There’s a lot to be said for spending time with your dog – even when you’re at work.
Scientific studies have concluded that the presence of pets can substantially reduce a person’s stress level in the workplace, then there’s the added bonuses of increased job satisfaction, team co-operation and morale which have all been reported in employees who spend the workday with their pets.
Next Friday, June 24 is the third Bring Your Dog To Work Day – a nationwide annual event organised by Hownd, raising money for charities dedicated to making a difference to the welfare of dogs – when businesses across the country welcome their dog-loving employees into the workplace accompanied by their four-legged companions.
All proceeds raised will go to the dog rescue charity All Dogs Matter, which rehomes hundreds of dogs every year.
To find out more about the initiative and how to make a donation visit www.bringyourdogtoworkday.co.uk
To celebrate the bond between man and his four-legged friend, we’ve spoken to some of those lucky enough to take their dog to work with them all the time.
• John Birch, landscape manager at Baytree Nurseries Garden Centre, Weston, takes Sonny Bear, a six-year-old fox red Labrador, with him every day.
“I bred his mother 13 years ago; she had two pups and Sonny was the only one to survive,” says John.
“I should have called him Shadow as he follows me everywhere! Customers love to see him here and the regulars always come to make a fuss of him – we’re one of the few companies encouraging people to actually bring their dogs with them when they come here. It’s lovely having him with me each day.”
• Two-year-old rescue dog Saxon, a German shepherd, helps his owner at work. Emily Wadsworth runs the Canine Cupcake Kitchen, in Spalding, and relies on his help as her chief taster.
“It’s great taking my best friend Saxon to work. Most of the time he is with me in the kitchen as I work from home, but he also comes on delivery runs and he is loved by many of my customers – who expect to see him,” says Emily.
“The bonus is that he isn’t alone for a lot of the day, which is great for him and for me as it means he can’t get up to mischief as he is big, but still a puppy, and still has a puppy naughty streak.”
• Sally Twell, a veterinary assistant at Alders Veterinary Practice, Spalding, takes seven-month-old Labrador Hugo and 13-year-old Westie Alfie to work with her.
“A lot of the staff bring their animals to work – I take mine one at a time, and it’s nice when you get a break and they are here as well,” she says.
“The clients like it too, plus it’s good socialisation, especially for my Labrador puppy – he gets used to people speaking to him, the noise of other dogs and people coming in and out.”
• Market traders Fee and Andy Taylor, who run Fee’s Bargains on a Saturday in Spalding, regularly take Diesel, an 11-year-old border collie-Akita cross, and Shadow, a 12-year-old Alaskan malamute, to work.
“It’s lovely having them with us,” says Fee. “A lot of people come over to see the dogs. We’ve not been taking Shadow as he’s had surgery recently, but people come up and say ‘give him lots of cuddles from us’.
“Quite a few people who’ve previously had dogs, and for whatever reason can’t anymore seem to have adopted ours and they love it!”
• Georgia Quant runs Pawjes Dog Grooming salon in Fleet Street, Holbeach, and loves taking her 11-month old whippet Missy with her.
“It’s great for both of us,” says Georgia. “I spend a lot of time here on my own, and get a few breaks between clients so it’s nice having some company, plus it means Missy isn’t left at home on her own.
“All my customers know her name and are always asking after her. She’s also very socialised as a result of being here around other dogs too.”
• Lucy Taylor looks after the bird food business at Vine House Farm, Deeping St Nicholas, and says she’s incredibly lucky to have a job that allows her to take her dog – 18-month-old Labrador Fernie – with her.
“If I worked in an office all the time it just wouldn’t be possible,” says Lucy. “I’m lucky that I work with my family too, so if I’m not around for any reason they can help look after her.
“On the other side, we have got a busy farm yard, and you’re not always concentrating on the dog. But mostly it’s great – I don’t think I could have a dog if I had to leave her at home all day. I’m very lucky to work where I do.”
• Eight-year-old cocker spaniel Dilly accompanies her owner Joanne Blower to the Wood Green animal charity shop, in Swan Street, Spalding.
Shop manager Joanne said: “Having her in the shop is fantastic, especially since it’s an animal charity shop. Everyone who comes in gives her a fuss and some children who are frightened of dogs and meet her now realise that they’re not so frightening.
“Dilly loves all the attention she gets, plus it’s good for her to socialise with others.”
• Working cocker spaniel Jessie (7) has been a regular at Sheila Tiller Fashions, Long Sutton, where her owner Elaine Tiller works, since she was eight weeks old.
“She’s a small dog, but she loves people and they adore her,” says Elaine. “At Christmas she gets so many presents from customers!
“In all the time I’ve been bringing her only two people have commented that they wouldn’t have thought there would be a dog in a shop like this – but having her here helps create a relaxed atmosphere.
“I wouldn’t be able to have a dog and leave it at home – she’s part of the team.”
• Aircraft engineer James Dooley takes his dog Rambo, an eight-year-old Welsh Collie, to work with him at Fenland Airfield, Holbeach St Johns.
“He gets to run around the hangar when the doors are shut, and he’s tied up on a long lead when they’re open. But he’s a collie, and does like to chase things, so I have to be really careful in that respect,” says James.
“He gets lots of fuss when people come in; he’s a good loyal dog – I wouldn’t have got him if I wasn’t able to take him to work with me.”