SANTA FE (KRQE) – One of the most popular workers at a Santa Fe car dealership has only been on the job for a few months. She’s well-liked and paid in treats and pats.
At Lexus of Santa Fe, the star on the showroom floor isn’t just a shiny LS. It’s Bella, a five-month old Jack Russell and French bulldog mix.
“Look at her, how could you not love that little dog?” said Will Kopper, a front parts counter employee at Lexus of Santa Fe. He is Bella’s owner.
“The moment I saw her, I was like that dog is mine. I’ve got to have that one, and I wasn’t even looking for a dog at the time,” Kopper said.
“Bella, I want you to dance. Dance. Good girl,” Kopper said, as the dog demonstrated her tricks. Bella is also productive.
“I got her little backpack here. Oil filter, keys, staplers, anything like that I can fit in there,” Kopper pointed out, explaining that Bella acts as a runner at the dealership.
“I won’t make her take brake pads out because they have some weight behind them,” he added.
“We have a customer who needs a loaner,” Kopper announced. Bella is off to deliver the keys.
Marty Brito, a worker at Lexus of Santa Fe, said, “It makes it more productive because she brings our parts out to us. She’s like a little messengers, little messenger mascot.”
Her official job is greeter.
Carol Baumgartel, a customer, said, “Bella is as friendly as I’ve seen a dog in a long time. It’s a great thing.”
Audrey Allison, general manager of Lexus of Santa Fe, encouraged and embraced Bella’s arrival.
“I’ve always loved a dog friendly environment. I want my customers to feel good about bringing their dogs in,” she said. “We are very accepting. When Will got Bella, I fell in love with her instantly, and I asked him to bring her to work and to have Bella great customers,” she said.
“And now the customers come in to see Bella more than they do to get their car washed, or get their car serviced, or buy a car,” Allison remarked.
Between delivering light parts or keys in her wearable backpack or greeting customers, Bella needs her fun and games, too.
“She can’t just be a work dog,” said Kopper.
But man’s best friend is helping Lexus of Santa Fe with the pursuit of perfection.
“Everybody loves a warm hug from a puppy and a little kiss on the cheek, and so it makes you smile,” said Allison.