Rochdale menswear store pawses to celebrate 10 years of dogged service

A ROCHDALE menswear store is pawsing to celebrate ten years of service by a doggedly faithful member of its team.

But rather than being rewarded for his loyalty with the traditional bouquet of flowers or store vouchers the “employee” in question at Butterworth’s in the Rochdale Exchange Shopping Centre will be quite happy with a pat on the head and chewing stick.

For, the staff member being honoured is Henry, the cute King Charles Spaniel who was first brought to Butterworth’s of Rochdale as a puppy by his owner, store manager Paul Kenny, back in 2004.

And, as 45-year-old Paul explained, his cute new apprentice quickly tail-wagged his way into the hearts of customers.

Paul, who has been running the busy shop for the past 28 years on behalf of owner Neil Butterworth, said: “Henry has just turned ten. I’ve been bringing him into work since he was very little and he now has his own fan club of customers.

“To be fair, he doesn’t do a great deal of work and mostly just sleeps in his little bed behind the counter but our regulars always go over to have a chat with him or give him a pat and he loves all the attention he gets.”

Henry’s tail began a decade ago when Paul and his wife Sam, who live close to Hollingworth Lake near Rochdale, discovered that the restaurant in Littleborough where they used to go for Sunday lunch had a dog which had just produced a litter of puppies.

“We saw Henry and just fell in love with him right away. He’s pretty good looking now but when he was a puppy he was very cute,” recalled Paul.

“He’s what’s known as a `ruby’ King Charles which means he’s a different colour than usual – mostly tan with a little bit of white near his mouth.

“I’m an Arsenal fan and I decided to call him Henry after Thierry Henry who played for the club at the time.”

Paul added: “I started bringing him into the shop when he was quite young and he’s been in with me virtually every day since then.

“Before we head into work I take him for a walk around Hollingworth Lake because he doesn’t tend to get too much exercise at the shop.

“He lies in his bed behind the counter and sleeps most of the day but when he sees someone he recognises coming in he gets up and walks over to them. He likes to rub up against their leg to say hello.

“Our vet is a customer and when Henry sees him he always goes over to greet him.

“That’s not surprising really as they see so much of each other. The reason is that Henry was diagnosed as diabetic the Christmas before last and needs regular treatment.

“I give him injections of insulin twice a day and then every few months he has to go back to the vets for a blood test. But we’ve got it under control and the vet says he’s doing okay.

“Because of his diabetes we have to watch what we give him to eat, so he can’t have too many treats but he does enjoy a gravy bone and a pat on the head, which is what we’ll give him to celebrate his ten years of dedicated service to Butterworth’s.

“He’s definitely a very valuable member of the team and part of what our customers enjoy about coming into the shop.”

Lorenzo O’Reilly, Rochdale Exchange Centre Manager, said: “The first rate service offered by Butterworth’s of Rochdale is very highly thought of by our shoppers and Henry is very much part of the shop’s charm.”

Butterworth’s was founded, originally as a sports shop, by Neil Butterworth 37 years and moved into Rochdale Exchange nine years later.

It now specialises in a range of casual menswear including big brands such as Lacoste, Berghaus, North Face, Rockport and Timberland.

Paul said: “The power of the business has always been in our brands and that’s the reason our customers keep coming back – that and to meet Henry, of course.”

For more information about Butterworth’s go to:

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