minds her own business. She loves sleeping in the bed that our Williams Kia service manager Ken Matthews gifted to her. She looks forward to our nightly walks around my neighborhood, trotting through the snow and tracking smells. She waits for the praise I give her for going potty in all the right places (anywhere but inside). I’m her momma now.