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Tuesday, 03 April 2018 16:10

2 Great Danes Reign at Top Dog Garage

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 Scarlett greets customers at Top Dog Garage in Halendale, CA Scarlett greets customers at Top Dog Garage in Halendale, CA

Shelly and Rod Cotton, the owners of Top Dog Garage in Halendale, CA, (also known as Silver Lakes) have two Great Danes---Hercules (6.5 years old) and Scarlett (3.5 years old)---that are well-known for running their shop.

Doing primarily collision repair and some restoration work on classic cars in a little town with a population of fewer than 6,000, Top Dog Garage gets 5-bark reviews from the locals for its doggone good work.


When the shop opened in 2012, Hercules was there to help wherever he could. Now, however, Scarlett is the lead dog working with customers and chasing away some insurance adjusters if needed. Hercules could be an NBA center (7 ft. 2 in. when standing on his back paws), but he is starting to slow down. Now, his #1 job is taking long naps, although he still maintains his I-Canine certification.


Scarlett has quickly exhibited some amazing abilities to connect with customers and many people ask about Scarlett before they inquire about their vehicles.


"’Where is Scarlett?’ they ask," Shelly Cotton said. "From the beginning, I could see that she loved meeting the customers and our crew loves her too. I think she could be a great therapy dog, so we're thinking of maybe getting her certified to help people and work with our DRPs."


Already, Scarlett has impacted the lives of many customers, including a young child who was frightened by dogs for years.


"When this little boy came into the shop, you could see he was reluctant to greet Scarlett. But she slowly walked toward him, and it was so touching to see the transformation," Cotton said. "She did her natural thing and as a result, this little boy is now okay with dogs. Her presence here is so calming and people pick up on the vibes. While some customers wait for their cars, Scarlett will jump up on the couch right next to them and explain things like the difference between solvent and waterborne paint and why we try to use O.E. parts whenever we can."