Smudge the dog welcomes guests at Edmonton’s Hotel Macdonald

Smudge the dog on duty at Fairmont Hotel Macdonald in Edmonton.

From Monday to Friday, Smudge the hello Labrador Retriever greets weary travellers at Edmonton's Hotel McDonald.

"Smudge's role is to greet guests as they come in and just to give that nice, warm home feeling," said Hotel Macdonald general manager Garrett Turta.

The beautiful Fairmont hotel's "canine ambassador" welcomes guests in the lobby and occasionally even joins them for strolls downtown and along the river valley.

"When people have had a stressful day and they come in and see her sleeping in her bed, it just gives them that nice sense of place…where they kind of drop their shoulders and go, 'Ah, I feel like I'm at home,'" Turta told CBC News.

Smudge was originally trained as a guide dog, but her social nature and tendency to be distracted made it too difficult to carry out her duties.

"She's a career-change dog," Turta, who adopted Smudge in 2009, told the Edmonton Journal. "Smudge wasn't going to pass her test to be a guide dog. Fairmont works with the Canadian National Institute for the Blind for guide dogs and she's come to work at our hotels. She's a little too friendly...which is perfect for us here."

Since 2009, Smudge has built quite the impressive resume.

"In partnership with Canadian Guide Dogs for the Blind, Smudge started her hospitality career at The Fairmont Algonquin as their Canine Ambassador before emigrating to The Fairmont St Andrews in Scotland. Now joining us at The Fairmont Hotel Macdonald, Smudge is officially the first Canine Ambassador to be employed in Edmonton, Alberta!" the hotel announced.

"In my previous hotel, Smudge was the number one comment-card getter," Turta said. "She was the most popular employee by any means from anyone coming into the hotel."

When Smudge gets home from work, she relaxes as would any pet dog:

"She has a regular life as a dog and plays fetch in the backyard," Turta said.

Follow Smudge's adventures on her official Facebook page.

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