Meet Our Four-Legged Team Member, Pablo!
In Lubbock, Texas, where Dallas-based PlainsCapital Bank was founded, the Bank’s mascot, Mo the Buffalo, is a recognized symbol of the strength, stability, and unwavering commitment to customer service for which PlainsCapital is known. Within the walls of the Bank’s flagship location at 50thand University, however, PlainsCapital has a unique canine connection to service as well. The branch is home to Pablo, a Golden and Labrador Retriever mix trained to meet the needs of his owner Chelsey Price, a regulatory analyst for the Bank.
Pablo works side-by-side with Chelsey in the credit department, where he has become an important member of the team. Along with retrieving and carrying things for Chelsey like papers, files, and pens and pushing buttons on automatic doors for her, Pablo helps the department with daily tasks, such as carrying around the shredding box to collect papers and documents. He has become a beloved member of the Bank family, even recently being treated to a party to celebrate his sixth birthday on Aug 23.
“Chelsey and Pablo are such a positive addition to the Bank,” said Perry Tipton, PlainsCapital Bank executive vice president and head of public relations and culture for the Lubbock market. “Not only do our customers love seeing him when he’s walking around the building, our employees love having him here. He’s helped foster deeper connections at the Bank, continually reminding us of how we can be of greater service to each other.”
In 2010, Chelsey became ill with a life-threatening bacterial infection, impeding blood flow to her extremities and resulting in the loss of both her legs. Following several years of treatment, therapy, and rehabilitation that included learning how to walk with prosthetics, Chelsey applied for a service dog through Canine Companions for Independence, a California-based non-profit organization that provides trained assistance dogs free of charge to people with disabilities. She interviewed at the organization’s Oceanside headquarters in 2013 and soon after was placed on a waiting list. Finally, in September of 2015, she received the call for which she had patiently been waiting. The following month, Chelsey traveled to Canine Companions’ newly opened Texas facility in Dallas where she met Pablo for the first time. After a couple of weeks working with him and the Canine Companions training staff, Chelsey was able to bring Pablo home to Lubbock.
The pair joined PlainsCapital in April of 2017. Regulatory Analyst Supervisor Nikki Uriegas says it was an easy hiring decision.
“We went through the full interview process, and Chelsey was clearly the best person for the job,” said Uriegas “We knew she was going to make a great employee, and because they were a package deal, we got the benefit of Pablo along with her. It’s been great seeing them both adapt to Chelsey’s role here at the Bank.”
Pablo comes to work with Chelsey every day, and by all reports takes his job very seriously—always by her side, ready to assist. Part of Pablo’s daily routine involves helping Chelsey to her desk in the morning. Once she is settled in, he heads to the Bank’s imaging department to get his morning treat from one of the technicians before coming back to spend the rest of the day with Chelsey.
“Everyone at the Bank has been so welcoming to us,” said Price. “I feel so fortunate to be able to have him with me. It’s hard to find words for the ways he’s helped me navigate the changes in my life for the better. He is the best companion anyone could have.”
Since Chelsey and Pablo joined the Bank, PlainsCapital has become an advocate of service dog awareness and training. This year, PlainsCapital partnered with Canine Companions to help sponsor the organization’s DogFest “Walk ‘N Roll” event taking place on Sept. 29 at Canine Companions’ Dallas campus. Now in its third year, the annual festival is open to the public and features food, music, a kids’ zone, fun activities for dogs, training demonstrations, guest speakers, and more.
“It’s great to see how easily Chelsey and Pablo function in the Bank together,” said Tipton, “and being able to raise awareness of workplace service dogs and help promote organizations that train them is an added bonus.”
For more information about Canine Companions for Independence and ways to help support people with disabilities, visit www.cci.org.