SSCS is protected. The guardians are in front of our doors, side by side, and if you’ve visited our Salinas headquarters for classroom training or any other reason, you’ve likely seen them, more than once. If you haven’t, see the above photograph.

Who are these formidable-looking sentinels? They’re Chinese guardian lions, known in Chinese as Shi and often called Foo Dogs or Fu Dogs. They have powerful mythic benefits, among them good luck and protection.

When our current building was finished at the dawn of the 21st century, it wasn’t long before these lions showed up. Turns out they are part of Monterey Peninsula history, having arrived here shortly after Marsh’s Oriental Art store, which opened in the late 1920s, shut its doors for good.

Readers of this blog may not know it, but they are familiar with the Marsh building which eventually re-opened under new owners and operates today as Orientations, specialists in fine Asian antiques. It’s a striking building that was featured in our Undiscovered Monterey County feature a few weeks ago. We’ve included a copy of the photo here for your convenience (on the Orientations website you can see a great picture of the building soon after it was constructed).

The historic Marsh Building, home to Orientations, fine Asian antiques.

The historic Marsh Building, home to Orientations, fine Asian antiques.

People say that SSCS thrives as a company because of its powerful, customer-shaped software, comprehensive customer care, and outstanding training and materials. While there is no question that this is a true statement, don’t discount the effect of those Fu Dogs standing watch at the entrance of our building. In fact, we’ve heard some say that they have seen large animals roaming our grounds, vigilant, usually late at night or very early in the morning. We’ve never gotten confirmation of this, but if it is the case, it’s got to be those Fu Dogs looking out for our best interests. It’s nice to have them around.