Spreading Smiles, Nea-Style

By Judy Layne

We’ve all heard the phrase ‘working dogs.’ We know there are police dogs, service dogs, and herding dogs to name just a few. But have you ever heard about a canine with a corporate career?? Well, you have now. She’s a proud SPCA alumni and her name is Nea. This is her story.

In 2011, Nea was found stray and brought to safety at the SPCA’s Yarmouth Shelter. She was there for some time but due to a lack of space, she was transferred to the Dartmouth Shelter on March 15th.  Five days later, Nea met her perfect match!

Paula Taylor knew she wanted to adopt a deserving dog and had been checking the SPCA website when one day, Nea’s photo popped up. Paula explained “I guess you could say it was love at first sight. I was drawn to her sweet face and she was the perfect size dog for me – too big for a purse but small enough that I could pick her up in my arms! When we met in person, Nea put her head on my knee, looked up with adoring eyes, then sat beside me. I was told that Nea had adopted me!”

One day, Paula decided to take Nea to work with her at TPH – The Printing House – in Dartmouth. It didn’t take long before Nea won the hearts of employees and clients alike. She was so good at spreading smiles that she became the store’s official Greeter and Client Relations Specialist! “Nea has the perfect personality for the role – she is sweet, kind and well-behaved,” shared Paula.  “Coming into a print shop, especially for the first time, can be intimidating. Nea welcomes our clients and helps them relax and feel comfortable. She will sit beside them and her quiet presence is calming.”

“When it comes to work ethic, Nea is a true professional. She loves coming into work every day to greet our clients,” said Paula. “She’s never missed a day of work and takes her role seriously.” Like every professional, Nea knows it’s important to re-charge your batteries during the workday. “Nea has her own locker with treats in it, so at break time, she makes a beeline for the locker room!” chuckled Paula. “She also takes a well-deserved snooze in her bed. She loves sleeping on her back in the office but will go into ‘Greeter-mode’ whenever a new client enters the store. When the Fed Ex truck arrives, she always wakes up and growls at the truck. She doesn’t like the backing-up noise the truck makes since it wakes her up. It’s the only time she’s ever grouchy at work!”

Clients and delivery people often ask for Nea when they arrive. Paula stated “If she isn’t right there, they’ll ask where the ‘boss’ is and magically Nea rounds the corner to see how she can help.” Management spotted Nea’s potential early. And while they offered her a promotion to the Director of ‘Pup-lic’ Relations, Paula reported that “Nea loves ‘working for hugs’ and has no desire to leave her role as official Greeter.” Nea is a firm believer in the ‘work hard, play hard’ philosophy. “She enjoys going to off-leash parks and trails, loves swimming and going for rides in the car.”

As part of writing this story, I googled the name ‘Nea’ to see if it had a special meaning.  It’s original meaning was ‘lime blossom.’ It’s said that if you name your little girl Nea, she will surely blossom into a woman with a sense of purpose and passion throughout life. What a perfect description of Nea!

Paula shared her closing thoughts. “Nea and I have been together for eleven wonderful years now and she is the best dog a person could ask for. I had been told that rescue dogs are grateful and I didn’t understand this saying until I found Nea. I can see the love in her eyes every day. I believe Nea came into my life to teach me something. She helped me see that the life I was living was not the best situation for me. As a result, I completely changed my life and now we are both much happier and appreciate our new life. Without her, I don’t think I would have been so bold. I’m so grateful to the SPCA for giving Nea a second chance at happiness and allowing me to adopt my best friend.”

 We hope that Nea’s story inspires you to adopt YOUR best friend!  They are waiting for you. Check out the SPCA’s adorable adoptables right here.

Judy Layne

Judy is a dedicated volunteer with the Nova Scotia SPCA. She is committed to speaking for animals who cannot speak for themselves.