Social distancing has definitely brought out the ingenuity in many of us—including some of our pets too. While many pet parents have struggled to keep their furry friends entertained during lockdowns, some have taken the time as an opportunity to learn something new. In the town of Chapel Hill, North Carolina, one dog and human duo have become the latest sensations in dog-related news. They’ve reminded us once again how amazing dogs are and why they are man’s best friends.
This is the story of Ellie, a golden retriever that calls Chapel Hill home. A recent video of Ellie has gone viral on social media and for good reason too. The video showcases Ellie having mastered the art of curbside pickup, and she’s also shown a tremendous amount of self-control throughout it all. When you watch the video, you’ll see Ellie running towards the curbside pickup location at the Carraway Chick-Fil-A. She’s on her way to pick up her owner Nick’s order. It’s clear from the video that this is routine for Ellie, as she gently takes the bag with her snout from the Chick-Fil-A employee.
Ellie then proceeds to trot the order back to where her owner is standing. Nick seems proud as he smiles and waves back to Chick-Fil-A—as if to say, “See you again soon.” What we don’t see on the video is Nick and Ellie as they walk the 0.2-mile distance back to their home—Ellie carrying the bag of delicious food all the way. According to Nick, picking up food curbside is one of Ellie’s favorite things to do. It’s a win-win situation for the duo because Ellie gets to do what she loves, while Nick gets to practice social distancing and be totally safe. This is something they do often, so Ellie and Nick have become regulars at their local Chick-Fil-A. The staff have been so impressed with what Ellie can do, that they posted the story on Facebook. It was a great marketing tactic, but more than anything, Ellie’s story served as inspiration for many.
Of course, Nick wouldn’t let Ellie do the work without some reward. It’s amazing how much self-restraint Ellie showed on the video, as she carried the bag of food—which also happened to carry one of her favorite meals as well. It turns out that Ellie loves Chick-Fil-A’s chicken nuggets, and there’s always an 8-piece order for her waiting in the bag as soon as they get home.
One of the best things about this video is the look on Ellie’s face as she proceeds to pick up their order. The excitement is obvious, and she looks adorable with her American flag scarf around her neck. Being a golden retriever, Ellie is always energetic. Her natural personality makes her eager to please her owner and always willing and ready to perform requests. Golden retrievers are also intelligent dogs that are always willing to learn—whether they’re tricks like how to roll over or maybe even pickup a curbside order. Much like Ellie, most golden retrievers are totally reliable and trustworthy. They are well mannered and are very positive to be around. There’s a reason why golden retrievers have always been one of the top five dogs you can own, and Ellie has shown just how much fun you can have with them.
There’s a catch, however. Ellie may have been born with incredible genetics, but she still had to learn everything that she did on the viral video. Ellie and Nick’s story shows just what a relationship between a man and his dog could be like. Such a relationship takes time to nurture and develop. For Ellie to have been able to perform the tasks that she did, she had to have the training and support from her owner Nick.
Golden retrievers are like little children that love to play, and they pretty much keep that temperament even into adulthood. Training golden retriever puppies may be easier compared to other breeds, but it still requires a level of patience. It’s especially important to only use positive cues with a golden retriever, since this breed doesn’t respond very well to punishment, yelling, or scolding. It seems that Ellie has mastered all the steps necessary for proper training. Just from watching the video alone, it’s clear that Ellie has mastered socializing and leash training. She’s also developed a unique set of skills that her owner Nick would’ve had to train her in. Ellie listens and listens well, and she gets rewarded well for her amazing behavior.
It’s no wonder that Ellie’s video went viral quickly. The director of marketing and culture for the Carraway Village Chick-fil-A, Gabriel Baker, admired Ellie and Nick’s routine enough to post a video about them. According to Baker, locals have begun to recognize the duo as they continue their walks to Chick-fil-A and back. People will honk their horns to show their admiration, and Ellie loves all the attention. Shortly after the video was posted on August 20, 2020, more than 15,000 comments have been posted on the original Facebook post. The number of times the video has been shared and re-shared has gone up tremendously now as well. Many viewers have commented on how impressed they were of Ellie’s behavior. Most dogs would’ve gobbled up the food upon first smell of it. On the other hand, some people commented simply on how adorable and lovable Ellie is. You can see how proud and happy Nick is of his dog. It’s such a positive thing to watch amidst everything that’s going on with the pandemic. Ellie’s video is a ray of sunshine to many people stuck at home with their pets with nothing to do. It serves as an inspiration to many—to pick up something new or even relearn some old tricks. If Ellie can do this, your dog can definitely do something special too.