Ginger

Ginger

Good dog, good job?

Like any new addition to an office, Dolly had an adjustment period. The hardest part: learning not to bark at the mailman. Dolly is one of millions of dogs that accompany their owners to dog-friendly businesses every day. Even more will join her next Friday for Take Your Dog to Work Day in the U.S. “I consider it a benefit like health care. It’s a huge attraction,” said Dolly’s owner Erin McCormack, who works at Authentic Entertainment in Los Angeles as a producer on the Disney Channel’s “Auction Kings.”

LOS ANGELES — Like any new addition to an office, Dolly had an adjustment period. The hardest part: learning not to bark at the mailman.

Dolly is one of millions of dogs that accompany their owners to dog-friendly businesses every day. Even more will join her next Friday for Take Your Dog to Work Day in the U.S.

“I consider it a benefit like health care. It’s a huge attraction,” said Dolly’s owner Erin McCormack, who works at Authentic Entertainment in Los Angeles as a producer on the Disney Channel’s “Auction Kings.”

McCormack and her Maltese mix walk together before work and at lunch to get some exercise, and McCormack saves money on the dog walker or daycare she would otherwise need.

“It’s such a great way to create a productive atmosphere. It makes the environment more conducive to creativity,” she said, at a company that produces shows like the Food Network’s “The Best Thing I Ever Ate,” TLC’s “Toddlers & Tiaras” and Bravo’s “Flipping Out.”

At the same time, McCormack added, “They are a calming force. When things get stressful, you can lean down and pet your dog or take a walk and pet a nearby dog. You get a more efficient workplace, one that’s not consumed with stress.”

About 1.4 million owners take some 2.3 million dogs to work every day, according to an American Pet Products Association survey last year.

When the group last surveyed businesses, in 2006, one in five was dog-friendly. That number is probably holding steady if you include one-person offices, work-at-home pet owners and retail shops, said Len Kain, co-founder and editor of DogFriendly.com, which lists dog-friendly companies in every state.

Some of the nation’s largest employers are dog-friendly — like Google Inc. and Amazon.com. Keeping employees happy is one of the main reasons cited by employers.

“Engineering and software companies are often the type of company that is pet-friendly,” Kain said. “These companies have trouble finding people with the skills they need and do not want to lose these employees.”

Extrovertic, a health care communications agency with 40 employees and offices in New York City and Cambridge, Mass., tested the waters last year with Take Your Dog to Work Day. On June 22 this year, it is sponsored by North Carolina-based Pet Sitters International to promote adoption.

The experiment was so successful that the company went dog-friendly and Sally, a 5-year-old rescue beagle owned by supervising account manager Jared Shechtman, became Take Your Dog to Work Day’s poster dog.

“We are a small agency. We want to be different. We want the quality of our employees’ lives to be better than they would get at a bigger agency. Having dogs in the office is another way of saying, ’We are different and we care about you,”’ said company CEO Dorothy Wetzel.

Fifteen to 20 of the 120 employees or freelancers working at Authentic Entertainment bring their dogs to work, said co-founder and executive producer Lauren Lexton.

Lexton and Tom Rogan decided to let people bring dogs to work when they founded the company 11 years ago, because “it always felt right. Dogs give a softer element to everyday work and there is something about having them around that makes people happy.”

When you have great people, you want to keep them forever, she explained, so if they have a dog that’s used to coming to work, the person is less likely to accept a better job offer if it comes along.

Having animals around also encourages camaraderie, McCormack said. “Dogs automatically break down barriers. They are automatic conversation starters and ice breakers.”

Not every business can allow dogs, said Kain, who started DogFriendly.com with his wife Tara 15 years ago in Anchor Point, Alaska.

Companies may be located in buildings that ban dogs; it can be illegal for a food store, restaurant, hair salon (in some states) or medical office; and insurance may be a barrier, he said.

For others, allowing pets may be a way to help make do with fewer employees working longer hours. “By allowing dogs at work, an employee doesn’t have to leave to take care of the pet,” Kain said.

At Authentic Entertainment, Dolly’s biggest hurdle was deliverymen. “She has always had a fear of carts and boxes and people in uniform,” McCormack said.

She introduced Dolly to Authentic’s maintenance man, and because Dolly still barked and growled at outside deliverymen, McCormack asked for a heads-up call from the front desk when they arrived.

Now she puts Dolly in her lap until the deliveries are finished. Problem solved.

Dolly’s favourite part of coming to work is the attention, McCormack said. At home, she plays second-fiddle to a 3-year-old. At work, Dolly is Miss November in a calendar featuring employee dogs as characters on their shows.

“She is the toast of the town,” McCormack said. “Everybody knows her and she is the star.”

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Alberta has 1,910 active cases of COVID-19 as of Wednesday. Red Deer is reporting five active cases, with 108 recovered. (File photo)
Red Deer reports 25th COVID-19 death

415 new cases identified provincially Saturday

Erika Fetterly, owner of EFP Studios, recently launched the Let Them Have A Voice campaign. (Contributed photo)
Central Alberta photographer’s campaign aims to give youths a voice

An Innisfail photographer is giving a platform to young central Albertans so… Continue reading

More than 120,000 Albertans have signed up to get the COVID-19 vaccine in the first two days of appointment bookings. (Photo courtesy Alberta Health Services Twitter)
Alberta Health Services apologizes after seniors struggle to book vaccine appointments

The CEO and president of Alberta Health Services is apologizing after seniors… Continue reading

Red Deer’s Kyle Moore, 26, will be a houseguest on Season 9 of Big Brother Canada. (Photo courtesy Big Brother Canada)
Red Deer man will be a houseguest on Big Brother Canada

A Red Deer man will be a houseguest on the upcoming season… Continue reading

Red Deer Public Schools says that in the absence of additional funds from the provincial government, there was no consideration of using alternate classroom sites in the district. (AP Photo/Gregory Bull)
Red Deer Public Schools launches online engagement process

Red Deer Public schools is seeking community input to help ensure a… Continue reading

An arrest by Red Deer RCMP is facing online scrutiny. No charges have been laid and the incident is still under investigation. (Screenshot of YouTube video)
Red Deer RCMP investigating violent arrest caught on video

Police say officer ‘acted within the scope of his duties’

Ottawa Senators goaltender Matt Murray (30) stands in his crease as Calgary Flames left wing Andrew Mangiapane (88), left to right, defenceman Rasmus Andersson (4), Matthew Tkachuk (19), Mikael Backlund (11) and Mark Giordano (5) celebrate a goal during second period NHL action in Ottawa on Saturday, Feb. 27, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Calgary Flames beat Ottawa 6-3 to end Senators’ three-game win streak

Flames 6 Senators 3 OTTAWA — The Calgary Flames used a balanced… Continue reading

Toronto Maple Leafs centre Auston Matthews (34) falls on his knees as he skates around Ottawa Senators defenceman Artem Zub (2) during third period NHL hockey action in Toronto on Thursday, February 18, 2021. The Maple Leafs will be without star centre Auston Matthews when they take on the Edmonton Oilers Saturday. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Toronto star Auston Matthews won’t play as Leafs face Oilers

EDMONTON — The Maple Leafs will be without star centre Auston Matthews… Continue reading

Crosses are displayed in memory of the elderly who died from COVID-19 at the Camilla Care Community facility during the COVID-19 pandemic in Mississauga, Ont., on November 19, 2020. The number of people who would have died from a COVID-19 infection is likely to be much higher than recorded because of death certificates don't always list the virus as the cause of a fatality, experts say. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Death certificates don’t accurately reflect the toll of the pandemic, experts say

The number of people who would have died from a COVID-19 infection… Continue reading

A health-care worker prepares a dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine at a UHN COVID-19 vaccine clinic in Toronto, Thursday, Jan. 7, 2021. A single dose of Pfizer-BioNTech's COVID-19 vaccine is barely enough to cover the average pinky nail but is made up of more than 280 components and requires at least three manufacturing plants to produce. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
From science to syringe: COVID-19 vaccines are miracles of science and supply chains

OTTAWA — A single dose of Pfizer-BioNTech’s COVID-19 vaccine is barely enough… Continue reading

Wetaskiwin RCMP say a Maskwacis man died after he was struck by a vehicle. (File photo by Advocate staff)
Clare’s Law in Saskatchewan used handful of times; Mounties review their role

REGINA — A first-of-its-kind law in Canada meant to warn those at… Continue reading

The Magpie river in Quebec is shown in a handout photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO-Boreal River MANDATORY CREDIT
Quebec river granted legal rights as part of global ‘personhood’ movement

MONTREAL — With its kilometres of rapids and deep blue waters winding… Continue reading

Thorough sanding of a table top is usually the first step to renewing a finish. Wax contaminants can sometimes still remain on a surface like this after sanding. Cleaning with rubbing alcohol and a rag gets rid of these contaminants without leaving a residue behind. (Photo by Steve Maxwell)
Houseworks: Fixing wood finishes

Q: How can I stop polyurethane from beading up on a mahogany… Continue reading

Most Read