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Column: Diva runs the store

Posted: June 25, 2018 4:07 p.m.
Updated: June 26, 2018 1:00 a.m.
Andrea Walker/C-I

James and Marie Reynolds, with Diva.

Most of us who own a dog, know how much joy our beloved canines can bring to our lives every day. Now imagine if you could bring your dog to work with you and be surrounded by beautiful green plants, flowers, trees, and friends that come to shop and visit during the day. Sound like a dream?

For James and Marie Reynolds, owners of Reynolds Nursery on Burdell Road in Lugoff, it’s a reality. On any given day, you’ll find little Diva, a black and tan Chihuahua traipsing along behind her humans as they work, helping them check out the flowers and greet customers. Sometimes she’s a quick little blur scurrying past and other times she stops just long enough for a friendly pat. A lot of Diva’s work entails just hanging out in the air-conditioned office snoozing in her bed.

Diva is friendly and relaxed and she’s a fixture around the nursery. Many customers know her by name and new customers quickly come to know her.  Even some of the nursery’s internet reviews mention the pleasure of meeting little Diva.

Reynolds Nursery is open year-round, 7 days a week, and Mr. and Mrs. Reynolds spend most of their days there with Diva right beside them. It’s not every dog that gets to spend almost every minute of their day with their people, but Diva sure does. She has been coming to work with the Reynolds since they got her after church one rainy Sunday afternoon when she was only 6 weeks old. Since they had not planned on getting another dog after their previous dog died, it took some convincing. Mrs. Reynolds says that her heart was so broken that she couldn’t fathom putting herself through loving another dog and saying goodbye again when the time came.

But Mr. Reynolds convinced her, and though neither one of them ever imagined that Diva could wrap herself around their hearts, she has done just that. Now eight and half years later, the little dog that Mr. Reynolds had tucked into his suit jacket and carried around they call their little Angel because she brings so much happiness to them.

Mrs. Reynolds says that Diva may not know any special tricks but that she is very smart. She knows certain customers and even has a favorite customer, her Uncle John (who also happens to be one of my own favorite uncles that Diva gets to see more than I do!).  Diva knows the sound of his car and when Mrs. Reynolds asks her where Uncle John is, she perks up and starts looking around for him. Though watching her when other customers were around, I would say Diva has quite a few favorites.

Growing plants and making others happy with their flowers started out as a hobby for the Reynolds with just a couple of greenhouses beside their house. They sold to customers who would knock on their house door. I can remember as a young child, my grandmother stopping at the greenhouses and sending me to knock on that door! Now, years later, their business is huge, blossoming into a full-time job for both of them, and allowing them to blend their passion for all things green with their love of dogs.  As for Diva, as I watched her mosey around the nursery, it’s pretty obvious that she is fond of where she works and I couldn’t help but wonder, if she could talk, which flower she would say was her favorite?

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