Dog Days of BrandSource: Banjo the Bernedoodle

Banjo has learned to coax a treat from owner Larry Kusel by cornering him in the workroom.

At Kusel’s Furniture & Appliance, the Banjo plays the owner

By Andy Kriege, YSN

 Banjo, with owners Larry and Kristi Kusel

Banjo is a 9-month-old male Bernedoodle who has shown up for work every day since BrandSource members Larry and Kristi Kusel of Kusel’s Furniture & Appliance brought the adorable furball home earlier this year.

“I don’t want to give him a big head and say he’s perfect, but he’s a pretty groovy dog and everybody loves him,” boasted Larry Kusel from his Riverton, Wy., business.

“Banjo is a silly dog who loves to eat Goldfish crackers,” he said. “Although he is quite large, he refuses to believe that he is not a lap dog and jumps up in your lap whenever he gets the chance. Banjo also has the power to convince everyone around him to feed him treats at his beckoning.”

Banjo takes his work seriously, eagerly grabbing his leash and stepping into his harness when it’s time to head to the store. Fortunately, he shows the same earnestness when nature calls.

Banjo is also smart — so much so that he has learned the schedules of the staff (or possibly the sound of their respective cars) and greets them as they arrive for work each day.

Bernedoodles, according to, get high marks for intelligence and social skills. However, the breed dislikes being left alone for long periods and is unsuitable for people who spend all day at work. But this is certainly not an issue for those who bring their pets with them.

Banjo (center) believes he is as small and agile as his furry housemates Kai (left), a Shichon, and Koda the Pomeranian. His homebound pup pals are too rambunctious to bring to the store.

Although somewhat skittish around men, Banjo adores kids and is “awesome with customers,” Kusel said. “He knows his boundaries and stays where he should,” but scampers off to meet new visitors at the sound of the doorbell.

The store’s “silent ambassador” started out as a security dog but quickly turned into a Walmart greeter of sorts. While he enjoys welcoming guests, he promptly takes a nap after being pressed into service, Kusel said.

Banjo pretty much has free reign of the store. “He essentially has his own keys to the place and goes wherever he wants to,” Kusel joked. “It was hard at first to convince him that he is not allowed onto the furniture, but he has gotten the hang of things now.” The couple has yet to receive any complaints about their Bernedoodle, as most people love him on sight.

Kusel said fellow BrandSource members should consider bringing their own dogs to work.

“We wanted to start Banjo at the store while he was young so that he learned that it is OK to leave the house and to be social,” he said. “Banjo is a great asset to our team. There has not been a single person here that Banjo hasn’t made smile. It seems like no one can have a bad day when Banjo is around.”

This concludes the 2022 “Dog Days of BrandSource” series. YSN will announce the recipients of Chewy gift cards, which will be awarded to member-selected canine contestants. Thanks to all who took the time to participate on behalf of your four-legged work companions. Hopefully we convinced a few to take their pups to work too!

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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