ONCE UPON A TIME…Suzanne Woodard was about to embark upon her second career, opening a furniture shop called The Refind Room in Brentwood. “I thought it was the perfect opportunity to have a dog, because since I own the store, he can be with me all the time,” she says. It was 2012, and she had not planned to get her ‘store dog’ until the shop opened, but having started her search several months before the opening, she found Teddy Freddie early, and it was love at first sight.

“I was looking for a small dog that was not intimidating, that was sweet and mellow, and not barky or jumpy,” Woodard says. “He was every single one of those things—absolutely perfect.” When the store opened, Teddy knew right away what his job was, and if you visit the store when Suzanne is working, you’re certain to see him: He greets every customer as they come in. A small lhasa-poo (or malti-poo—like many rescue owners, Woodard is not sure which), Teddy has a mellow disposition and is not overbearing in his greeting—acknowledge him or don’t, but he’ll certainly appreciate a pat on the head. “Little kids love him,” Woodard says. “They pick him up and he’ll be dangling from their arms, and he doesn’t care.”

Teddy also has become a store mascot in other ways. “A year or so ago, he ‘photo-bombed’ a picture we took of the store for the website, and we posted it anyway. Now, we sometimes do ‘Where’s Teddy’ and hide him in a room and post the picture online,” Woodard says.

And when Teddy has the day off, his greeter duties are taken over by Bandit, a Yorkie owned by one of the store’s employees. On those days, Woodard takes Teddy pretty much everywhere she goes, she says. “He’s used to it, so now if I have to leave him for some reason, he gets upset.” He also gets to spend lots of time with Woodard’s boyfriend, Shawn Lipe, and his son, Noah, who calls Teddy his ‘little brother.’ “We went on vacation last summer, and they were both in the back in their car seats, and it was so cute!” Woodard recalls.

Lipe says the dog’s transformation since he came to his new family has been a complete turnaround. “At the shelter, he was barky, but shy. It was like he wanted attention and love,” he says. “Once he had it, he became comfortable and confident. After about a month, he became a great-natured dog. Now he doesn’t bark—almost ever—and he’s the best dog with children I’ve ever had.”

Teddy even has inspired other people to think about getting rescue dogs—notably Woodard’s own mother and several customers, she says. “My mom realized she wouldn’t have to get a puppy; she could get a dog that was already somewhat trained and housebroken.” So if you find yourself in The Refind Room, make sure you say hi to Teddy!

For Your Own Fairy-Tail Ending…

St. Charles County Pet Adoption Center

4850 Mid Rivers Mall Drive, St. Peters

health.sccmo.org, 636-949-7387

Proudly sponsored by Carol House Furniture

With their belief that bigger things can come out of selling furniture, Carol House and the Dubmans proudly donate a portion of each sale to local charities. One of the organizations the company supports is its very own Carol House QUICK FIX Pet Clinic, which spays and neuters pets for low-income families. For more information, call 771-PETS or visit CarolHousePetClinic.org.

More Pets articles.