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Doggedly determined to spread some joy

Jake Klaus’ dog Heidi doesn’t know we’re in the midst of a coronavirus pandemic. Those walking by his Wellesley home can forget that fact for a moment as Heidi brightens their day with a greeting.

With a smile on her face, Heidi spends the day at the edge of the driveway, always ready for a friendly interaction, says Klaus, who is eager to share a good-news angle to the COVID-19 situation.

Since the start of the pandemic, more and more people have taken to walking outside, just to keep themselves from going stir-crazy, particularly during the lockdown period. Heidi has been out there the entire time helping people to feel better about themselves and have a smile on their face as they walk down the street.

“We have to focus on other things besides watching the news all day, because it’s so full of depressing stuff. The numbers (of COVID cases), and the numbers go up and the numbers go down. People get fixated on the COVID thing. We have to try to focus on what makes us feel good. That would be the thing that I would like when people walk by, and then when they leave they’re all smiling,” said Klaus.

Klaus says he believes about 50 people walk down the street and see Heidi on the edge of the driveway each day. While not everyone stops and pets her, she does get quite a bit of attention doing her public service of making people smile.

Heidi is a five-year-old Bernese Mountain Dog who’s been part of Klaus’ life since she was a puppy. When she was young he trained her to stay on the property, so Heidi does not even need a leash while she sits outside each day waiting to greet people.

Klaus says she is so well behaved, a squirrel can come up beside her and she would just look at it – although sometimes she does give chase.

“I really trust her. She’s very well behaved and she doesn’t bark. She doesn’t growl. I just thought it would be something different. There’s so much depressing news a long time. I thought I’d [share the story] that there is other stuff going on. And I could say she’s sitting on my lawn right now waiting for somebody to come by.”

If you find yourself in the neighbourhood, Klaus suggests you stop and have a visit with Heidi, as, she would love to greet you and put a smile on your face.

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