Taking your dog to work

by Yvonne Olson

There are advantages and disadvantages to taking your dog to work. Do the advantages outweigh the disadvantages? Let's consider both and you can decide.

Advantages

1) Companionship

Dogs have an uncanny way of making you feel at ease when they are around you. They wag their tails when they see you or when you call their names, and they never seem to be mad at you. Okay, well, maybe for the most part. I know our office puppy is unhappy with me when she rings her bell to go outside a lot and I don't respond. I would be unhappy too if I had to go to the bathroom but my master wouldn't allow it; my poor little doggy bladder! But can I tell you a little secret? A lot of times she just wants to go outside and play, and that's why she rings her bell! Who can blame her?

2) Exercise

Another advantage of having the dog at the office is that it gives you a great excuse to finally get up and stretch out. As you take the dog outside, you get exercise as well. In the winter time (living in the Northwest as my dog and I do) the trips outside seem to be shorter and quicker, but they are still a welcome ritual.

3) Playing!

Finding time to play with the dog will lift your countenance and take some stress away. Even if it's throwing the ball down the hall, or playing tug-o-war while you are sitting at your desk, you will find that having fun at work isn't a bad thing.

4) Free Door Greeter

Our office puppy doubles as a door greeter. She loves to sit right by the door as clients are walking in, and let them have it. She stands on her hind feet and lets them know they are welcome. Sometimes she gets so excited she runs in circles around the office. She has not found a client she didn't like. She gets their attention right away, and a majority of clients love her personality so much that it's hard for them to leave her to transact their business in the CPA's office.

Disadvantages

1) Allergies

One downside to having a dog at work might be allergies. When the CPA first brought Lucy (who is a miniature golden doodle) I really freaked out. My number one allergy (I know, I got tested) is to dogs. When I saw him bringing the puppy in one morning, my first words were, "I'm allergic to dogs." And he replied, "Oh, she's hypo-allergenic, so she doesn't shed." Needless to say, that didn't help and I was really upset. But, as time went on I found out that he was right, and I haven't had any allergic reactions to her.

2) Temper

Another downside to having a dog at the office might be your dog's attitude. If your dog is temperamental toward outsiders, this might not be the right atmosphere for your dog. Dogs can be protective of their masters and very territorial as well. Consider this when trying to justify bringing your dog to work. No one wants to get bitten and you don't want the chance of losing a client or paying for a lawsuit.

3) Time

When work is busy, time to take care of a dog can add to your already hectic schedule. Consider how you are going to handle the dog's needs before you find yourself neglecting your K-9 companion. Here are a few tips to help ease the burden:

Schedule doggie breaks – Scheduling your dog's bathroom breaks outside will help keep them and you on track. When we got our office puppy Lucy, she was a few months old and needed to be house broken. When tax season came, I was so busy that I couldn't take her outside when she rang the bell. And... she wasn't crying wolf... she really did have to go and ended up leaving a little present on the carpet. I couldn't scold her because I didn't take her out when she rang her bell. Since she is used to a daily schedule, it would benefit her and me if her schedule was rearranged, but consistent.

About Yvonne:
Yvonne is an administrative assistant for a CPA in Puyallup, Washington. This is her third tax season. You can read more about Yvonne at her blog site.

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