Friday, June 22, is Take Your Dog to Work Day. While this may be a novelty at most workplaces, it’s a common occurrence at an animal shelter. Obviously, people who work in animal welfare are passionate about animals and are likely to bring their pets along whenever possible. But the other thing that makes animal workers unusual is that we understand very well why dogs in a place of business could also be a problem. No one wants a dog barking incessantly or jumping up on everyone while they’re trying to work. That’s why we have some rules. You can bring your dog to work occasionally so long as it is under control, in a private office or on leash, and not disruptive. You must clean up after your dog outside and (heaven forbid) inside if necessary. You can’t go out and leave another staff person to care for your dog.
The best thing about Take Your Dog to Work Day is the recognition by businesses that their employees’ companion animals are an important part of their lives, even members of the family. While most businesses don’t want dogs at work every day, it’s great for a business to have the flexibility to let an employee bring his or her dog when necessary. Perhaps you’re having work done on your house or your dog has a vet appointment in the middle of the day or your pet sitter canceled at the last minute. This is a great way for businesses to let their workers know that they see them as whole individuals with many kinds of responsibilities, not just workers. And for many of us our pets are one of our most important responsibilities.