Annie is 90 pounds of love and inspiration who enjoys her full-time job as a greeter at Art Focus in Hamilton.
According to her owner Douglas Taylor, Annie is 3 years old and the best mixture of Anatolian Shepherd, Great Pyrenees, Alaskan malamute, and mutt. She was a rescue dog from the Bitter Root Humane Association and Taylor, an artist and writer, adopted her in May.
“I had lost my dog about three and a half years ago and was starting to think about being ready for another dog when someone told me about her,” Taylor said. “I went to check her out and we instantly connected. We just clicked.”
Taylor said Annie’s official job description as greeter is to welcome all patrons to the art gallery.
“She welcomes people, says hello, lets them know they are welcome,” he said. “If they are not into her she’ll leave them alone, but the vast majority can’t take their hands off of her.”
Annie had an orientation period, when she adapted to the gallery space, and has been on the job since July.
“She anticipates her job and gets pretty excited in the morning when we’re going to work,” Taylor said. “At the end of the day she’s just as excited to go home. She puts her all into it and sometimes gets exhausted if she has greeted a bunch of people, so goes to her bed to lay down for a rest. Annie slowly leans into your leg while you rub her head and also will anchor you by placing a paw on your foot.”
Taylor got the idea for having a shop dog at Art Focus after visiting art galleries in Bozeman, which had shop dogs. He’d been bringing pets occasionally to the gallery in Hamilton.
“Annie knows her job. She isn’t just getting affection from people, she understands she is working,” Taylor said. “She is responsible for quite a few sales. People come in to see her and decide to buy something. She has a way of creating good energy, and centering people, allowing them to take a breath, relax and enjoy the gallery.”
One visitor to the gallery had dog allergies but simply kept her distance.
“One lady was terrified of big dogs and she felt really comfortable with Annie and couldn’t take her hands off of her,” Taylor said. “She said ‘This is weird for me because I’d never give this size of dog any attention’ but she had Annie follow her around for extra loving. It changed that part of her life and she is open to the possibility of connecting with big dogs again.”
In October the children of Hamilton “Trick or Treat” businesses on Main Street and Art Focus had 700 children visit.
“Annie and I were in costume out there; she was Annie Oakley and I was Buffalo Bill Cody and she just sat there and let all the strange-looking kids that weren’t quiet love on her,” Taylor said. “Most of the kids had to be reminded to get a piece of candy. There was a couple of T-Rex costumes that she looked at with curiosity but was unfazed.”
Annie has a double layer Husky coat and coloring, and the Anatolian Shepherd shape and height.
To meet Annie, visit Art Focus in Hamilton or follow her on Facebook by searching for sweetmontanadog.