January's Dog Friendly Spotlight
What my mom, Suzie Carley – Dogs Trust Executive Director, has to say about me:
Every day I have the pleasure of bringing the baby of my family, Minni, to work with me. I’m lucky in the fact that I drive to work so I don’t have to worry about bringing Minni on public transport, she just hops into her crate and away we go! Some days, if it doesn’t suit to bring her with me – I could have meetings outside the office – Minni is just as happy to get dropped to the dog sitter or they will pop into her and take her for a walk. If I have a radio interview or am visiting colleagues Minni more often than not comes along with me.
Once we arrive to the office Minni bounds through the doors to say good morning to all her work pals. After saying her hellos and getting plenty of pats on the head, its breakfast time (Minni’s favourite!). When I’ve got my desk organised, checked my calendar and I’m ready for the day, it’s time for a quick walk and loo break for Minni. Throughout the day Minni is happy to potter around the office, making sure everyone is busy at work! Don’t tell her I said this, but she really is the boss! I make sure to bring her out for regular bathroom breaks to avoid any accidents and it’s a great excuse for me to stretch my legs, get some fresh air and move away from my desk. I’m very lucky with the super people I work with who are always happy to keep an eye on Minni when I can’t lift my head from the computer or when meetings go on longer than planned.
For me, there are so many benefits to having Minni in the office. Not only does she get me up and away from my desk when I need a break, but Minni is often called our “chief welcome officer”. Minni’s bed is beside my desk so for any meetings that I have, she is there by my side. She greets everyone with a wag of her tail and even gives the paw to a few! Minni immediately puts everyone at ease and we all sit down with big grins on our faces. Once Minni feels like she has fulfilled her role, she hops straight into her bed for a chew on her favourite (non-squeaky!) toy.
Due to the nature of the office we work in, I’m sure you can guess there are a lot of dog owners and dog lovers working here. In order to ensure both humans and dogs are happy and everything runs smoothly when we have dog visitors, we implemented some policies and procedures. House trained dogs are a must and our calendar system ensures we keep in touch with each other about which dog is coming into the office on what day. Minni’s best friends, Jake and Ollie (two of the Dogs Trust Education dogs) often come in to visit on a Friday. We always make sure we have no more than 3 dogs in the office at a time and that any office dogs who have not met each other before have their first “meet & greet” outside before they come in to work for the day. We do this for two reasons – one being so our office doesn’t turn into a madhouse (or a dog house!), and the other is so the dogs don’t get overwhelmed. It’s so important to consider the welfare of both human and dog colleagues! We also operate a “buddy system”. This means if you bring your dog to work, or if you bring one of our residents from the rehoming centre up to the office for a playdate, you have to ask a colleague to “buddy-up” with you. Your buddy is there to keep an eye on the safety and welfare of your pooch if you need to nip to the loo, or you have a meeting that the dog can’t join in on. This person can help out with any toilet related accidents that may occur!
I really believe that having a dog in the office creates a positive and collaborative atmosphere. If run correctly, it increases communication amongst teams and encourages all staff members to look up from their computers every so often and take the little breaks they need in order to stay focused and productive. Minni provides everyone in the office with so much entertainment and happiness; she certainly is the Top Dog around here!!
For some hints on how to start creating your own Dog Friendly workplace please visit our tips and tricks section here
If you would like your Dog Friendly establishment to be featured in next months Spotlight, please email [email protected]