After Owen Lima sustained a serious brain injury, he’s had trouble finding a job where he can keep his service dog, Blue, by his side. Most workplaces don’t allow dogs, but Blue helps Owen prevent anxiety attacks. When Owen went to an interview at a Lowe’s in North Regina, Canada, he was worried that he would be rejected because of Blue. Instead, though, both Owen and his dog were hired, and Blue was given a Lowe’s vest to wear.
Owen was overjoyed that Lowe’s was so willing to accept Blue. He told CBS News, “It’s so hard to find a job where people can accept me for the way I am and the fact that I have a service dog with me.” Now, Owen and Blue work as customer service associates, greeting customers and handling carts. A picture of Blue in his vest posted on the Lowe’s Canada Facebook page was shared more than 11,000 times in just a few weeks.
Paul Gallo, the manager who hired Owen, told him that his past doesn’t matter and all they care about is what he can do. Paul was surprised that the Facebook post went viral, and he told CBS, “We never intended for this to happen. We listened to an individual and we took him on board like we would anyone else.” Although Paul was just hiring another employee, he made a huge positive impact on Owen’s life by accepting and including Blue.