Friday, June 24, is a special day for dogs and dog-lovers: It's Take Your Dog to Work Day!
Have you ever taken your dog (or other pet) to work? On June 24, you can! (okay the idea with your boss first though!). The Friday following Father’s Day is designated as Take Your Dog to Work Day, a special time set aside by Pet Sitters International (PSI) “to celebrate the great companions dogs make and promote their adoptions.” This marks the 18th year of such a commemoration. In fact, the entire week, starting June 20th, is known as Take Your Pet to Work Week.
According to PSI, this special time “encourages employers to experience the joys of pets in the workplace,” … “to support their local pet community,” and allows “non-pet owners…to witness the special bond their coworkers have with their pets firsthand and be encouraged to adopt a new best friend of their own.”
A CNBC story which ran last fall noted that an increasing number of businesses are allowing employees to bring their pets to work. Firms such as Google, Amazon, and Etsy welcome pets into the workplace and oftentimes find the animals provide stress relief and develop more focused workers (see story at http://www.cnbc.com/2015/10/15/more-firms-allowing-dogs-and-other-pets-in-the-office.html).
Science supports such thoughts. According to many experts, having a pet helps people physically and emotionally; the simple act of petting a dog or cat relieves tension and decreases blood pressure in people. Therapy that animals provide people is important.
Therapy pets visit nursing homes, hospitals, libraries, and other venues. They are also used by many counselors. Petting an animal helps people relax and can bring joy in the midst of suffering and anxiety.
Pets have other jobs as well, including helping the blind and disabled. Guide dogs and service animals allow those who cannot see or are confined to wheelchairs to have a more active and social lifestyle. The positive affect of service animals upon people with PTSD has been well-documented, too; many former military men and women are now experiencing life with a service dog. Sometimes these pets are found in animal shelters; their lives are saved from euthanasia and they are trained to help those with PTSD or who have lost limbs, giving the dogs a new “leash on life” as well. One such organization is Pets for Patriots; another is Pets for Vets.
Other types of jobs dogs have include hunting, herding, and search and rescue. All of these are important functions, and various breeds respond to the call. Some have the natural instinct, but all need some type of training, including basic obedience. Such training benefits all dogs no matter the breed or occupation, even that of companion.
The most important job a pet has is that of friend. Dogs are loyal and loving (cats are a bit more independent, however, they, too, serve the important role of companion). Pets fill a void when people let us down – pets are faithful and authentic. Pets are fun, whether returning a tennis ball or toy mouse in endless games of fetch, hiking a trail, or laying on one’s lap – their adoration and devoted companionship fills one’s heart.
So, during Take Your Pet to Work Week and on Take Your Dog to Work Day, if you’re an employer, consider allowing your workers to bring their furry friends to the office, to the store, or to the plant. If you’re an employee, share this information with your boss and seek permission to bring your faithful four-legged companion to work. Honor the pets who give us so much, who care about us to the moon and back, and share your love of pets with others. Remember the words from the Peanuts characters: “Happiness is a warm puppy!”
Gayle M. Irwin is a writer and public relations professional who volunteers with various animal rescue groups. She enjoys sharing her books and her passion for pets and the environment with others.