Great State: From Stray to Stay in Shawnee
SHAWNEE, OKLAHOMA — You can usually find Steve relaxing in a corner.
He’s a 2, maybe 3, year old Labrador mix.
He hangs out at Richard’s Drug in downtown Shawnee.
When his official owner Rob Speight calls he pads back to the Downtown Clinic.
“The whole time,” explains Speight, “When we come to work he comes to work with us. He’ll either be hanging out in the pharmacy up front or back here, but he just walks back and forth.”
It hasn’t even been a year since he started coming to work, but Steve is already more a fixture here than any other animal in the place, which includes some figurines and a lot of animal themed greeting cards.
After all, Steve isn’t for sale, not for all the money in the world.
Rob says, “He’s definitely a lucky dog as far as that goes.”
Steve joined the Speight family as a stray.
Rob’s son found him wandering the neighborhood.
He was just so laid back.
You could take him anywhere.
“Steve started to come to work with me,” says Rob. “The people at the pharmacy loved him.”
The ladies who work at Richards were glad to have Steve as a diversion.
Customers liked him too, but the sick kids who came to the Downtown Clinic loved him best.
Suddenly a trip to the doctor’s office didn’t seem so bad at all.
“Exactly,” agrees Speight, who’s wife Kendra is a nurse practitioner.
“When they’re sick they say, ‘can I go see Steve’ or ‘can I go see Kendra and Steve’ instead of saying, ‘I have to go to the doctor.’”
Steve has a sweet spot on his belly that kids love to scratch.
If they find it, one of his hind legs kicks like he’s swimming.
He also likes the occasional animal cracker treat from the pharmacy staffers.
In the mornings he likes a sunny spot in the clinic, but his main spot, the one he won’t leave during lunch hour, is next to the side door that leads into Hamburger King, the next business over.
The reason, says Steve, “Just in case somebody, one of the customers decides to slip him some food.”
Life couldn’t be much better for a former stray, but Steve must realize that, because people who know him say he doesn’t mind giving back.
Rob Speight says, “What he gives back to us is worth a lot more.”