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Sunday, October 18, 2020

Labrador Retriever Works as Delivery Boy Amid COVID-19 Pandemic

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As the residents of Medellin, Colombia continue to stay at home to stay safe amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, a charming Labrador Retriever is visiting the homes of a handful of residents to deliver groceries from a local mini-mart in the city, AP News reported.

Eros, an 8-year-old dog, was trained by the owners of the El Porvenir mini-market to deliver packaged food and produce to regular customers who cannot leave their homes. He navigates the hilly neighborhood of Tulipanes, holding a straw basket in his jaws.

But how does he find his way? He can’t read addresses or house numbers, but he knows some customers by name, especially the ones who rewarded him with treats before. With the help of his owner, and with a steady supply of treats, he was able to memorize the names and locations of about five to six customers.

“I send the items together with a receipt in the basket, and my customers pay me through a bank transfer,” his human and owner of El Porvenir Maria Natividad Botero told AP News.

Botero didn’t want to have Eros as a pet at first—she was forced to adopt him after her son insisted that they get a dog. But soon after Eros was welcomed into their home, the whole family fell in love. When the Botero family opened the mini-mart four years ago, they started taking Eros on delivery trips to delight their customers.

Today, as COVID-19 cases in Colombia have climbed up 3,000 new cases daily, Eros has become an unlikely essential worker in the era of social distancing and is playing a part in keeping the neighborhood safe and healthy. His arrival at the customers’ door is always rewarded with treats and affection.

“He’s quite a glutton,” Botero said in the AP News report. “He won’t leave your house until you give him a treat.”

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