27 January 2010

Special Dogs in the Workplace

He's an award-winning New York fashion designer whose work is written about in GQ, New York Magazine and Vogue and spoken of glowingly by the fashion glitterati.

But in the trendy Greenwich Village neighborhood where John Bartlett, creative director of Liz Claiborne's men's collection, lives and works, it's constant companion Tiny Tim who gets the most attention.

When the two stroll to the chichi shop where Bartlett sells his own upscale line and custom work, folks call to Tiny Tim and reach out to give him a pat.

And then the dog — a three-legged, mixed-breed mutt — settles in near the front door of the elegant shop with its quiet air of perfect breeding, to spread his own special brand of customer service.

"A lot of people are drawn in because they see him from the sidewalk," Bartlett says.

So besotted is the designer with Tiny Tim that the logo on his store is a three-legged dog, and that image appears on the patch of his line of pricey jeans.

"I couldn't be luckier," says Bartlett, who got the dog from North Shore Animal League America seven years ago. When Bartlett visited the shelter on his 40th birthday, he was captivated by the "soulful eyes" of long-termer Tiny Tim, so named because he had arrived at the shelter severely injured. His leg was amputated Christmas Eve.

In Bartlett's circle, there are a lot of "status dogs," he acknowledges; sometimes someone will deride his tri-pawed dog of indeterminate genetics. Bartlett is untroubled.

"That tells me a lot about that person," as does the reaction of most people, who find Tiny Tim irresistible.

Several more Workplace dogs from around the country.

[Source: USAToday]