Taylor and Drew Woodard set off on a year long adventure traveling around Nepal just last Spring. Though they had an idea that this would be a life changing trip, they gained more than they could have ever imagined.
Taylor is an avid animal lover and would frequently ask their translator, Harry, to pull over at the sight of any kind of furry friend on the side of the road. Whether it was a dog, cat, or even an elephant, Taylor was ready to offer her love. Seing how much this couple loves animals of all kinds, Harry came up with an idea.
About a month into their trip, Harry came to Taylor and Drew and told them he had a surprise. He then led them to his home in a local village and sat them on the couch as they eagerly awaited the unknown gift. Before they knew it, Harry presented a tiny white puppy.
The small ball of fur couldn’t have been any older than 3 weeks old, as his eyes appeared to have just opened. They then learned that the mother of this puppy had fallen ill, and this poor pup needed an animal lover to come along and offer him the care he needed.
Though Harry’s family loved animals, they just didn’t understand the work that goes into caring for such a young puppy. The couple knew they had a challenge on their hands, but they gladly accepted the teeny puppy as their own.
Taylor and Drew soon named the adorable puppy Buda, which means “old man” in the Napali language, to honor his Nepali roots. They spent that next month bottle feeding Buda around the clock, and giving him all the time, medical care, and love that he needed to thrive.
Before they knew it, Buda was growing like a weed! His beautiful white fur became long and silky, and he soon surpassed the size of his mother and father. As their time in Nepal passed by, Buda accompanied the couple on every single adventure they went on.
“They always asked us what magic we used to make him so manlike. We always said rice and love.” – Taylor
Buda has traveled through the Himalayas, trekked through the jungle, soaked in the tourist attractions, strolled through big cities, accompanied them on waterfall adventures, and loved every single minute of their adventures together. If you saw Taylor and Drew, you would surely see Buda. Whether he was walking alongside his favorite humans or perched inside of Taylor’s backpack, Buda was having the time of his life.
When the couple’s time in Nepal came to an end, they knew they needed to start the process of getting Buda prepared for a move back to the United States. Taylor had heard horror stories about the difficult process of bringing a puppy to the US and was worried about having to quarantine Buda before his entry to the US.
To make sure that Buda could easily enter the states without risk of quarantine, Taylor and Drew has Buda examined by every vet they came across. After multiple health exams and a stack of paperwork, Buda was able to enter the US without any trouble!
Buda has now been a US citizen for a few months and is living each second of his life to the fullest. When he’s not soaking up cuddles on the couch with his favorite humans, he’s tagging along on road trips with his dedicated fur dad.
“I thought I went to Nepal to have the experience of my life, but it turns out I went to find the love of my life, and now he gets to do life with me forever.” – Taylor
We are so glad that Buda found his way into this animal loving duo’s life and have no doubt that he will continue to lead a life of adventures!
Despite the weird looks you get from people who don’t own dogs when you mention that your pup’s paws smell like Fritos, you aren’t crazy. Many dogs’ paws do smell like Fritos (or popcorn, depending on who you ask). The reason why they have that smell is rather mundane, but we’ll get to that.
It should go without saying, but if your dog’s feet are excessively stinky or swollen or have a discharge, a trip to the vet is definitely in order.
Assuming we’re talking about a normal eau-de-cornchip scent, the real culprit behind Frito feet is bacteria that grows on your dog’s feet, specifically Pseudomonas and Proteus. Unlike humans, dogs only have sweat glands on the pads of their feet and a few by their nose. That’s why they need to pant to cool themselves off. The hair on your dog’s feet provides a great environment for the bacteria to thrive, grow, and multiply, leading to the famous yeasty smell.
If you aren’t the type of person who enjoys that smell, washing and shaving or carefully trimming the hair on the bottom of your dog’s foot can help prevent overgrowth of bacteria and should reduce the scent. When in doubt, go to a professional groomer for help!
Most of us consider ourselves polite people in polite society. We greet each other with smiles, kind words, head nods and handshakes. Our best friend, however, has a different sort of greeting. They choose to sniff bums. I would guess that most people with dogs conclude their pups do not have manners. But there’s more to the story. What does your dog get from sniffing butts?
Since our canine friends are unable to shake hands, nature has provided them a method of getting to know each other and a way to size up the other dogs in the neighborhood. Dogs lead with their noses and sniffing is also seen as a survival tool.
What’s in a scent?
Everyone smells the world around them. Many love the fragrance of freshly cut flowers or the aroma of great food being cooked. Bread hot out of the oven is a personal favorite. On the other hand, consider what your dog prefers. Why bums? Let’s take a closer look.
It is a well-known fact that dogs have quite advanced sniffers. Of all the five senses: vision, touch, taste, hearing, and smell, the scent is the most developed in the canine. Dogs can distinguish the scents of people, family, and other animals.
Dogs have a sense of smell that is somewhere between 10,000 to 100,000 times more sensitive than humans. This is because they have over 150 million scent receptors in their noses to aid in their sense of smell. The dog brain devotes about 33% of its brain to the sense of smell while humans only devote about 5 % of their brains to the sense of smell.
Canines also have a remarkable organ known as Jacobsen’s organ. It is a collection of specialized nerve cells that are located just inside the nasal area and travel through the roof of the mouth behind the upper incisors (front teeth). The nerves in this organ go directly from the nose to the brain and provide a second way the canine has a superior sense of smell. The scent receptors here are very sensitive and Jacobsen’s organ works in conjunction with the dog’s nose to achieve the advanced level of smell that makes a dog be born to sniff.
But why do dogs sniff bums?
We see dogs sniffing fire hydrants, grassy areas, our clothing and shoes, and more. But, when they sniff a bum, they find many identifying odors, just like fingerprints do for humans. (Note: if you have a weak stomach for anatomy, you may not want to read ahead.)
The odors from the genitalia as well as glands in the rear of the dogs are important to the canine. One particular set is anal glands. These are two glands that sit at the 4 and 7 o’clock positions of the anal/rectal area. These glands make a thin liquid that has a unique odor for each dog. This liquid is generally released when the pup passes stool and is usually not detected by humans. But other dogs detect the unique odor. Dogs have the ability to ignore the odor of the feces and concentrate on the other individual odors each other dog possesses.
What is there for dogs to gain?
Odors from other dog’s rear ends and other scents allow your pup to identify a dog they come in contact with. Even though dogs can sense if another dog is safe to approach by tail wagging or hair elevated on the back of another pup, they also use being able to approach a bum as a tool in identifying friend or foe.
They can tell if this is someone they have met before. Whether they are male or female. If they are healthy or ill. Dogs get up close and personal to gain all of this information. They can also determine if the other is interested in romance. As mentioned, sniffing is a quick way for the dog to know all is okay and serves as a survival tool as well as a tool to help dogs get along with each other. Another positive effect is that sniffing a bum actually has a calming effect on dogs.
Canines have great memories and can remember even faint scents for long periods of time. This makes their ability to smell useful when they use their noses for good. Dogs use their sense of smell to identify illnesses such as seizures and diabetes. Dogs can detect bodies buried in snow, as well as the rubble of collapsed buildings. Search and rescue dogs find lost children by sniffing just small articles of clothing. Talented dogs are even used to detect bombs in war zones.
While it is true, long-nosed dogs are known to have a better sniffer than the short-faced ones, the talent of smell is shared by all dogs. Amazingly, dogs can distinguish the scents of people, family, and other animals.
Should you do something about this behavior?
Some people with dogs elect to train their pups to not sniff. This is an acceptable way to handle a pup if you think yours is too nosy, or it may not be safe to approach a certain animal. But maybe we need to see our dogs as having a fun fragrant time when they sniff everything along their pathway.
In the small New England community of Phillipston, MA, the Gelman family runs an auto business called Grace Quality Used Cars. The people who live in Phillipston love to visit the showroom at Grace Quality because there are always some very friendly faces there to greet them. If customers are nice, they may even get a nuzzle or a wet kiss by these furry greeters.
The Gelman family breeds long-haired German Shepherds. Adult male Clyde can always be found close by the business owner’s side and some of his puppies make regular appearances, too. It brings smiles to everyones faces and makes Grace Auto a welcoming place to be. One year old Nika and four month old Honey were at the dealership but went missing earlier this week. The community rallied to help them come home but unfortunately, only Honey made it back.
Nika and Honey Slipped Out the Open Showroom Door
Nika and Honey were at the business having a fun day playing and greeting customers. There must have been a lull in the action because their curious minds lead them to wander off the job. It took a little while but Nika and Honey’s absence was noticed and the dealership sprung into action. The dealership is located on a state road that gets a fair amount of traffic, which runs parallel to a main street that sees constantly heavy truck flow. The main concern with the missing pups was the risk of them being struck by a passing car.
Gelman Family Turned to Social Media for Help
Steven got the word out that two of his beloved pups had wandered off from the dealership, leveraging social media and the notoriety of the pups themselves. People began sharing and the search was underway. Everyone offered words of support and encouragement, promising to do their part to bring both of the puppies home safely.
Honey Was Picked Up by a Police Officer
Within hours, Steven Gelman received a call that brought tremendous relief to him and the entire staff. The smaller puppy, Honey, had been picked up by a patrolling state police officer and was safe at the Athol Fire Department. With half of the lost pair found, hope was renewed that Nika would also have a happy ending. Unfortunately, it did not turn out that way.
Nika Was Struck by a Passing Car and Did Not Make It
The search for Nika continued for two days. Nika’s body was found near the busy road that runs parallel to the dealership. As Steven Gleman had feared, a car struck Nika’s body and she did not make it. The entire staff and present customers were heartbroken upon hearing the news. There was a silence that filled the air and it hung heavy with sadness. He shared the news via Facebook, saying,
“It is with a very heavy heart and through tears, I need to share that this morning we found Nika on Rt 2 behind our building. She was hit by the vehicle. It was no ones fault, she was just young and curious.”
Gelman Thanks the Community with Free Oil Changes
Steven extended his deep appreciation to the community for coming together and trying to make this a good ending for both Nika and Honey. As heartbroken as he was, he felt filled with gratitude for being a part of such a special community. In honor of Nika and as a token of his appreciation, he invited all members of the Phillipston community to come in for a free oil change for the entire following business week.
Rest in peace sweet Nika. We are so sorry that you crossed the rainbow bridge so soon. Our condolences go out to the Gelman family for their loss.
It’s a frustrating time for those with service dogs and their trainers. It’s becoming easier and easier for a dog to pass as a bona fide service dog, and receive the same benefits as those who rely on them for medical necessity.
There are now 39 bills nationwide that are currently in the works to crack down on service dog fraud. Over the years, the public has become increasingly frustrated with the blurred lines of what makes a true service dog. With the recent influx of emotional support pets, there seems to be more and more animal lovers who are looking to exploit the confusion around the service dog title.
Though emotional support animals have their own important role, the acceptance of their presence in certain areas are beginning to make a joke of the seriousness of a true service dog. With the recent allowance of emotional support animals on flights and in public areas, many pet parents have begun to take advantage.
You can now go online and purchase an alarmingly official vest, which allows you to pass your furry friend off as an official service dog. With no defined legal definition between service dogs and emotional support dogs, this opens several loop holes for pet owners to exploit.
Misrepresenting a dog as a service dog can have serious consequences. Organizations like NEADS World Class Service Dogs take pride in their ability to craft these exceptional pups into professionals. True service dogs have gone through rigorous training for months on end, where they learn to perform their tasks to the highest standard. By having an untrained “service dog” in a public setting, your pup could interfere with the life-saving work that a true service dog is currently performing for their human.
“Service dogs are one of the few tools that can expand an owner’s opportunity by giving them independence and confidence. It broadens their world to experience a more normal life than otherwise possible. Sadly, increased success in the area of invisible disabilities, combined with a lack of penalties for abuse, has resulted in an epidemic of pets being misrepresented as service dogs by irresponsible dog owners seeking to benefit.”- Sheila Goffe, AKC’s vice president of government relations.
These efforts are not meant to take away from the importance emotional support animals, but only to crack down on those looking to take advantage of the uncertainty surrounding service dogs.
If these bills pass, anyone attempting to fraudulently pass their dog off as a service dog could face a $500 fine, and 30 hours of community service.
Service dogs are highly trained professionals that can make a world of difference in a disabled person’s life. We can only hope that once these new laws are put in place, the public will begin to understand just how serious of a violation this is.
If you’re reading this, then you’re likely a dog lover and you’ve seen just about every rescue around. But what if I told you there’s a rescue unlike any other? A saving grace for the most critical, elderly and least likely to survive. Take a trip just a couple of hours southwest of Walt Disney World and you’ll find the superwoman who is making miracles happen.
Sunny St. Petersburg, Florida is home to some of the best beaches in the world but it’s also home to Pawlicious Poochie Pet Rescue. The name alone sends your imagination running wild. But, pair it with the rescue’s pink and sparkly persona and you’ll see what makes it so special.
A Rescue Like No Other For The Ones Who Have No Other Options
Jamie Bunny McKnight is the mastermind behind PPPR. She started the rescue with the aspirations of saving the most severely neglected, most broken, oldest underdogs who otherwise didn’t stand a chance. She has rescued thousands of dogs to date and she does it entirely on her own! There’s no grant, no corporate funding, no magic money and dog treat fairy making deliveries. PPPR is supported by donations and Jamie’s two full-time jobs. The rescue boasts pink everything. Jamie even has a pink tattoo on her wrist showing her commitment! Occasionally, she will adorn some of the pups with sparkly (and completely safe) jewels.
“I chose pink and sparkles because so many rescues are dark and sad. Everyone knows rescue is sad but I wanted to make it happy and bright and over the top so more would want to get involved,” said Jamie.
Speaking of sparkles, one of her most brightly shining personalities in the house is Bunny La La, affectionately known as Lols. She suffers from chronic respiratory problems and things were touch and go for a few months. Lols pulled through and is thriving! She’s a bossy little thing who has no problem letting Jamie know when she wants a ham and cheese croissant or a scone from her favorite coffee shop!
There Is No Limit To This Rescue’s Reach!
PPPR is constantly sought out to save pups at the last minute. They come from kill shelters, local drop-offs, or strays. Remarkably, Jamie cares for all of the furbabies in her home! She calls them her kiddos and gives them a life of pure luxury. PPPR has never used foster homes because of the extremely demanding level of care these babies need, and the emotional toll is pretty substantial on top of that. The abuse and neglect that comes through PPPR’s doors is unlike anything you’ve ever witnessed. But, thanks to Jamie and her supporters, there is always a happy ending.
Jamie’s home is always bursting at the seams with four-legged (and sometimes two or three-legged) tiny lives who’ve known more heartache than love. Some of the dogs are hospice cases. These doggos are showered with love, cuddles and the occasional trip to Target for cheese pizza and retail therapy while they enjoy their last days knowing what true love is. Their lives may be cut short, but the happy ending is knowing that they’ve taken their last breath in the arms of someone who truly loves them.
Other dogs are adopted to new families once they’re healed. Of course, there are Jamie’s own cuddle bugs who live there permanently. She typically has at least 5 or 6 dogs waiting for their furever home. They sleep in her bed, go for walks in their stroller, and even tag along to work with her while they patiently wait for their new families.
Small Puppers Overcoming Big Odds
There is absolutely no limit to the extent of care that Jamie is willing to provide. PPPR partners with Patridge Animal Hospital who provides all of the care for her rescues. As you can imagine, the cost of caring for such medically needy pooches is astronomical. PPPR spends $1,000-$6,000 on average per dog! But then there are cases like sweet little Cadmar who required $12,000 worth of life-saving treatment.
This resilient little guy came from a kill shelter in Miami. He had been hit by a car and was unable to urinate or poop. Cadmar required multiple life-saving surgeries to put him back together. After dental surgery, neutering, and weeks of hospitalization among other things, Cadmar survived and is still living a happy and healthy life to this very day. Jamie says he was worth every penny and sleepless night!
Jamie and Dr. Harvey Patridge even flew Jackson, a tiny Frenchie, to see specialists in order to save his life. Dr. Partridge loaded them up in his private plane more than once to make sure Jax had the best care available.
A Shocking Tragedy Took The Life Of The Man Who Helped Saved Them
PPPR is no stranger to tragedy but it struck a little differently just a few months ago. Dr. Partridge and his wife were traveling in their personal airplane when something malfunctioned. The plane crashed and the loving couple lost their lives. In an unfair twist of fate, the plane that had been used to save the life of Jax had now taken the lives of two people who had helped Jamie save thousands of dogs. Dr. Partridge showed a level of love and compassion that is only matched by Jamie herself.
Why Spend So Much Time And Effort On Such Desperate Cases?
Looking at so many heartbreaking stories might make you ask, “Why?” Why are people so cruel? Why is this rescue spending so much time and money on elderly, broken dogs? Wouldn’t these efforts go further on less unfortunate souls with a chance of a longer life? Even the kind-hearted Dr. Partridge would tease Jamie, asking, “Do you just go to the shelter and ask for the most pathetic and hopeless dog they have?”
Jamie has heard it all and here’s what she has to say:
“I fight for the underdog. I save the ones no one else will. I save the ones that other rescues won’t save because it’s too expensive. Just like the day I first came on the rescue scene, many laughed at my name Pawlicious Poochie Pet Rescue. I said then, ‘I am going to make a difference and PPPR will be a force in rescue.’”
You can following all of PPPR’s miraculous stories and adorable pictures on their Facebook page! The world needs more pawliciousness!
Leaving your furry friends at home is always difficult. It’s hard not to worry about whether or not they’ll be lonely while you’re away. However, many people have realized that music can help soothe animals, especially when they’re feeling lonely.
So, Spotify launched a special feature specifically for the animals in your life. You can now make a playlist for your dog, cat, and even your hamster!
How Does it Work?
If you visit Spotify’s Pet Playlist website, setting up a playlist for your four-legged family member is simple. First, you need to select what type of animal the playlist is for. You can create one for a dog, cat, hamster, bird, or iguana.
Next, Spotify will ask you a series of questions to get to know your animal better. For example, they’ll ask if your dog is relaxed or energetic, or if your cat is shy or friendly. These questions will help make the playlist more specific and personal for each animal.
Then, you have the option to include their name and a photo of them to personalize the playlist even further. After that, you’re ready to listen!
The playlists combine your animal’s preferences with some of the songs you enjoy. They even sneak in a few songs with animal-specific lyrics such as “Stray Cat Blues” by the Rolling Stones. Many animals and humans were pleased with the results of the playlists.
Does Music Really Help Animals?
Spotify claims that about 71% of pet parents play music for their furry friends. There has been lots of evidence that dogs and cats do enjoy music, but it’s not always the same music that their humans listen to.
Most animals prefer music that’s made specifically for their species. Human music is made to suit humans, but dogs and cats often find these sounds uninteresting. So, that’s why it’s important to make music that’s designed to appeal to animals too.
Music can often reduce stress for dogs and cats waiting at home alone. It can help them relax and take their mind off the distracting sounds outside.
So, Spotify has also created a special playlist called “My Dog’s Favorite Podcast”. It’s made specifically to reduce stress for dogs and cats listening. It has two 5-hour sections that have relaxing music, reassuring voices, and ambient sounds. It’s an ideal playlist to make your furry friends more comfortable while you’re away.
Whether your four-legged family members enjoy listening to music or not, you should give Spotify’s Pet Playlist feature a try! You might just find a playlist that both of you can enjoy, and it could be the perfect way to keep dogs and cats more relaxed.
Alright! You’re in the pet supply store, armed with information about what you have been feeding your dog. You know which nutritional adequacy (AAFCO) statement to look for, you know how much protein and fat should be in the guaranteed analysis of the foods you are going to consider, and, presumably, you know how much […]
As the saying goes, “Life is better when I’m with my dog.” I can cite a long list of ways that he makes my days brighter – even my work days! From petting his soft fur or listening to his quiet snoring, to how he makes me laugh as he playfully brandishes his toys in hopes of a game of tug and getting me away from and computer every few hours for a walk around the block. See, I’m lucky. My dog Saber accompanies me to the office several days each week at the guide dog school where I oversee the puppy-raising program.
The Human Animal Bond Research Institute reports pets in the workplace can make employers more attractive to prospective employees, increase employee engagement and retention, improve relationships between employees and supervisors, and lower absenteeism. There’s also potential health benefits: stress management, a calming effect, and often an improvement in work-life balance.
It’s definitely nice to reach down and scratch my dog’s ears when I’m feeling overwhelmed with project deadlines. Stepping outside into the designated employee pet play yard helps ensure I don’t sit at my desk and work through lunch every day. Sometimes we spend my break walking around the block. Mostly, as an apartment dweller, I appreciate knowing he’s not stuck inside at home when I’m working long days. It’s a very nice job perk.
Despite the reported advantages, the Society for Human Resource Management reports less than 10 percent of U.S. employers welcome personal pets in the workplace on a regular basis.
While the benefits are notable, pets (for the purposes of this article, we’ll limit our thoughts to dogs, specifically) in the workplace can be tricky. Some office cultures might support an anything-goes mentality where people don’t bat an eye at a rambunctious indoor dog park unfolding in the lobby. However, the attitude of “love me, love my dog” does not generally bode well for harmonious happenings during the daily grind. Bringing personal pets to the workplace, especially an office environment, is a privilege that might be more widely considered by employers if they felt it was less likely to be disruptive.
If you’re hoping to lobby for Fido to join you at work, or your company is considering implementing a pets-at-work policy, consider the following:
1. ESTABLISH BASIC HEALTH AND BEHAVIOR GUIDELINES. It should go without saying workplace dogs should be disease- and parasite-free, clean and well-groomed, and appropriately vaccinated.
Take Your Dog to Work Day
Established in 1999 by Pet Sitters International, Take Your Dog to Work Day celebrates the companionship of dogs, encourages adoption, and educates colleagues who don’t have dogs about the joys of the human-animal bond – perhaps they’ll adopt canine companions of their own!
Participating in this year’s event, held nationwide on June 26, 2020, is a great way to introduce the idea of dogs in the workplace on a more regular basis. Pet Sitters International offers a free online toolkit that includes tips for promoting the idea to management, step-by-step planning instructions, a sample “dogs at work” policy, and even a customizable press release. This may well help generate positive media coverage about the organization’s involvement in the celebration of our canine companions turned canine colleagues for the day! For more information, visit www.petsit.com.
In the office, the priority should be healthy workplace productivity. Ill-behaved dogs can be a nuisance almost anywhere, but the stakes are much higher when we’re at work. To keep everyone safe, at a minimum, potential canine colleagues should be of sound temperament, well-socialized to people, and should not have a history of aggressive behavior or biting. Excessive barking, jumping up on people, getting into the trash, marking or repeated housetraining accidents, and inappropriate chewing are all behaviors that should not be tolerated in the workplace.
While the definition of “well-trained” will always be subjective, requiring office-candidate dogs to successfully pass the American Kennel Club’s Canine Good Citizen (CGC) test is one way to set a minimum behavior standard. Even better, ask employees to attain the mid-level Community Canine title, a similar, 10-part evaluation, but with elements performed in real-life settings such as busy sidewalks or local parks rather than a training facility.
Attaining these titles requires owners to invest time in training their dogs, and trained dogs are much more likely to be comfortable and behave appropriately in different settings. Plus, owners who participate in dog training programs are more likely to understand dog behavior and dog body language, and are therefore likely better equipped to prevent or address challenges that might arise when bringing their dogs to work.
2.MANAGEMENT MATTERS. It’s always important to set dogs up for success. This is especially true when asking them to cohabitate with colleagues who might not be used to sharing their space with dogs. In our opinion, letting office dogs “free range” throughout the office is a recipe for trouble, as it’s impossible to interrupt or redirect your dog’s unwanted behavior when you have no idea where he is or what he’s doing.
Employees with a private office can use a baby gate in the doorway to keep their dogs from cruising the halls without them. If the workplace set-up and dog’s level of training allows, a crate, x-pen or chew-proof tether can be used when owners are unable to supervise the dog, or when the dog needs a little imposed down-time. Make sure the dog has a cozy bed, and use favorite chew items or food puzzles to encourage the dog to spend time on his bed. An office dog doesn’t need to be on-the-go all the time. Dogs home alone spend much of their day quietly lounging; dogs at work can, too.
3. TAKE PROACTIVE RESPONSIBILITY FOR YOUR DOG. “Love me, love my dog” might fly when seeking a life-partner, but it’s a selfish mentality when sharing workspace with others. If you’re lucky enough to be granted permission to bring your dog to work, go the extra mile to make sure your dog is never a nuisance to others.
Respect colleagues’ wishes to decline interaction. Some people are afraid of dogs. Some cultures view dogs as “dirty” animals that should strictly live outside. Some people live with varying degrees of dog-related allergies. And some people are just “cat people” or otherwise choose to be pet-free. Be sensitive and respectful to these differences. Personally, I like to aim for the standard of a well-trained service dog in a restaurant, that is, for most people to not even realize the dog is there, because it’s quietly tucked at its handler’s feet.
That’s not to say office dogs should never been seen or heard, but in an age where fake service dogs are rampant and many dog owners feel entitled to regularly bring questionably or clearly untrained dogs into otherwise non-pet-friendly establishments, it’s more important than ever for responsible dog owners to go the extra mile to show how welcoming dogs need not become problematic for others.
Keep your dog well-groomed to reduce shedding. Have lint rollers and hand sanitizer handy for any colleagues or visitors who might welcome interaction but are surprised by the “magical fibers of love” now clinging to their pants or who might want to clean their hands. Immediately address barking or rambunctious play, especially when colleagues are within earshot and on the phone, in a meeting, or on a deadline. If your dog is overly solicitous of attention from others, direct him to “go lie down,” so colleagues can work in peace (see “Useful Matters,” WDJ January 2020, for tips on teaching your dog to be happy on his mat.) In general, be considerate of others.
Give your dog ample opportunities to relieve in approved areas and clean up after him. Keep cleaning products on hand for unexpected accidents or moments of illness. Leave the toy with the 16 squeakers and the animal-product chew stick – the one that smells like warm death when soggy after a good chewing – at home.
And whatever you do, if your dog ever happens to counter-surf someone’s unattended lunch from their desk, immediately offer to replace it, no excuses! (Years ago, my first dog, a Whippet with a weakness for all things “carbs” might’ve given me an opportunity or two to practice this last tip.)
What About Allergy Issues?
Allergic reactions to dogs come from the body’s over-reaction to harmless proteins in the dog’s urine, saliva, or dander. If employee allergies are a concern, establishing dog-free zones, especially in common areas, can help. Consider providing in-room air purifiers or checking to see if building maintenance uses, or can add, a HEPA filter to the central air and heating unit. Frequent vacuuming and the use of anti-allergen sprays, along with surface dusting with a damp cloth versus dry dusting can help reduce allergen levels in the environment. There are also various sprays and pet wipes designed to help neutralize allergies.
If employees report mild allergies, the above efforts might lead to a workable arrangement where both the dog-owning and allergy-suffering employees can be made comfortable. If an employee suffers from severe, disabling allergies, by law, they must be accommodated. If that’s the case, it might be more realistic to find other ways for interested staff members to celebrate their shared love of dogs, such as monthly pet photo contests, or collecting donations for a local animal welfare organization.
4. REMEMBER, IT’S AN OFFICE, NOT A DOG PARK. Many people enjoy sharing their lives with multiple dogs, but when it comes to dogs in the workplace, there can easily be too much of a good thing. If you have more than one dog, consider rotating which dog accompanies you to the office each day. Even where I work, at a dog-related organization, where everyone’s workspace has been designed to safely manage dogs, and half of the dog-owning employees are trainers, staff are limited to bringing only two personal dogs to work each day.
5. ADVOCATE FOR YOUR DOG. Not all dogs are good candidates for the workplace, even if they aren’t outwardly aggressive. Shy or fearful dogs might prefer the stability of staying home versus the sometimes unpredictable nature of the workplace and its accompanying sense of “stranger danger.” If your dog gets car sick, he might not appreciate starting and ending each day in the car. If your dog is generally indifferent to other dogs, he might not enjoy sharing relatively close quarters with your cubicle-mate’s social butterfly of a Labrador.
It’s important to carefully consider your dog’s temperament and overall personality. Maybe he’s not right for the workplace at all. Or maybe it’s best to limit office visits to a couple of days each week.
Even if your dog is perfectly suited for life in the office, it’s still important to set some boundaries. If colleagues have the opportunity to interact with your dog, don’t be afraid to request that they follow certain rules. They might not care if your dog jumps on them, but if you care, insist they ask your dog to sit before petting. They might want to shower your dog with Scooby Snacks all throughout the day. If that doesn’t work for you, don’t be afraid to set some guidelines. Be nice about it, but it’s perfectly okay to ask that your ground rules be followed.
Welcoming dogs into the workplace can be a great way to boost employee morale, but it’s not without its challenges, and it’s not right for every organization. Careful planning and clear expectations can go a long way in setting up people – and their pets – for success when implementing a canine colleague policy.
When a trio of friendly street dogs began hanging around the station, the staff opened their doors – and their hearts – to help protect them from the cold.
The three dogs were dubbed Max, Pitoco and Zoinho by their new friends who provide them with food, water, and cozy beds fashioned from old tires. Each dog also has its own comforter to bundle up with!
Local politician and dog lover, Fabiane Rosa learned of the heartwarming set-up and shared a long post and several photos to Facebook. Rosa praised the staff for their kindness and called for more citizens to follow suit.
“Congratulations to the staff of this terminal, everyone understands that these angels are there and have the right to be,” Rosa wrote in part. “So many companies in Curitiba could follow this example, adopt a mascot. Of course it’s not ideal, but at least there’s someone looking out for them and for them [sic].”
The post went viral with more than 11,000 shares and 2,000 comments. Many Curitiba residents wrote that they had personally witnessed the kindness shown to Max, Pitoco and Zoinho.
“I always walk by the terminal and see how well they are treated,” one user commented.
Another noted that the dogs receive “a lot of affection from drivers, collectors, and passengers.”
Rosa also took the opportunity to encourage Brazilian citizens to report animal abuse and neglect.
“Abandonment is cruel, cowardly, it’s a crime. But we can change that sad reality together. Report!!! Don’t be afraid!!! You may be the only hope of these angels who suffer in silence.”
For more beautiful acts of kindness from Brazilian dog lovers, check out the following posts: