Money & Animals: Take your dog to work next Friday

Friday June 20th is the 10th annual Take Your Dog to Work Day, a totally made up holiday, but a fun one. Pet Sitters International started celebrating in 1999, six years after the Ms. Foundation started bringing daughters into the workplace.

The purpose is entirely different. The daughters and sons are supposed to be learning about work world opportunities. On Dog Day, or TYDTWDay, as Pet Sitters calls it in shorthand, the dogs aren't supposed to learn anything (though I do think they're curious about where we go all day.) Instead it's your co-workers who are going to have their minds blown. The idea, according to Pet Sitters, is to encourage people to adopt dogs from shelters by showing them how much fun your dog is. Or, as they put it, "people without dogs will see the loving bond their co-workers have with their pets and will consider adopting orphaned pets for their own."

Sounds a little flimsy, but I still love it.

The similarities between the holidays don't end there. Answering understandable complaints for boys' parents, in 2003 the Ms. Foundation officially changed the holiday to include boys. It's now the Take Our Daughters and Sons to Work Day. Cat people didn't want to be excluded either, so now Take Your Pet to Work Week expands the holiday from June 16 to 20 (in case your office has something serious going on Friday). The kid holiday is somberly always on a school day, a Thursday, so that kids can go back and talk about what they learned on Friday. The dog holiday is the Friday after Father's Day, probably because it's a pretty casual time and nice weather.Will employers really fall for this?

According to the Pet Product Manufacturer's Association, they already do. One in five workplaces allows pets. More than 10,000 participate in the U.S., U.K., Canada, Australia and New Zealand. Different surveys find having a dog around reduces stress and increases creativity and productivity.

On a practical level, dog owners know how hard it to unexpectedly work late, knowing that at home a dog needs to go out. With the dog in the office working late is less of a burden. Dogs will be content and dog moms and dads won't have to feel dog guilt. Planned or not, working longer hours becomes less of a problem if you can bring your dog in.

I work at home now so every day is Take Your Dog to Work Day for me. My dog Jolly likes to report to my office and lie down behind my chair as soon as he gets in from his morning walk, as if he's reporting for work. In different offices I've worked, my bosses and my companies would've been fine with the idea, but building management objected. I find that attitude is based more on a superstitious like fear that domestic dogs will transform themselves into savage wolves when they enter corporate America.

The organization has all kinds of guidelines for getting your co-workers' approval, only bringing dogs who will be nice (and quiet). They also like to arrange with local shelters to show up with dogs that need homes.

Wanna go with me to work next Friday? Wanna go? Wanna go?

The only being who will respond favorably to those questions is your dog. He'll even be excited about it.
Read Full Story