Dogs & Wine: Why does this Lab have a bald spot?

Craig Allen & Turley (Labrador Retriever/8), Latham, New York

Craig from All Star Wine and Sprits and TurleyDog Like Me sat down with Craig Allen, owner of All Star Wine & Spirits, to talk about his “liquor store dogs.”  Since Craig opened the store in 1999, he’s been bringing his beloved Labrador Retrievers to work. Craig has had three dogs over the past 30 years, including Caymus, Shafer and Turley.

Of course, the store is well-known for its great selection of fine wines and spirits, but why the custom designed fish tank with a working wine tap, Koi Pond and dogs? Craig didn’t set out to be so far ahead of the “Bring Your Pets to Work” trend, but All Star Wine & Spirits could be a case study to prove that dogs in the work place result in calmer, happier employees with lower stress and higher productivity levels, not to mention the happiness of the store’s many loyal, dog-loving customers.

So, who are these famous dogs? Shafer was a popular Chocolate Lab that Craig’s staff estimated had been pet over 1.0 million times during his almost 13 years at the store. Although Shafer wandered around the store during the day, customers always expected to be greeted by Shafer on his bed in the front of the store. Sadly, Shafer passed away on April 4, 2019, leaving heart-broken family members, co-workers and fans.

Turley is a seven-year-old Charcoal Lab, with a different personality than Shafer. Craig says that Turley has adjusted pretty well to being the only dog in the store. Turley is happy to see customers’ dogs who visit the store, especially older dogs.  While Craig describes Turley as a friendly “people dog” at the store, he’s an “Eddie Haskell” troublemaker at home. Craig has over 16 acres of land surrounding his home including five fenced-in acres, but Turley is always looking for a way out, and he’s happiest rolling in the mud whenever possible. However, fans of Turley’s at the store wouldn’t believe any of this.  Likely, his defense team would cite the bald spot on the top of Turley’s head from all of the “good-boy pats” he’s gotten over the years.

And it’s not just Craig who loves dogs. Craig says “our dogs are like everyone’s dogs” including his loyal employees, who’ve always been happy to take care of the dogs around the store, or when Craig is out of town. Over the years, customers have told Craig that their young children, who used to be afraid of dogs, were no longer afraid of them after visiting the store. So much for lollipops. Bring on the dogs!

Read more about All Star Wine & Spirits at and on Facebook or better yet, go in and give Turley a belly scratch. Just go easy on the bald spot.

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