And this year, that day is Friday, June 21 - the 15th national
"Take Your Dog to Work Day." Once again, dog owners throughout
North America will be prodding their poodles and pulling their pugs
to patronize their place of employment.
The event is promoted by Pet Sitters International (see
www.takeyourdog.com if you think I'm pulling your paw), and has
been growing in leaps and bounds nationwide since the first year,
according to spokeswoman Beth Stultz.
"More than 287,000 visitors explored the official website
seeking ways to participate during the 2012 campaign," said
Involvement ranges from merely taking a dog to work, to holding
office pet parties, and even raising money and awareness for local
pet rescue organizations.
"I've heard about an owner-dog look-alike contest with proceeds
going to a local animal charity," Stultz said. "Although I'm not
sure I'd want to win that contest!"
Needless to say, a few words of caution should be heeded before
hauling your massive mutt to the office. Some people have
cynophobia (fear of dogs), so it's a good idea to check with your
boss for approval prior to organizing an event.
Also, some businesses are clearly inappropriate for
dogs. For instance, if you're employed in the funeral trade,
definitely leave your dog at home. There are just some items you
don't want Rover digging up and dragging back to proudly show
Fast food retailers also come to mind, because you're always
going to encounter a few customers who frown on fang marks in their
cheeseburgers. And for heaven's sake, don't take your dog to work
if you're in the boomerang testing business - you'll drive the poor
So don't be too hard on an employer who shoves his face in
yours, angrily refusing to sanction the event. It will just confirm
what you've always suspected: your dog's breath is better than
Should you want to press the issue, however, you could always
attempt to persuade a stubborn boss to allow dogs at work by
pointing out that some breeds are invaluable in the workplace. What
better security than a nervous Rottweiler leashed to the office
Or maybe your boss is always complaining about staff that never
makes it to meetings on time. Tell him your border collie will
round up those slack stragglers and herd them into the conference
room before he can say "Lassie come home."
Speaking of the iconic TV pooch, if you're a collie dog owner,
you may want to mention how dependable they are at alerting others
when a colleague falls down the elevator shaft.
If you do get permission to take your dog to work, you should
also remember that dogs love to chew. So keep a close eye on him to
ensure he doesn't run off with stuff. Just because you steal
stationary supplies from the office, doesn't mean your dog
Finally, keep in mind that co-workers also might bring their dogs
to the office, so it's important yours can socialize with fellow
On the other hand, you don't want your dog to be too
well-behaved. Should the boss ever realize that your dog fetches
things more quickly than you and comes running immediately when
whistled, Rover might be promoted to your position while you're
demoted to the office dog house.
Thomas' features and columns have appeared
in more than 300 magazines and newspapers, and he is the author of
"Raised by the Stars," published by McFarland.