A dog's exceptional customer service and administrative skills have seen her become an indispensable member of the workforce at Burlington Stone in Cumbria. In fact, nine-year-old border collie Misty demonstrates the sort of discipline and dedication that most bosses could only dream about in their paid, not to mention human, employees.
For the last four years or so, each customer who approaches the Kirkby-based quarrying company’s dispatch window with a weighbridge ticket is greeted with Misty’s smiling face. The collie then gently takes the form in her mouth and dashes off to find an office administrator to process it. And it is not just weighbridge tickets that Misty is adept at handling. She can also be trusted to return credit and debit cards without so much as a scratch, although occasionally they will need a cursory wipe before being pocketed.
Owner Elaine Prickett, who has worked at Burlington Stone in the Lake District for 35 years, said Misty, her pride and joy had been a fixture in the office since she was a puppy. She said that Misty was never taught to collect the paperwork, but had picked it up simply from watching how the women in the office worked. “I brought her in here as a pup and everybody fell in love with her and I’m not allowed to come to work without her,” she said.
“From about five years old she started copying us and mimicking us and she’s now nine, so she’s been doing it for a fair while. I don’t think we could do without her.” Ms Prickett said Misty had always shown an unusual level of intelligence that manifested itself both at work and at home. “She’s just got this ability to learn,” she said. “She’s got an interest in things and has done the role of a sheepdog and a cowdog before. She’s just generally intelligent.”