Photo of Abilene Veteran and His Dog Goes Viral

A photo of Abilene veteran Clay Luthy, now an employee at Lowe’s, went viral last month when a shopper took a picture of Clay and his service dog, Charlotte, on the job. Impressed with Lowe’s’ commitment to veterans, the shopper posted the photo to her Facebook page, which was shared over 68,000 times within a day.Abilene Lowes

Clay injured both of his knees in combat, and after several surgeries he was forced to retire from the military, after which he worked as a handyman for a few years. Recently doctors rebuilt his knee, leaving him unable to kneel, and he had to find other work. He took Charlotte with him to an interview with Lowe’s, and both of them were hired on.

According to Clay, Charlotte is trained for “medical alert and mobility,” helping Clay walk instead of using a cane. It’s a different task from her Lowe’s job, where she keeps Clay company and plays with children in the store. Clay made her a special Lowe’s vest, and he says Charlotte knows the difference between her Lowe’s vest and her regular service vest and changes her behavior accordingly.

Clay got Charlotte as a puppy without meaning to train her as a service dog. He realized eventually that she had been alerting him without him knowing it, and he put her in service training.

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