A man applying for a job at a Lowe's hardware store was shocked when he was hired despite his brain injury and his need to use a service dog. But what the store did after hiring him garnered praise across the internet.
Owen Lima said he was expecting to be rejected during his interview at the store due to a brain injury that required the use of a service dog. He was stunned when the store not only hired him, but allowed him to keep his dog, Blue, with him while he worked.
"It's so hard to find a job where people can accept me for the way I am and the fact that I have a service dog with me," Lima said he told his employers.
"We don't care about your past, what you are -- we care about what you can do," store manager Paul Gallo replied. Gallo hired Lima as a customer service associate -- meaning he'd greet customers and manage carts alongside Blue, who would also be wearing a Lowe's vest.
A photo of Blue wearing his uniform quickly went viral after it was shared to the store's Facebook page.
"We're overwhelmed," Gallo, who manages the store in North Regina, Canada, told CBS News of the attention the photo received. "We never intended for this to happen. We listened to an individual and we took him on board like we would anyone else."
Lima, whose brain injury makes it a challenge for him to understand people, said Blue helps to calm him down and prevent him from having anxiety attacks.
"[Blue] being in the store has made my job easier to do," Lima said.
Many readers praised the store for not just hiring Lima but allowing him to have Blue alongside him while he worked.
"Such a great story," one Mad World News reader commented on the site's Facebook page. "Lowe's manager shows how other managers should act, and congratulations to his new employee for not giving up. Not too many people in the world now a days like either of these men. Congratulations to you both."
"What a wonderful story!" another wrote. "Glad I shop at Lowes! The one I order from here in Texas, has some very nice delivery people. Always very helpful."
"Thank you LOWES," another commenter added. "People just need a chance. I respect you very much. You will be my 1st hardware store choice. Thank you for giving someone who wishes to work a chance."