I’d like to introduce you to Arlo. He’s everyone’s favorite co-worker here at Colorado Yurt Company. He’s blonde, mellow, and friendly and does his job like a champ. His job, essentially, is to lie in the hallway sleeping. If you’ve ever been to our offices, you’ve probably met Arlo. He usually greets any visitors at the door. Arlo likes everyone, but he especially likes the people who keep dog biscuits for him. Because, of course, Arlo is a Golden Retriever. He comes to work almost every day with Becky, our purchasing manager.
At first, when Arlo was just a pup and started coming to work with Becky, he wasn’t such an easy guy to work with. His first day on the job, he made a memorable first impression by going back to the shop and pooping on some yurt fabric. Perhaps he was just marking his territory. Because now he thinks he owns this place.
Arlo’s “spot” is between my office and the printer. So, every time I use the printer- I have to step over him. He usually doesn’t even look up unless I say something rude like, “Arlo, move your ass.” Then he cocks an ear and opens one eye. Otherwise, he just stands- er- lies his ground with the confidence of a creature that knows he owns that spot in the hallway.
Arlo’s favorite guy is Lonnie, our contract driver. If you’ve had a yurt delivered in the vicinity of our offices, you’ve probably met Lonnie. He’s retired, somewhat, and has the salty demeanor of a guy who is trying hard to disguise the fact that he’s really just an old softie. A couple of times a week, Lonnie stops by the office to see if we have any deliveries for him. We know he’s really stopping by to see his gal Lee, who works in the yurt fabric department and to see Arlo. Even before I hear Lonnie’s voice, I know he’s here. There’s the thump of Arlo’s tail as soon as the door opens. Then, Lonnie will say, “Hey, Hambone,” and the two old guys start their visit. Usually Lonnie says, “Let’s go visit the bushes, Arlo” and they go outside for awhile. They’ll circle back through the office a bit later, after stopping to get a biscuit from Lee. Then, Lonnie says goodbye to Arlo, and usually doesn’t have a word for any of the rest of us.
We found out last week that our favorite co-worker has bone cancer. Arlo still feels okay most days, and he’s usually still on the job blocking the hallway. But, we’ve all had to face the reality that his days are short. We don’t know when, but we know our office will be missing the best, most consistently pleasant part of our crew. We are all going to miss that big, hairy guy.