Delivering smiles with the help of four-legged friends
Joanna Hehir’s dream job always involved dogs. A little over a year ago, the gregarious Dallas-native, who delivers packages for Amazon Flex, set out to make her dreams come true.
After retiring from wedding planning, she began training therapy dogs to provide comfort to people in need – like veterans, children, and the elderly. Eventually, she became frustrated with the cyclical nature of her new career and needed something to fill the time when demand for newly-trained therapy dogs slowed down.
While out walking her own dogs with a friend, she heard about Amazon Flex. Joanna learned she could make her own schedule, work as many or as few shifts as she’d like, and bring her two snow-white Great Pyrenees – George and Fiona – along with her on delivery routes.
After doing some research and downloading the Amazon Flex app, Joanna soon found herself queuing up to pick up her first packages for delivery.
“I was looking around for something that was not dog-related but where I could bring along my dogs,” says Hehir, describing her search for a part-time position that would fit into her therapy dog training schedule. “This job allows me to bring along my dogs, George loves to sit in the back when I’m delivering packages. Everyone likes to come over and say hello to him.”
A typical day for Joanna when she’s driving for Amazon Flex starts at her local delivery station. She checks-in, loads packages in her truck, and sets out on her route.
Once she’s on the road, the windows go down and the George and Fiona’s heads go out the window, tongues out.
Having her dogs join her on the road is a huge bonus. Joanna loves interacting with people, especially ones who also love dogs. When she parks and prepares to deliver packages, George and Fiona will often attract a crowd, mostly made up of children, who are drawn to the dogs’ shaggy cuteness.
“One of the best things about driving for Amazon Flex are the people and animals I meet,” said Hehir. “I’ve had some very wonderful and unique experiences delivering for Amazon.”
Over the past year, two Amazon deliveries stick out above all the others.
Last Mother’s Day, Joanna delivered a package to a woman who, after receiving it, broke down in tears because she was so happy. The package was from the woman’s daughter, who had trouble getting the gift to her in time for the holiday. The woman was thrilled to receive the gift from her daughter, who couldn’t be with her in person.
Then, on Christmas, Joanna was delivering a package outside of town. A big dog was roaming in the backyard of the house where she was going. As she went to open the gate and walk past the dog, a little girl came out of the house, took the package from Joanna and, with a huge smile on her face, handed Joanna a candy cane and wished her, “Merry Christmas!”
“That was so awesome,” said Hehir. “Just being able to meet people and make them happy is incredibly rewarding.”