The following article was in the Glenview newspaper on May 24th, 2016. The original link can be found here: https://www.glenviewlantern.com/dog-day-afternoons-bowser-and-lincoln-make-home-carillon-vision-care
1:06 pm CDT May 24, 2016
When patients come looking for Andrew Neukirch at Carillon Vision Care, they don’t always remember his name. But they know he’s “the one with the dogs.”
Lincoln, the four-year-old labrador retriever, is the unofficial mascot and the official office dog of Neukirch’s Glenview practice.
“I think more people know the dog’s name than my name,” Neukirch said.
Neukirch adopted Lincoln as a puppy four years ago when he moved to Chicago and took over Carrilon Vision Care, 1900 Waukegan Road. He was living alone and knew he wanted a dog, so Lincoln became part of the family.
At first Lincoln was a silent mascot, with most patients not even knowing he was there. But eventually he was given the freedom to roam the office and, as Neukirch recalls, Lincoln was well-behaved and adjusted well to interacting with the patients. Soon after, Lincoln was enrolled in Rainbow Animal Assisted Therapy’s program in Morton Grove and became a certified therapy dog.
While Lincoln is the official office mascot, for the past two years he’s had a partner.
Bowser, a 12-year-old golden retriever, is the rescue dog of Neukirch’s now-wife, Susan. Bowser was a former therapy dog who Susan would take to nursing homes, but is now retired and spends his days sprawled on the couch.
Lincoln spends most of his days tucked into a corner in the hallway between the waiting room and exam rooms, the perfect lookout spot for a dog in the know. He waits for Carillon employees to come in for the day and give him treats, but his favorite part of the day is a visit from his favorite UPS man, Mario.
“Since Lincoln was a little puppy, every single day Mario comes in and brings him in a treat,” Neukirch said. He keeps a box of dog treats in the truck, maybe just for Lincoln, and every day Lincoln can hear the diesel engine from the UPS truck, and no matter where he is in the office he runs up to the front door and lays down, crosses his paws and just waits for Mario to come in.”
Neukirch and his staff keep meticulous notes on patients who have a fear or a bad relationship with dogs and make sure to have them kept closed in a room when those patients are in for an exam.
What started as a way for Neukirch to not leave his puppy alone all day has turned into the spirit of his practice.
“The dogs really add to the family-oriented atmosphere that we have at Carillon Vision Care,” he said. “Many times other family members come to their parent’s or sibling’s appointments just to see … the dogs.”
Lincoln and Bowser were not immediately available for comment, but provided plenty of petting opportunities.