Over the course of 30 years, Fouad Tamim has always taken one or more of his dogs to his dry cleaning establishment, Oxford Cleaners. For Gary Liebman, owner of A Yellow House Vacuum, it’s much the same story.
Today, as dogs across the nation take part in Pet Sitters International’s Take Your Dog to Work Day®, it’s business as usual for Peanut, Zoey and Trouble. The special day was created in 1999 to “celebrate the great companions dogs make and to encourage their adoption from humane societies, animal shelters and breed rescue clubs.” It’s celebrated annually on the Friday following Father’s Day
“The customers love them,” said Tamim, of his current dogs, Peanut and Zoey, who play or lounge on a cushion in the window of his shop at 14419 Burbank Blvd., Van Nuys. Some days they are joined by Daisy, a Yorkie Poo owned by Tina, Tamim’s assistant.Trouble and Gary Liebman at A Yellow House Vacuum
Liebman starts his day by asking Trouble, his boxer and pit bull mix, if he’s ready to go to work.
“He just flies off the couch,” Liebman says. Trouble is the third of Liebman’s dogs that have come to work with him over the past 30 years.
Tamim says that his dogs have a backyard and a dog door out of the house, but adds, “I don’t want to leave them alone. I want to be with them.”
Customers often bring them treats, or stop by with their own dogs. Sometimes it’s a dog who pulls its owner in to greet Peanut, Zoey or Daisy. Tamim keeps a jar of dog biscuits in easy reach. Well chewed dog toys are scattered around the dog bed near the sewing machine area with its large collection of colored thread for tailoring and mending.
Tamim says he’s only had two customers who didn’t like seeing the dogs in the store.
“I told them, ‘Please don’t come back to my place,’” he said. “If someone doesn’t like animals, doesn’t like my dogs, they don’t like me.”
Trouble, an alert, active dog, can give a newcomer pause when first greeted at Yellow House Vacuum. He often strides out the back door to check out customers coming in from parking their cars. Liebman says in reality he tends to run from conflict.
“I used to have a Doberman who would rest his head on customers’ hips as I was showing them vacuums,” Liebman said. “I used to tell them as long as they bought a vacuum, there was nothing to worry about.”