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A calming influence. And not so much.

Hey Food Lady, where did you file the dog treats?

Seems to be a lot of buzz around the blogosphere today on National Take Your Dog to Work Day.  Dog lovers around our great nation are posting clever shots of their dogs working on laptops, making copies and sorting paperwork. Like it’s really Job Shadow Day for dogs or something.

Tell you what, I’m one of the rare fortunates that can take my furry friends into the office with me most days.

And obviously I’m doing it all wrong.

[A short pause here while I count on my fingers.]

Ok, so I’ve had no less than nine different dogs at my side during a workday over my long career with Iams and P&G.  And not once has one of these critters done as much as make a cup of coffee for me, let alone put a budget spreadsheet together.

Let me share with you exactly what happens when I bring a dog into the office.

It’s said that having a dog in the office lowers blood pressure and decreases stress. I’m saying that it’s the dogs themselves enjoying that health benefit. Wake up fellas, I say. Time to go home now. What? No, I’m not carrying you to the car, mister.

Oh, but just kidding. It’s absolutely the best thing ever to have a furry companion with me during the day. We do indeed, all of us, enjoy the calming nature of these critters. My dogs are a social bridge, allowing me to meet and interact with folk from other areas of our big company that I wouldn’t have crossed paths with otherwise.

The occasional doggie bio break forces me away from the computer screen for a refreshing walk outside. On nice days, the dogs and I go out to the company dog park to enjoy the beautiful weather for a few minutes. On rainy days we go out and get wet. Dog bladders are like hard core personal trainers. There is no discrimination against weather patterns and I get my exercise with no whiny excuses allowed. On the plus side, I never have a bad hair day anymore. Because I stopped caring about it. When I come back inside after a gnarly summer rainstorm, I no longer make a pit stop in the ladies room just to see that my hairsprayed coif has shellaced itself into a plastic wig. Hey, lowered standards are my coping mechanism. I look like a train wreck, but I’m at peace with it all. Sure, y’all enjoy your nice hair now. But are you happyHmm?

And you know what else? The right dog can lighten a mood. Micron, with that one-degree-from-normal thing he has going on, entertains as our comic relief . Regardless of whatever foul mood I’ve dragged into the workplace by its hairless tail, I find that I do laugh out loud at least once a day. The real stuff too, not this little tee-hee and giggle nonsense. Consider this for a moment. I’ve had some days that are a struggle to see through to the end; we all do. But right near my neatly pedicured toes, there is a big furry ball of happy stuff.

Do you have a chance to laugh everyday? No, not always? Well, I recommend a heaping dose of silly dog to change your life.

Ah, but it’s not always calming, this dog in the office thing. I bring to you a cautionary tale of the oil & water simile that is puppies & meetings. From the Black-Sword Puppy Raising History Book, circa March 2011.

So.  A big meeting in the afternoon with our new department head. She’s kind of a big deal and all and I do consider it a good career move to show up for the presentation. I’ll take Yaxley with me, of course. He’s not yet three months old, but already so well-behaved it’s a sure thing that the two of us will make a powerful good impression.

This is the Before shot.

And just to show off, I dress the yellow pup in his training cape and gentle leader.

Looking good there, handsome.

Beautiful, now just a quickie trip outside to do some puppy business before we go into the conference room.  So we walk. And circle and walk.  And sniff and walk.  C’mon Yaxley! I say to this young pup. Hurry!  I obviously didn’t allow enough time for all this not-piddling around and I’m starting to feel the stress of being late. 

He’s giving the serious sniff to a grassy spot. Finally!  I glance over at the building and calculate how long it will take to walk upstairs to the meeting. When I look back down, one second later, I see the little yellow furball rolling on his back and twisting like he found a sure cure for some pesky itch.

Gah!  What is that? Deer scat? Worse? Oh man, it’s all over Yaxley’s head, his cape, the gentle leader, the leash. Holy cow, it’s actually inside his right ear. I’m processing this information when he brushes against my pants leg.

I’m gagging.

Well, crapola.  Ok, ok, think . . .  right, there’s a shower stall in one of the ladies rooms.  Let’s go, skunk boy. But darn it all, it’s no go; the shower head is six feet high and there’s no door on the stall. If the puppy gets a shower, we both do.

After the ladies room sink bath

Nothing left to do, but the bathroom sink, I guess.  He fits in quite nicely, kind of.  The warm water mixes the scent of liquid Dial and unidentified poo into an wicked aroma that sears my nostrils. I am willing myself not to toss the undigested remains of my Lean Cuisine onto this pup fermenting in the sink.

After blotting him with paper towels, I lean in to give things a cursory sniff. Hum, not too bad. I think we tackled this. Back to my office to grab a spare leash and we head up to the conference room.

Gads, but we’re late now. I sneak in through the rear door and quietly take a chair in the back of the darkened conference room. The presentation is several minutes in. But hey, no more stress about making that good first impression with the super pup. Yaxley made sure that pressure’s off now. You’re welcome, he says. Instead, I’m hoping to just stay off the radar and I send off imaginary we’re-invisible-y’all mind waves to keep a low profile.

I notice heads start to turn our way. What? I think. Don’t y’all dare give me sass because I’m late. Believe me, I had a really good . . .then it hits me. The smell, that is. Apparently a significant number of nasal cells were damaged by the mustard gas generated during our sink bath adventure. This dog and I are one wet package of reek.

I’ve brought a stink bomb into this quiet room in the shape of an adorable lab puppy. It’s time to exit gracefully, I think, before we become a bigger blip on the stink radar.

I hear it was a pretty good presentation.

So here’s the moral to this sad, smelly tale. Never take your eyes off a sniffing puppy, people. Not even for a second.

About Donna Black-Sword

Lover of all things Dog.

6 responses »

  1. I haven't laughed that hard in some time! What a great story and so descriptive, I could almost smell that aroma.


  2. I love “bio break” we call it walking the dog and depending on the intent of the trip it is referred to it as a “little” walk or a “big” walk. That is important because my co-workers are always happy to go on a “little” walk, but only the hard core dog people help out with the “big” ones.

    Sabina always knows how to break the tension and is the queen bean when it comes to providing comic relief. She has developed the best knack for snoring at just the right time at full drunken sailor volume.

    I too wonder if taking pup du jour to this meeting or that is the right career move and try to adjust it appropriately. I do find more and more though that the dogs far more welcome than I am.


  3. I'm glad you enjoyed our misadventure, Mark. I wish I had made the story up, but the entire thing is true. The stinker still tries to roll into stuff. Last time was a dead fish on a hiking trail near a pond. At work. ugh.


  4. The dogs do break the tension in a room, it's true. Micron was so relaxed in a budget meeting with higher ups, that he started snoring. Loud and obnoxious, pretty much like Sabina's drunken sailor snore, LOL. It kinda freaked out a very young Yaxley and he moved from his spot under the table to between one of the directors legs for protection. She was wearing a skirt. The shock of a cold nose on her leg just about knocked her out of her chair. To my credit, I just calmly apologized even though inside I was all bwa hahahaha.


  5. Thank you for the laughs! And thanks for the very funny photos. I have had 4 CCI pups that I took to work, and each left his own mark, so to speak, with the office. Polar snored, too, and the first time it happened, the director said “from now on, when Polar snores, the meeting is over, no matter what.” It actually made for more focused meetings that stayed on agenda! Keep up the hysterical writings, and more importantly, keep raising CCI pups. It's the best, isn't it?


  6. An inspired idea! When the dog snores, time to close the meeting. I like it. Keep in touch won't you? We love to connect with other CCI puppy raisers.



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