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Wordless Wednesday: zzzsnert

When you spend your days with dogs, you may start to be aware of certain trends in behavior. We already know that Yaxley comes to work to relax after a long evening of tormenting the snot out of Jager.  But we also see that some weather, particularly barometric pressure changes, makes him rather sleepy.  Which, by the power of suggestion, makes us all feel sleepy. Yax naps the workday away, I chug the caffeine.

Here’s Yax curled up on his bed at the office in an awkward love cuddle with a favorite toy. He’s in a tight ball with his tail by his nose. Like a big yellow snoring fox with a nasal obstruction.  

Every day he reminds me

I love the taste of newsprint in the morning

Oh, Mr. Micron, you silly yellow dog.  Every day is a reminder of why he is our pet . . . and that he’s just not made of assistance dog stuff.

Another roundtable meeting at the office this week and we start with the obligatory autobiographical introductions.

Hi, I’m Donna from Finance. I’ve been with the R&D Pet Care group for just about eighteen years. And here under the table is assistance dog in training, Yaxley.  This handsome fella belongs to Canine Companions for Independence [pause while everyone peeks under the table at the yeller feller curled up like a fox and resting quietly].

And this guy? [all eyes move to Micron who’s resting his smiling noggin on the conference table with his tongue lolling out].  This is Micron. He was in training with CCI as well, but he was released from the program and is now my beloved pet.

He didn’t pass? I’m asked. But why?

He, um.  Well you see, Micron just didn’t want to do that kind of work, I confess this to all in the conference room, Mike’s kinda lacking a little in the work ethic department. Micron rolls his soft brown eyes over to me and produces a big doggie smile. 

Ah, it’s true. After Micron came home from Advanced Training (what we otherwise refer to as three months at CCI summer camp), we’ve been giving him chores to do around the house. Because it’s so annoying to come home to a warm TV and Cheetos dust on the sofa.

I have to tell you though, I am totally blessed to be in a dog friendly office and will bring Micron in whenever I can. Some days, though, it just can’t be helped and the mighty Micron needs to spend the day in the comfort of our humble home. 

So, what did you do today while I was at work, Micron?  I cleaned the breakfast dishes with Soap & Water!, he says.  

Which is, of course, his clever nicknames for Yaxley and Jager – Soap & Water.  Ugh, alrighty then. I think I’ll just load the dishwasher and run a sanitizing rinse if that doesn’t offend your canine sensibilities too terribly much.

What to do with this beautiful and intelligent dog to keep him from the distractions of the willingly unemployed? You know what they say – every hour of daytime TV is another brain cell sacrificed to the talk show gods.  Right, for one thing, we’ve tasked Micron to retrieve the newspaper every morning. The Husband likes to review the latest world happenings along with his Life cereal.  It keeps the Tums folk in business, it does.

And this fluffy dog just loves the taste of newsprint. He walks to the end of the driveway to pick the thing up, and carries it back in his maw along with a proud doggie strut. Lookit me y’all!  he says. I gotcher paper! 

That’s right.  I am the Master of News Retrieval.

So there, Yax!

And this job works out pretty well. Sure, for the most part anyway. There are the occasional mornings when Micron has determined the paper has developed a self-awareness and needs to be summarily destroyed before it can take action on its evil plans to take over the world.

But fortunately, that’s not every day.  Some days I even have enough left to do the crossword.

Another job that Micron has shown an interest in is helping to carry in the groceries.  Groceries is rather a broad term and what I really mean is that Micron likes to carry in the paper towels.  And that’s it, really.  Just the paper towels.

So on grocery days, we’re met at the door of the Toyota by the mighty Micron.  Need help? he asks, smacking his lips, so, which bag has the paper towels? And so, like idiots, we hand him a roll.

In a well-intentioned, but disastrous, attempt to demonstrate this feat, here’s a photo recreation of what happens after our weekly grocery trip.

Yeah, so the play bow is not a good sign that he’s taking this recreation seriously. If I had any sense, we would give up any hope at this point for a happy ending. At least for the Bounty.  But I continue to optimistically click the shutter.

But things take an even darker turn.

Ok, so I’d really like to say that it doesn’t happen just like this every week, but I’d be lyin’ to you.  Because it does. Pretty much just like you see here.  The only twist is when he takes the paper towel roll into the house to show Yaxley (Look what I got and you don’t, Yax!I).  I don’t have photos of that.  And I wouldn’t show you if I did.  It’s too embarrassing.

No dogs were harmed in this photo recreation.
The Bounty roll, however, suffered a bit.

And speaking of embarrasing, don’t tell Micron I showed you these next shots. As we’re going back into the house after my ill fated photo shoot, Mike spies the paper towels on the railing where I had left them. In a fit of impulsiveness (every day is a reminder) he jumps up to grab them, but knocks them off instead.

And here he is trying to get them back.

Ah, hindsight is 20:20, isn’t it?  All he had to do was walk around the railing, instead of giving it the old college try pulling the ten inch roll through the four inch space. But hey, maybe he was just trying to show me he does indeed have a work ethic after all. He is trying really, really hard, you see.

That work ethic stuff.  It’s . . . well, it’s hard work, it is.

Whaja mean there’s another newspaper out there again?  You want me to do this every day?

TYDTWD Eukanuba style

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Doggy smiles on CCI pups Yaxley & Red

Ok, so how many of you knew that last Friday was the official Take Your Dog to Work Day?


Uh huh.  Yeah, even in my dog riddled world, that kibble of info slipped past me. But then, it’s kinda every day that I take my dog to work with me. I’m rather blessed in that – working in a pet food business definitely has its perks. But apparently, this particular event has been going on for some time now.

The official TYDTWD website officially states . . .

First celebrated in 1999, Pet Sitters International’s Take Your Dog To Work Day® was created to celebrate the great companions dogs make and to encourage their adoption from humane societies, animal shelters and breed rescue clubs. This annual event asks pet lovers to celebrate the humane-canine bond and promote pet adoption by encouraging their employers to support TYDTWDay by opening their workplace to employees’ four-legged friends on this one special day.

Well, who knew? But any efforts to raise awareness of adopting shelter and rescue dogs grabs my attention. And even better, my office celebrated this auspicious event by coordinating some fun lunchtime activities with our fuzzy co-workers.  Now, there’s many of us that do bring our dogs into the office to spend the work day with us, so we get the occasional impromptu play date in our company pet park when the potty schedules coincide.  But since this was an official holiday, on this day we had some creative organized activities.

So, we started off with the Longest Sit/Stay. Ah, I thought, this should go well.  I’ll try to keep my poker face and not obnoxiously gloat when Yaxley knocks the socks off everyone with his solid Sit/Stay.  Right.  Once again, I overestimated my dog handling skills expecting a six month old puppy to have conscious free-flowing thoughts while surrounded by gobs of dogs. Yax’s noggin kinda short-circuited.  While he wasn’t the first to break his Stay, he wasn’t the third one either.

Alrighty then, let’s do a quiet time-out and watch the older dogs do the next activity.

Next up – the Potato Walk. This involved walking a straight line while a potato is balanced on a serving spoon in one hand, the dog on leash in the other hand.  Last to drop their potato wins.  Sure, I tell Yaxley, we could have done that one, kid.  Naw, we couldn’t. Let’s be real. Maybe in another six months.
Last event was a twist on musical chairs. From our vantage point, this may have much more fun to spectate than participate. In place of chairs, pawprints were set about in a circle. Dogs and owners walked around the pawprints to music; when the music stopped, the dogs were to sit on the pawprint.  Now CCI pups are taught to walk, Sit and Down on unusual surfaces.  Many pet dogs are not. That was fun part to watch – utter refusal to place their doggy rump down on that. The rules were quickly adjusted to allow the dogs to just stand on a pawprint. The players were eliminated as a pawprint was taken away each turn, the winner is the last dog standing.
Here ‘s Yaxley and his co-workers burning off some energy before the games.  You’ll see the pawprints on the ground that were so carefully measured out and placed in a circle being scattered about by the excited dogs.
Now check out the faces on these pups. You don’t need to be an expert in canine body language to see that these are dog smiles.
Yaxley and Diamond
Yaxley and his BFF, Natas
Of course we had refreshments for the fuzzies, as well.  A round of Frosty Paws for everyone. Yaxley got a euphoric Zen moment going with his cup.  

We had a bit of a side discussion about Frosty Paws.  Someone asked if anyone thought a person could buy these dog treats by mistake and actually eat it? What would happen?

Well, it ain’t gonna kill ya. But you probably won’t enjoy it as much as your pup does, that lack of sugar and all. Guessing it would be a once in a lifetime experience. Self-correcting behavior, as it were.

Frosty (Paws) Nose

More photos of the event are on the Eukanuba and Iams pages for those of you who partake in the Facebook experience.

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