They say every dog has its day. This year, that day is June 24 when the 24th national Take Your Dog to Work Day will be held. Once again, dog owners throughout North America will be prodding their poodles and pulling their pugs to patronize their place of employment.
The event is promoted by Pet Sitters International (see petsit.com/takeyourdog if you think I’m pulling your paw) and has been growing nationwide since 1999 (there is now also a Take Your Cat to Work Day — wisely observed on a different day). Involvement ranges from merely taking a dog to work, to holding office pet parties, and even raising money and awareness for local pet-rescue organizations.
While well-behaved dogs visiting most businesses shouldn’t pose any major problems, there are some establishments that might be inappropriate for dogs. If you work in the fast-food industry, for instance, it’s probably best to forgo participation since some customers tend to frown on fang marks in their cheeseburgers.
So to participate, your first step should be to consult with your employer for permission, reminding him or her that some dog breeds are invaluable in the workplace.
For instance, if your boss is always complaining about staff who never make meetings on time, explaining that an employee with a border collie could help round up those slack stragglers and promptly herd them into the conference room before you can say “Lassie come home. ”
And speaking of the iconic TV pooch, collie owners could also mention how dependent they are at alerting others should a colleague tumble down the elevator shaft (despite being a TV myth vis-à-vis Lassie and “the well,” your gullible boss may fall for it — no pun intended). Or, if you have a husky, explain how invaluable the four-legged assistant would be pulling the coffee cart into the boss’s office five times a day.
If your employer still needs convincing of the benefits of Take Your Dog to Work Day, you could also point out that for at least for one day of the year he or she could enjoy all the lunchtime beef chili they want and blame any unpleasant late afternoon office odors on the canine visitors.
Having convinced your boss to allow you to haul your massive mutt to the office, you should also check with coworkers. While a snarling Rottweiler would certainly cast an imposing figure sitting by the desk guarding your stapler, it might be unsettling for some coworkers if left unleashed to roam around the watercooler.
Also remember that dogs love to chew and run off with stuff. Just because you steal stationery supplies from the office doesn’t mean your dog should.
On the other hand, you don’t want your dog to be too well-behaved. Should the boss ever realize that your dog fetches things more quickly than you and comes running immediately when whistled, Rover may be promoted to your position while you’re sent home to the doghouse.
Nick Thomas teaches at Auburn University at Montgomery, Alabama, and has written features, columns, and interviews for numerous magazines and newspapers. See getnickt.org.