The Belle of the Ball: “When Belle walks up and looks you in the eye, you simply have to give her
some attention,” said owner Daniel Luecke. “She just has too sweet of a face to be ignored.”

The pride of Seymour, Ind., resides at Luecke’s (sorry John Mellencamp)

By Andy Kriege, YSN

Daniel Luecke with his best gal Belle

Belle is a nine-year-old Alaskan Malamute/shepherd mix rescue dog that is a fixture at Luecke Audio Video Appliances, located in the small town of Seymour, Ind. (More on the small-town stuff later.) Daniel Luecke is part owner of the business and brings his furry friend Belle to work every day.

Luecke rescued Belle from a shelter last year. She was an older dog suffering from health issues, and there was little interest in adopting her — until Luecke stepped up.  

“Since we got her on track and healthy, she has been the sweetest, most lovable dog on the planet,” Luecke said. “She loves to go up to the customers and greet them. Some of her fans are so fond of her they will stop in periodically just to see her.”

If you’re wondering why Seymour, Ind., can lay claim to “the small town” moniker, it’s because it’s the hometown of none other than Rock & Roll Hall of Famer John Mellencamp.

Seymour, Ind., was immortalized in Mellencamp’s hometown tribute Small Town.

Seymour sounds like a great place, not only for aging rock stars but also for an old dog that doesn’t need any new tricks. In fact, one of Belle’s old tricks is to plop down anytime for a daytime siesta. She is known to make an entire lap around the business, presumably taking inventory of all the appliances, before choosing a strategic location for a well-deserved nap.

Belle’s preferred napping spots are in doorways, said Joan Luecke-Nichols. “You have to stop and give her a belly rub before you step over and on your way through. She knows where to stop-and-drop.”

But don’t think that Belle is a slacker. She answers the bell and punches into work without fail. In fact, Luecke still drops her off at the shop on his day off so the rest of the staff can enjoy her company. “She has been coming in from day one just over a year ago; the employees and customers really love her,” he said.

Joan Luecke-Nichols, a partner in the family business, would second that motion. “She’s awesome; we call her our ‘therapy dog,’” she said. “She’s such a peaceful, friendly dog who we really love having here.”

Indeed, there is seldom a bad day at Luecke’s with Belle around. “She loves to be with people and just makes for the perfect work dog. Everyone is willing to take her out when she needs to go out and she revels in all the attention she gets,” Luecke said.

Other than the occasional howling at a passing siren, Belle has never given the owners nor its customers any cause for concern. In fact, having Belle in the showroom has been such a positive experience that Luecke suggests fellow BrandSource dealers should consider bringing their canine companions to work.

“Give it a try,” he said. “People love her here. It’s a great conversation starter with customers. Believe it or not, she even plays hostess and occupies customers for a few minutes when we are all tied up.”

Good thing this small town — and Good Samaritan Daniel Luecke — made room for one more.

BrandSource, a unit of YSN publisher AVB Inc., is a nationwide buying group for independent appliance, furniture, mattress and CE dealers.

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