Dog Days Every Day

Happy National Take Your Dog to Work Day! So who’s taking their dog to the office?

Oh yeah. These days that’s pretty much most of us who have a dog.

While having to adjust to the sudden shift to working from home has been pretty sucky, at least we’ve had our furry friends to help keep us company. A Virginia Commonwealth University study in 2012 laid out some of the benefits from having a dog in the office: less stress, improved morale, and increased performance being just a few.

And though this is a new experience for me (and a lot of others), James is quite accustomed to having an odd dog or two snoring away in the office. In the last six or seven years of working at home, he’s shared his office space with Cecil, Ginny, Luna, and Boo. As I’m typing this, Boo is currently curled up in one of the beds while he’s on a conference call. Not an unusual occurrence.

What is unusual is that I don’t have a dog in my office. There’s a bed in here. But Boo hasn’t lowered herself to climb in it. She’s perfectly happy hanging out with James.

Not that her sleeping in here with me is a requirement. I’m quite accustomed to being the second fiddle since we adopted Luna and Boo in late 2014. With James working from home already, they bonded with him immediately, which meant any time we came home, the pair would fuss over him, and I’d get the leftovers. Both are/were really his dogs.

And I never gave much thought about trying to take any of our basset hounds to work just knowing their nature. I didn’t see that being a good fit. On the other hand, a friend that officed with us for a while would occasionally bring his dog Ginger, a golden retriever who he described to me once as a furry doorstop. She’d spend the day quietly curled up under his desk. Although once in a while you’d find a nose in your lap wanting attention.

Contrast that with one of our bassets. And taking any of them to work didn’t seem like a good idea. The common misperception is that bassets are pretty laid back and just sleep all day. While that’s not too far from the truth, just wait until someone comes to the door, or goes walking by with a dog, or the mailman stops by. Then it’s lots of barking and 60 lbs. of floppy ears and knobby knees running down the hall to the doggie door.

Didn’t seem like a good idea having that in the office. Not to mention the drooling, snoring and farting. Then there’s the challenge of providing enough belly rubs when one of them wants attention. Usually that will prompt a visit to my office from Boo. She’ll pretend she’s just sniffing around and checking things out. But she never makes it out the door without rolling over and asking for a little bit of love. Or a lot.

I dread to think what happens when we are allowed to return to our offices. Will our dogs get depressed? Will we need to invest in a doggie therapist? And what happens to us? We’re used to having our furry little friends around us all day and suddenly they’re not there.

Maybe part of the revamped offices post-pandemic will allow some additional company. Not just for us, but for our furry friends. Then it can be a dog day every day.

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