By Chris Rodell, msnbc.com contributor
Photo: Kaitlin Bledsoe Photography. Edie, named after Andy Warhol’s “superstar” Edie Sedgwick, is stationed in the lobby of Fairmont Pittsburgh.
The Fairmont isn’t going to the dogs. The dogs are going to the Fairmont.
Fairmont Hotels & Resorts has unleashed a movement to appeal to animal lovers by stationing lobby dogs in many of their more than 60 upscale properties around the world.
The newest is Edie in Pittsburgh. The name’s a nod to Edie Sedgwick, one of Andy Warhol’s “superstars” who is featured in hotel artwork and exhibits throughout the nearby Andy Warhol Museum.
Edie — the canine ambassador — officially started her job this month.
“Her main job is to just sit around and be cute,” says Julie Abramovic, spokeswoman for the 18-month-old Pittsburgh hotel. “She has such a soothing effect on our guests. We’re a pet-friendly hotel and people are delighted to walk through the doors and see a dog just roaming around the lobby.”
The 50-pound boxer/Labrador retriever mix wears an employee name tag and keeps an appointment book for guests who wish to sign up to take her on 20- to 30-minute jaunts around Pittsburgh’s Golden Triangle.
Besides ample affections, her reward is dog-healthy treats crafted by executive pastry chef Naomi Gallego, who also prepares human delicacies for the hotel’s Habitat restaurant.
Abramovic brings Edie home with her every night but adds, “If I ever go away, I have a whole building of employees who want to take her home with them.”
What do you expect from a dog who flunked out of advanced obedience training for being “too social?”
“We tried to teach her to get her to do simple tasks, but she had zero work ethic,” says Marlys Staley, executive director of Circle Tail companion dog training near Cincinnati. “All this dog ever wants to do is schmooze.”
Found wandering the streets, the malnourished dog was taken to a local shelter where her joyful manner attracted Staley. She took her to Circle Tail to heal and train, part of which involved several months in Ohio prisons where approved inmates work to socialize once-neglected animals.
With Edie, they succeeded a little too well.
“It’s so fun to hear all these professional business people, even our own executives, using their baby doggie voices around Edie,” Abramovic says. “Everyone loves her.”
Sounds like someone’s barking for a promotion.
Read more: MSNBC