Dogs On the Job


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What do you think about dogs at the office?

For many companies, Take Your Dog to Work Day – June 24 in 2011, will the only opportunity employees get to take their dogs to work. Actually, most companies don’t allow dogs, ever….Take Your Dog to Work Day, or not.

Jone Bouman and Twigden (photo courtesy of the American Humane Association). Who is happier?

I take Lucy and Ethel where we record our national radio shows. I’m a huge proponent of taking pets to the workplace, if the pets are well behaved, and happy. For example, many cats and some dogs would be happier left at home. 

According to a story in the Christian Science Monitor, 17 percent of work places allow dogs. I doubt the number is even 10 percent.

No surprise, the American Humane Association allows dogs. After all, their mission for over 140 has been protecting children and animals. In their Denver offices, where I’ve visited many times, I’ve never seen so many styles of pet gates.  Almost half of its 165 employees nationwide bring their dogs to work.

Twigden,
a two-year-old Lhasa Apso and terrier mix, regularly accompanies Jone
Bouman, director of communications at the group’s film and TV office in
Los Angeles. Bouman says that her dog makes her utterly happy. If I could interview Tigden, I bet he would say, “Being with Jone all day makes me utterly happy.” With both utterly happy, it’s likely Jone’s boss is utterly happy.

Ethel instantly fell in love with Dr. Ian Dunbar

Dog-friendly workplaces also influence more people to
become dog owners, says Katenna Jones, an educator and applied animal
behaviorist at American Humane. “It also allows working people to adopt a
pet, when they otherwise might not be able to due to time constraints.
This saves the lives of pets.”

One great thing about adopting a puppy or kitten – and bringing the animal to work…You will get a raise. How can a boss say no when you ask for a boost in salary holding a puppy or kitten? Patti Moran, founder of Pet Sitters International, once told me she developed Take Your Dog To Work Day to support shelter adoptions.

So, there were are at Black Dog Radio Productions, where I record national radio, Ethel can be suspect of strangers, on occasion. And if there’s a Fed Ex delivery, she hears the knocking, even in our sound proof studio. I was recording an interview recently with David Frei (the dog show TV announcer) and Ethel began to bark. We didn’t stop taping, but just took it in stride.

For reasons I will never know, Ethel was a bit suspect of behaviorist/author Patricia McConnell when she stopped by. Of course, she is an expert at reading dog body language, Ethel didn’t even get a chance to bark (though she was about to) and instantly McConnell pulled a toy out of her purse, raised her voice, calling Ethel “Sweetie.” And that was that. Instant love.

Speaking of which, when behaviorist/author Dr. Ian Dunbar and his dog trainer wife Kelly came by – Kelly was usurped.  No toy required for love – Ethel was instantly smitten with Dunbar. Poor Ian was subject to constant kisses through the course of the interview (from Ethel).