The newest employees at a home improvement store in north Regina came as a two-for-one deal.

Owen Lima has lived with a brain injury for the past 40 years. After almost a decade of hunting for the right job, Lima has found employment at Lowe’s, with his service dog Blue by his side.

On Monday, Lima and Blue started their new job greeting Lowe’s customers in their matching red vests.

“I’m just so thankful that they’ve accepted Blue as part of me,” Lima said.

When Lima and Blue applied as a package deal a few weeks ago at the Northgate Mall location, the store’s manager barely batted an eye.

“We asked what the dog was for, obviously, and then he took us through the story and we went on with our interview process like anybody else,” said Paulo Gallo.

“The effect on Owen has been priceless. The engagement he has with our customers (and) staff, it’s given him a new take on life, per se. All the great things that he is, he now can showcase.”

Lima has held other jobs in the past, and says he hasn’t always been treated equally. But at Lowe’s, he’s just one of the team.

“I’m just so happy to work here (and) so happy to be treated like a normal person,” Lima said. “Lowe’s has given me an opportunity to be here, to be my own person and not to be anybody else.”

Based on a report by CTV Regina’s Jessie Anton