Dogs are more than just pets; they’re family. As humanity’s most loyal companions, we have relied on them to carry out significant tasks, like service dogs aiding people with disabilities and military dogs helping protect the community. There is no denying the importance of our canine friends in our lives.
And speaking of roles, this golden retriever in North Carolina has developed a less serious yet useful skill: picking up takeout orders for her owner.
Ellie has been a suitable companion, especially during a pandemic when strict social distancing guidelines are in place. In a Facebook video shared by the Chick-fil-A branch in Carraway Village in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, the golden retriever bounds across the parking lot with an American flag bandanna secured around her neck. With her tail wagging, the pooch meets the Chick-fil-A staff, who then carefully places the large takeout bag into her mouth by the handle. Ellie takes the package, then returns to her owner, Nick, who was waiting at the parking lot.
“That’s so cute!” other employees gush in the background.
It wasn’t captured on camera, but Ellie actually does more than taking her dad’s order; she also carries the bag for about 0.2 miles on their way home.
“She just walks along with it in her mouth, just trotting along beside Nick,” Gabriel Baker, director of marketing and culture for the Chick-fil-A location, told USA TODAY.
As the clip went viral, more people began noticing the adorable pooch. “People will honk and wave, especially now that she’s famous,” Gabriel added.
Picking up her owner’s takeout comes with special rewards. Aside from Nick’s meal, there is something in the bag for Ellie, too. “She likes the 8-count chicken nuggets,” Gabriel said.
So far, the footage has garnered 15,000 reactions and 14,000 comments on Facebook. According to the post, Nick says fetching his order is “Ellie’s favorite thing to do.”
Other dog owners couldn’t help but admire the dog’s discipline and control.
“I love that! My dog would eat it before returning to me!!” Patti Brown said in the comments.
“My dogs would happily pick up the order… then eat it before returning to the car,” Susan McSwiney wrote.
To safely serve its customers, Chick-fil-A has relied on takeout, drive-thru, and curbside pickup since the pandemic began in mid-March. Some of its stores have recently reopened their doors to allow limited dine-in service. Regardless, the curbside pickup option sounds good, especially for customers with a dutiful companion like Ellie!
Another dog who has social distancing down pat is this pooch from Maryland named Soda. The 11-year-old brindle boxer has been a huge help to his mom, Lori Yata, who owns Stone House Urban Winery. Since the pandemic began, the place could no longer welcome dine-in guests. The dog loved interacting with people, and Lori noticed a change in his mood ever since customers stopped going inside the shop.
Lori spoke to her daughter-in-law and mentioned that Soda seemed so sad because there weren’t any people coming in the store anymore. Then, her daughter-in-law suggested that she should make Soda deliver the wine. Lori hopped in on the idea and purchased a saddle bag online which had side pockets that can hold two bottles of wine. She then posted a note on Facebook to see if she could get customers to visit.
And they did!
Clients first place an order through the phone. Once they arrive at the store’s parking lot, they call again to say that they’re ready to pick up their beverages. Lori will then take Soda’s saddlebag and put a couple of treats and the wine bottles in it. She opens the door, and the dog walks to the curb to deliver the package.
Soda was a natural at his job, and he seemed to enjoy his new role immensely! Lori can tell that he does because the pup hurries to her side whenever she picks up the saddlebag. Plus, he gets treats and pets from customers, so it’s a win-win situation!
Indeed, dogs truly make our lives happier and easier!