Dogs Trust

March's Dog Friendly Spotlight


Hello, Lauren Mcilvenna here, proud dog mum to Sandy and wife to James Mcilvenna the creator of K9 Connectables. 

Sandy's arrival in 2011 marked the start of our lovely little family! Everyone knows getting a dog is life changing, however; little did we know how much her arrival would alter the course of our lives. While we were prepared to become dog owners we had no idea that in a few short years we would also own a Dog Friendly business.

Once K9 Connectables was up and running, our top priority was to find Dog Friendly premises. When your dog persuades you to quit your job and build a new company around entertaining them, the least you can do is take them along on the journey! We were really lucky to quickly find a great office space locally that suited everybody’s needs but especially Sandy’s. It was important to us that the office had an outdoor space, was closely located to a park and had room to lay fake grass to make an indoor play area for Sandy.

From day one Sandy fit straight in at the office, quickly getting to know the locals and sniffing out the best places for lunchtime walks. Having Sandy in the office encourages us to take a proper lunch break and get a walk in during the day. We are located in a shopping centre and everyone else in there now knows Sandy by name and loves seeing her out for her strolls!

As the company grew and online orders increased, local lad Nauris joined the K9Connectables crew - and the good news is he brings his dog Bruno to work with him! Living across the road from our office Nauris was familiar with our Dog Friendly set up and wasn’t at all surprised when we invited him to bring his dog along to work with him. Initial introductions were carefully planned, meeting first at the park and then bringing Bruno back with us to the office.


When Nauris first joined our team Bruno was just a puppy and wanted to play all day long, Sandy being that bit older wasn’t as energetic so it was important that we gave them some time apart. With any Dog Friendly environment, it is important that each dog has space to be on their own too. While there will always be risks with having more than one dog on site, we are lucky our two get on so well. It’s nice for Sandy to have a friend to play with it and we love watching them having fun!


In the morning, Sandy will usually get a quick walk on the way to the office after we drop her sister off at the crèche. On arrival, Sandy makes her way to her favourite bed in the back office for a nice morning nap. Once Nauris arrives with Bruno its play time! Sandy goes back into the front for some fun with her pal, while Nauris packs up the online orders to send K9 Connectables out to dogs all over the world. It’s really handy that Nauris can keep an eye on them both during this time, so James and I can get our heads down or make any important phone calls we need to make.


Nauris is a part-time staff member so he and Bruno are only there in the mornings meaning Sandy gets lots of undivided attention in the afternoons, which she loves just as much as playtime!

Lunchtime means a walk in the local park and Sandy’s afternoons are spent either playing with toys in the office or accompanying James on his day to day business. Sandy is a regular in the local pet stores where she can be seen refilling the K9 Connectables stand with James. Sandy has even been on the radio with James and earlier this year accompanied us on the Late Late Show on RTÉ where she famously gave Ryan Tubridy the paw!


We are so grateful that we can have Sandy with us every day. We all work better with her around and of course, it’s important to have her on hand as the chief product tester! All toys and treats in the range are Sandy tested and approved before hitting the shelves. It’s been great to have Bruno join us too and we hope that the future will bring more employees but most importantly, employees with dogs!

Here at K9 Connectables, we want to help make Ireland more Dog Friendly and we see our 100 square metres of Dog Friendly-ness in Baldoyle as just one more step in the right direction.

For some hints on how to start creating your own Dog Friendly workplace please visit our tips and tricks section here and to read January and February's Spotlights, click here.

If you would like your Dog Friendly establishment to be featured in next month’s Spotlight, please email [email protected]