Instead of a bow, a handshake or a hat tip, guests entering the lobby of one of Edmonton’s most swanky hotels, may in fact get a face-licking.
Travellers checking in at the Fairmont Hotel Macdonald are now being greeted by a tartan-wearing, tail-wagging, Golden Labrador Retriever named Smudge.
As a canine ambassador, it’s Smudge’s job to greet, play and go out for walks with hotel guests, said general manager Garret Turta.
“Smudge’s role is to greet guests as they come in… getting that nice greeting to make sure you feel like you’re at home,” said Turta in a YouTube video all about the friendly pooch.
“As well, she’ll go out and take guests for walks. Guests will take her for a walk, I guess.”
Smudge is part of a larger Fairmont Luxury Hotels & Luxury Resorts program, in which dogs are brought in specifically to interact with guests.
But, arguably, few are as well-versed on the job, better traveled or more seasoned than Smudge.
She was first employed at the Fairmont Algonquin in New Brunswick and then at the Fairmont St. Andrews in Scotland.
“When I was transferred back to Edmonton, she came with me to take up the role here as well,” said Turta.
And the same qualities that Turta says make Smudge such a good hotel dog, are the reasons she flunked out of seeing eye dog training.
“She’s a little bit too friendly. She wouldn’t settle, she wanted to be interacting and playing around… which is a perfect situation for us here.”