It was closing time at this Oregon Trader Joe’s store when one of the employees noticed some strange movement from underneath a row of carts. Upon realization of what was hiding below, the employee and six colleagues immediately sprang into action.
Working a closing shift in the retail industry is often the same whether you work in a department store or a supermarket. There are tasks to complete such as cleaning up the shelves, closing up cash registers, returning stray items to where they belong, and in the case of a grocery store, collecting the shopping carts from the parking lot. Six employees were going through their closing ritual at an Oregon Trader Joe’s store when they spotted something unusual.
As the cart attendants were gathering all the shopping carts, they noticed movement beneath the cart line. Intrigued, they crouched down to the ground and peered below the carts. Amidst the shadows, they spotted a glowing pair of trembling eyes—they were the eyes of a terrified little pup. Alarmed by their discovery, the parking lot staff alerted the rest of the closing crew as their attempts to pry out the frightened dog were unsuccessful.
All of the employees were determined to pull her out safely. “She wouldn’t move even when we offered her treats,” said Grace Benavente, a store employee, to The Dodo.
“She was shaking heavily and didn’t make a sound. After several minutes of us figuring out if she was injured or not (she wasn’t) and trying to soothe her, we decided to get her out. We weren’t sure how tightly she was hiding under the carts so several of us lifted the cart she was under while a coworker reached in and gently pulled her out,” Grace added.
With the dog now safely in the arms of Benavente, the employees noticed the little pooch was wearing a collar with her name, Zoe, along with the contact information of her owners. The team took turns comforting the slightly relieved, but still very shaken, pup while they contacted her family.
Zoe’s owners were thrilled to learn she was unharmed and immediately headed over to the Trader Joe’s store. Still trembling, Zoe nervously looked around for her lost family—to Zoe’s delight, her owners arrived within 10 minutes of being contacted.
As soon as they “said her name she wiggled so much she almost flew out of my arms,” Benavente said. “I handed her over, and she began licking her owner’s face and was the happiest dog I’ve ever seen.”
The employees quickly learned the reason behind Zoe’s nervous behavior—she recently was rescued from a house fire. While the family was unpacking their belongings in the garage of their new home, Zoe wandered a little too far into the yard and was unable to find her way back home in a strange, new environment.
Now Zoe can finally rest easy in the arms of her loving family—all thanks to the efforts of these caring and attentive employees!