Many businesses are going contactless or turning to curbside delivery—but one Maryland winery has gotten even more inventive with their customer service.
As fears concerning the novel coronavirus have heightened, Stone House Urban Winery in Hagerstown, Maryland invited its customers to place orders by phone. The deliveries would be handled by Soda Pup, otherwise known as Soda.
"Before this all happened, we had so many customers who came to see Soda. They’d grab a glass of wine, sit on the floor with him, some would take him outside. They love Soda Pup," said Lori Yata, co-owner. "Being a small business, we are trying to keep ourselves afloat. So we decided to use a little bit of enticement to get people in."
In other places, dogs are brightening the days of seniors by delivering their groceries amongst the gloomy monotony of quarantine. While some are worried about transmitting the virus by petting dogs, experts say that domestic pets don't pose a tremendous risk.
The American Veterinary Medical Association says that healthy people are perfectly fine to pet dogs—including ones like Soda, who have been trained to bring wine to their homes. It is recommended that individuals wash their hands after contact with animals.
Soda the 75-pound boxer has been fitted with saddlebags that mirror ones usually carried by horses. Yata prayed that he wouldn't get distracted by a bird and take off. Although he was a bit hesitant when approaching his first curbside customer, Soda ended up "actually getting quite good..... as long as there are no bunnies or geese, or other critters to distract him."