Barboursville, West Virginia – It’s safe to say that when the phone rang at the Barboursville Starbucks, nobody expected it to be Sharon, a customer who visits the drive-thru each day for a venti caramel Frappuccino with her beloved miniature dachshund, Gaston, riding shotgun.
“Gaston is a favorite. Everyone comes to say hi when they come to the window. People just love him, he’s so sweet,” said Nichole Arthur, a shift supervisor at the store. “Another partner and I would always play argue over who gets to dogsit him first.”
Sharon was calling to say she was in the hospital, and because she has no family nearby, she wondered if Nichole, her favorite barista, could take care of Gaston until she got home. Nichole, who has her own miniature dachshund, Roxy Gurl (“yes, that’s her full name”) said, “Of course!” A neighbor dropped the dog to Nichole at the store, and she took him home to be with Roxy until his owner is feeling better.
“Look who I get to cuddle tonight! Hahaha, I got him first,” Nichole said in a text to her store partners, accompanied by a photo of Gaston in her front seat.
“During the midst of all the chaos with COVID-19, Nichole didn’t hesitate to volunteer to help one of our regular customers. I love the fact we made such a connection with this customer she felt comfortable enough to call us and take us up on our constant offers to dogsit,” said Ben Johnson, the store’s manager. “Nichole is super humble. She doesn’t see what the big deal is. I told her, ‘Nichole, a lot of people offer to do stuff like that, but very few follow up on it.’ She just shrugged and said, ‘I love our customers, and I love animals.’”
-- by Jennifer Warnick / Illustration by Henry Jarman