280 business has celebrity canine

Published 2:28 pm Tuesday, May 10, 2011

By BETH CHAPMAN / Community Columnist

When you visit Highway 280 Paint and Body, you get more than quality service and outstanding work on your vehicle. You get a dog and pony show — minus the pony.

Alabama’s mascot is an elephant and Auburn’s is a tiger. Highway 280 Paint and Body Shop’s is a dog – Buddy the Wonder Dog, as I call him.

Buddy is a celebrity canine at the Shelby County business. He works with fellow employees, guards the shop and performs for customers at their request.

Shop owner Tim Crawford found Buddy years ago when a lady in Chelsea insisted he belonged to him. Knowing he didn’t, Tim thought he would take him to a co-worker who had recently lost her dog. She didn’t want Buddy either, and Tim was the owner of a new puppy. Today, he is the owner of a celebrity – Buddy.

Owner Tim Crawford and his dog, Buddy, welcome customers to 280 Paint and Body Shop. (Special/Beth Chapman)

Tim has trained Buddy, and the tricks they perform together are amazing. Buddy can count and sort candy, give kisses, hugs on demand and he protects the office. He can jump four feet high into the receptionist’s window to deliver items between Tim and Jackie, the office manager.

Other employees consider him as part of the team. He helps deliver paperwork back and forth between the shop and office. He’s just one of the guys. Even the UPS delivery representative addresses him by name on each visit, as does everyone else who has ever been there more than once.

While some may say Buddy “works like a dog,” others would argue that Buddy is far from a typical dog. He is more like an employee in a dog suit. At no time is it more evident than when he rides on the back of Tim’s motorcycle with him or walks out of the office into the waiting area to give a customer a hug at the request of Tim or Jackie.

Anyone who has ever had work done at Highway 280 Paint and Body Shop knows about the great work they do and their outstanding customer service.  For Tim and for Buddy, it’s all in a day’s work.

There have been other celebrity dogs like Lassie, Rin Tin Tin and Toto, but in Shelby County there is only one celebrity canine – Buddy the Wonder Dog at Highway 280 Paint and Body Shop.

Beth Chapman, Alabama’s secretary of state, is a Shelby County resident and writes a weekly column for the Shelby County Reporter. You can reach her at bethchapman@bellsouth.