Take Your Dog to Work: Effective Dogs at Work Policy
I’m the newest employee in the Canine Department here at Found Animals. I’m a tiny Cocker Spaniel mix who loves to make new friends of all species (except pigeons). Jobs like mine are becoming more and more common; even big companies like Amazon and Google have made their offices open to pups like me. June 22, 2012 is national “Take Your Dog to Work Day,” a day when other companies can see how they like having us dogs in the office. My work assignment today (other than sleeping under the desk, chewing my bone, and snuggling with my mom) is to write this blog post to let all my fellow furry readers and their parents know what any office needs for an effective dogs-at-work policy and what working moms and dads need to do to help their pups feel prepared for a full time job!
Before my mom could get me a job here at Found Animals, she said that we had to “build my resume” (whatever that means). We started going to class every week so that we could learn to pass the “Canine Good Citizen” test, which is administered by the American Kennel Club. Found Animals only employs pooches with the highest education, and I was excited to get my advanced degree in training! I had to learn how to do a lot of different things, but the most difficult for me was learning to be calm when I saw another doggie and to sit politely while someone petted me. I’m a very excitable pup, but the class really helped my mom and dad learn how to tell me when I needed to relax and to set boundaries for me (and I’m a happier pup because of it!). My mom and I worked hard and spent a lot of time outside of class studying, which I didn’t mind since it meant I got to eat lots of tasty treats. Our hard work paid off, and I passed the test on my first try!
Once I passed the test, my mom explained that there were other important rules that I had to follow when I am in the office. She promised to give me a nice long walk every morning so that it would be easier for me to follow the rules and behave. Even though I am a little dog, I have a lot of energy and need to walk for about 30-40 minutes every morning, and then take another walk at lunch. As long as I’m exercised, I’m happy! I also had to be vaccinated, spayed, and house trained (check!). I have to stay behind a baby gate at my mom’s desk while she works and I have to ask permission and be on a leash if I want to walk around the office. I have a cozy bed and toys with me so that I don’t get bored and I also don’t eat at work (I don’t want to make other dogs jealous!). Mom also told me how important it was that I respect other coworkers (both two and four legged), and only say hello when she tells me it’s OK. My mom says I’m a good fit for my position, since I don’t bark when I’m in the office and instead I spend my time chewing my bone, snuggling with mom on her chair, or napping in my bed. Occasionally, I get to meet up with my canine co-worker Snickers for a strategy meeting (which normally consists of wrestling).
So far, things seem to be going well! The canine department is a great support for our human staff, as we help keep them relaxed and focused on their work. A doctor at a human university recently performed a study that showed that offices with a canine department are less stressed and more productive. Human employees who don’t bring their pooches with them to work have stress levels that double by the end of the day, while those with canine assistants keep their stress levels consistent! Mom says it’s a relief to have me with her, since she doesn’t have to worry about me at home. Less stress and less worry among human employees leads to more productivity, and that’s a fact!
To all my doggie readers—do you have what it takes to work a 9-5? Are you friendly with other dogs and humans, are you quiet, and do you listen to your mom or dad? If so, get out there and convince your mom or dad to start a canine department at your work place, even if it is just for Take Your Dog to Work Day. Who knows, maybe their boss will be so impressed that you can get a full time position, just like me!