Shawnee’s own royalty, Prince Steve Speight, spends his days playing with gifts from customers and feasting on leftovers while visiting his castle, also known as Richard’s Drug.
Labrador Steve lists his job as ‘Prince’ at Richard’s Drug on his very own Facebook page. Steve’s owners Kendra and Robert Speight work at The Downtown Clinic, located behind Richard’s Drug. Kendra is a nurse practitioner and her husband Robert is the office manager. The Downtown Clinic has been in operation for a year but Kendra said during that time, Steve has captured the hearts of many in the downtown area.
“In that small amount of time, several people have fallen in love with Steve,” she said.
Kendra said sometimes people will come to Richard’s Drug for nothing other than to visit her dog and he loves every minute of it. She said Steve has his own dog bowl and toys at Richard’s Drug and while some of the toys are purchased from staff members or her, most of his toys come as gifts from customers.
“We were away on Christmas vacation and people came in asking, ‘Where’s Steve?’” she said.
Kendra said sometimes even on her days off, she has to make a special trip to Richard’s Drug just so Steve can visit his second home and when it’s time to leave, she often has to coax him out the door.
“He always wants to stay here with the girls,” she said.
Kendra said Steve is a very loving dog and never fights with anyone or anything but said that’s not really the main reason so many people have fallen in love with him.
“He’s a patient advocate,” she said.
Cindy Monday is a tech at Richard’s Drug and said Steve has helped her through rough times in her life in only a way a dog could.
“When I was going through radiation, he laid with me on my rough days,” she said. “I’ve never seen a better patient advocate than him.”
Monday said Steve is more human than he is dog.
“He’s even got a Facebook page,” she said.
Kendra said Steve is not only a good patient advocate for adults, but also for children.
“He’s very good with kids,” she said, adding Steve helps to calm children who may otherwise be nervous or scared.
No matter if the drug store is full of customers or just a few, Kendra said most days Steve will only leave his post to greet customers then makes his way back to the door of Richard’s Drug connecting to Hamburger King.
Peggy Springer works at Hamburger King and said Steve stares at her from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. waiting to see what she’ll bring him.
“I love him,” she said. “I feed him every day.”
Springer said she usually gives him leftover hamburger patties at the end of the day.
“As soon as he sees me coming, he starts licking his chops,” she said.
Springer said she’s not the only one at Hamburger King that loves Steve.
“All our customers love him,” she said, adding kids beg to come see him after finishing their meals.
“He’s like having a petting zoo next door,” she said.
The Speight family first met Steve as a stray, said Kendra.
“He followed one of my kids home from school,” she said.
Kendra said Steve kept showing up and it was obvious he was a stray so they welcomed him to their family and took him to see a vet. She said Steve is about three years old.
“I got way lucky with him,” she said.
Kendra said Steve has not only made friends in Shawnee but everywhere they take him.
“He made some new friends at the races recently,” she said.
Kendra, Monday and Springer said they all agree Richard’s Drug wouldn’t be the same with Steve.