It’s a growing trend that dogs are “working” in the offices of local companies. Their job is simple: to make employees and customers happier!
Gigi may sound like a petite name, but this Great Dane weighs 165 pounds! Her owner, Todd Wendling, works at US Insurance Group LLC. “I’m six feet tall, and she’s past my waist—so people just stare. I’ve heard people say they haven’t seen a horse that big!” Todd said.
Despite Gigi’s size, she’s not an intimidating dog in behavior. She’s calm,easy going, and quiet. When clients visit, she sniffs them and lies down at Todd’s feet. Todd began bringing her to the office three months ago when his other dog passed away. He hated to leave her by herself, so now, she lies by the office window and watches customers and employees from nearby offices walk by. Todd enjoys her company and is humored by the fact that Gigi now has her own fan club of visitors.
A variety of dogs live on the campus of Oklahoma School of Science and Mathematics. The dogs are family members of faculty and residential staff who live at the school to oversee the coursework of the 150 high school juniors and seniors who board at the school.
Students and campus visitors often see the dogs while walking around the 32-acre campus. The dogs, small and docile, remain on a leash at all times because staff are cognizant that some people are nervous around dogs. According to Liz Heigle, the public information officer, “Having dogs on campus creates calmness that reminds many students of home. Students see the dogs in offices, but not in the classroom, because that’s an intense college level environment.
Bailey is the quiet, mellow Australian Shepherd of Dave Miller. Dave owns Back40 and publishes Outlook magazine. Since his wife, Sandy, passed away, Bailey has been Dave’s steady companion at the office. “Bailey’s really our company dog, because she mixes with all the staff,” Dave said. “She backs up to us when she wants to be scratched, but she’s not a nuisance.
Dave used to envy people who took their dogs to work, and it finally dawned on him that he could too. The result is that clients love Bailey. “They tell me our company seems even more trustworthy because we have a dog. Plus, there’s a certain coolness factor,” Dave said, with good-humored smugness. “In truth, our quality of life is better because she’s here, and her quality of life is certainly better than if she stayed at home with my cat.
Handsome is a grocery store rescue dog that was destined for the pound nine years ago. His owner, Robin Bray, took him in, and he’s spent every workday since at the Quail Tag Agency. “He’s very famous and often photographed,” Robin said. “He thinks that every customer who walks in the door has come to see him.
Robin and the staff find it a great comfort to have Handsome around. As a rottweiler/labrador/chow mix, he’s protective of his people before and after work. He’ll bark before 9am and after 6pm, but during office hours, he remains silent. According to Robin, on the rare occasion that a customer visits who doesn’t like dogs, she tells Handsome to, “Go to work,” and he’ll go behind the counter and lay down to pout until he or she is gone.
Lady Greta von Schnauzer
Trish Maxwell, owner of Journey Quilt Company, describes her miniature schnauzer as, “the most amazing little ice-breaker and marketer.” Many first-time customers are more aware of her dog than of her services. “People literally walk in and give her their full attention before they talk to me about ordering a quilt,” Trish said.
Trish describes her schnauzer as a cute, quirky little dog, who demands carrots every day at 10:00 and 3:00 on the dot. Unlike most terrier breeds, Lady Greta is not a barker, unless she sees a child she wants to play with or a squirrel she wants to chase. “We call her our Journey Dog, and all my staff love that she comes to work every day.
Although Cotton is a foster dog owned by Curtis Aduddell, she has 79 other “owners” as well. The Great Pyrenees is a daily visitor at Heritage Assisted Living, where she is everyone’s pet. After one look at her sweet, soulful eyes, all fear of her large size disappears. In fact, her enormous size is of benefit to residents who often can’t bend down to pet a small dog.
“Sometimes when people come to our facility, they’ve left pets behind—so Cotton becomes their pet. We know that animals increase the longevity of senior citizens,” said Kimberly Brinner, the director of admissions and marketing at Heritage. “Cotton has a regular visiting routine of taking walks and accepting treats from the residents. When there’s a birthday to celebrate, Cotton even delivers balloons.
If your workplace needs a furry, four-legged coworker to lighten the mood and bring a smile to busy days, check out local dog rescues and animal shelters for the perfect companion. You’ll not only bring some fun to the office, but save a dog’s life in the process. That’s a win-win success worth wagging about.