Bart Liblang, Law Dog, at Your Service Part 1

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When we think of dogs, we usually associate with them having one name. Sure, we put our last name with their name on vet medicine bottles. But we never call them by the last name, usually. Well, this golden retriever has an image to keep up. Bart Liblang has his own Facebook page, a cushy bed at work and a pretty sweet job.

He’s the official greeter at Liblang Law Firm in downtown Birmingham. When the elevator doors open to the second floor at 346 Park, the 10-year-old golden retriever welcomes clients with a wag of his tail, a broad grin and occasionally a favorite toy (http://www.hometownlife.com/).

“He’s such a people-oriented dog,” said owner Dani Liblang, who took him to the Sportsman’s Dog Training Club as a puppy. “I took him all the way through Canine Good Citizen (class), so he knows how to behave in an office. He’s a pretty good boy. But also, I’m fortunate enough to work with a bunch of dog lovers. He has it made. Everybody pitches in if I’m out for the day, if he needs to go out, if he needs more water (http://www.hometownlife.com/).

“I have a client that bakes homemade treats for him and sends him his own tin of treats every Christmas,” she added. “The Fed Ex people bring him treats. The postal lady brings him treats. He has a pretty good life here (http://www.hometownlife.com/).”

Liblang created a dog-friendly environment when she moved into the Park Street building in 2008. She established her practice in 1982 after graduating from the University of Detroit Law School. Liblang specializes in consumer law, with an emphasis on lemon law and auto fraud. Bart has been the office greeter since he was 2. She took Bart’s predecessor, Jillian, who also was a golden retriever, to work with her on weekends and after business hours when the firm was located in an office building.

Credit: http://law-schools.startclass.com/
Credit: http://law-schools.startclass.com/

Stress Reliever

“I think bringing a dog to work is really wonderful. I know I enjoy it and he really loves it,” she said. “Since the law is such a stressful business, I think he does add a dimension of calmness. He’s definitely our resident therapist and stress reliever. And for clients, we also do personal injury and I’ve had some catastrophically-injured clients. When they come in for depositions or even when they have to tell their story and have to relive the story enough to tell it to us, it’s very traumatic (http://www.hometownlife.com/).”

“I think one of the things Bart does is he seems to know when people need comfort and I’ve actually seen him rest his head gently or sit gently by someone’s wheelchair and comfort them. And I’ve seen people be able to really relax and feel stronger when dealing with depositions. Because that is tough when you have the opposing side grilling you, but then you have a nice big dog there (http://www.hometownlife.com/).”

She has taken Bart to visit at Munson Medical Center in Traverse City and hopes to have him certified as a therapy dog. She also took Jillian to visit patients at a hospital in Grand Rapids.

This article had to be cut down to a word limit. The story will continue in part 2.

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