office expressions.

musings from my experience at the home/office.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Pet Friendly Work Environments

I am a dog lover.

I cry when the ASPCA commercial with Sarah McLachlin comes on TV, I want to adopt/foster/babysit dogs more than I ever wanted to for kids. I will even run a 5k if it benefits the local humane society. I am not a runner, but I am a dog lover.

A few years ago, I was pretty far into the interview process for a marketing position at the Guthrie Theater in downtown Minneapolis. A career in the arts, at the brand new architectural marvel in the Mill District? I was pretty much jumping out of my skin at the prospect. And then I think I actually did jump out of my skin when I was taken through their office space and saw that almost every employee had a baby gate on their office door and a cute little pup curled up on the floor inside.

This was a place where it was encouraged that you bring your well behaved dog to work! I'd heard of these places, but never in my wildest dreams did I think I'd ever come this close to one. It was like the unicorn of work environments.

3 years later, 2 jobs later, and I am finally in my own 'pet friendly work environment'. While we were looking for a new place to live in Denver, our #1 criteria was a fenced in backyard. We brought Lexi into our family while we were living in Colorado Springs, and without exaggerating, she is an active dog. Our townhouse set up with a tie-out lead out back was definitely not the best situation for her, and this found us on at least 3-5 miles of walks with her every day, just to get her tired enough to lay low in the evenings.

We now have the fenced in backyard, of which she is Queen. It's so fun to watch her relax out back, get amped up about squirrels, and 'do the polar bear' in the snow.

So far, having Lexi around during my werk day has been wonderful. She keeps me company, helps me get out of the house on walks, and even keeps my feet warm if I'm lucky. The only downside is that we might own the MOST talkative golden retriever since the beginning of time, and she occasionally likes to jump on conference calls or 'tackle-hump' me while I'm on the phone (she gets a running start and ends up in a hump on my leg while I am in the middle saving the world's children, one marketing campaign at a time). Many of my co-workers are aware of Miss Lexi due to these nasty habits, and most think it's funny, but most days, I do not.

We are working on her manners, and trying to help her understand that being on the phone is not the signal to start moaning, growling, or tackle-humping. If that's the worst I have to deal with, I'll take it! She smiles more than any co.werker I've ever had, and she's definitely a welcomed addition to the.homewerker's office.
(Lexi, about 10 weeks old, napping on my boots)

(Lexi, feeling 'guilty' about being caught on the couch)

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