MN - When you’re a border collie and your owner’s job is herding sheep, you pitch in to give them a helping paw. And if their work involves processing customer orders at a quarry, it seems the same rule applies.

Nine-year-old Misty has grown up at Burlington Stone and earns her keep as a valued member of staff.

She greets drivers who approach the dispatch window, collects their weighbridge tickets in her mouth and dashes off to find an office administrator to process them.

She also takes credit cards – and returns them after payment is taken without so much as a tooth mark.

‘I brought her in here as a pup and everybody fell in love with her,’ said owner Elaine Prickett. ‘Now I’m not allowed to come to work without her.

‘From about five-years-old she started mimicking us. I don’t think we could do without her.’

Misty was not taught to collect the orders at the quarry in Kirkby-in-Furness, Cumbria, but began joining in unprompted after watching busy staff at work. ‘She’s got an interest in things and has done the role of a sheepdog and a cowdog before,’ said Ms Prickett, who has been working for the company for 35 years. ‘She’s just generally intelligent.’ In case bosses seeking staff who will work like dogs are getting any ideas, it should be stressed that Misty can’t actually process the orders as she doesn’t read or write.

But having her around may have added benefits besides saving her colleagues’ legs and giving visitors a bit of a giggle. Taking dogs to work can reduce people’s stress levels as the animals’ presence has a calming effect, according to a study published last year in the International Journal of Workplace Health Management.

And while good-natured Misty may lack the full skills set, she can be relied on to respect the most important rule of business – that the customer is always right.

‘She’s lovely and she doesn’t argue,’ said Kirkby resident Lex Ward, who is using the quarry’s slate for a garden makeover.

‘I was delighted to see her when I came here for the first time.’