People and dogs from businesses around the globe took part in the 10th annual Take Your Dog To Work Day event on Friday, June 26. Although no hard numbers exist to show how many actually participated, Pet Sitters International, which organized the event, reports that more than 120,000 visitors explored their site for information.
The aim of Take Your Dog To Work Day is to promote pet adoptions by exposing non-dog owners to the joys of life with dogs. The hope is people will be more willing to adopt a dog or donate money to help dogs after they see how happy their dog-owning co-workers are.
For most participants, getting co-workers to enjoy the event wasn’t a problem. Sari Mintz, owner of Chicago-based ForYourParty.com, says having four dogs join them in the office added levity and fun to the day. “People were curious and interested,” she says. “They had fun guessing which dog belonged to which owner.” To help celebrate, Mintz’s company hosted a party outdoors during lunch and made doggie bags, pawprint napkins and bowtie place cards to hang around the dogs’ necks.
For others, surprise may be the only hurdle. “We were astonished it was a 10-year-old event,” says Mimi Kelly Murphy, with Medical Management Professionals in Knoxville, Tenn. Murphy heard about Take Your Dog To Work Day on a website, then passed the idea around to her department. Their celebration included two dogs who spent the day at work. They planned a limited celebration because “our first year, we wanted to see how big or small we could participate,” Murphy says.
But everyone in the 220-employee office noticed the unusual canine presence – and loved the idea. Due to the positive response, next year they’re planning a bigger rollout. “This is something we can embrace as a company,” she says.
Despite all the fun, the day proved to be mostly business as usual. If anything, it boosted productivity. “It sounded like a fun thing to do on a Friday,” Mintz says. “It helped employee morale.”
And hopefully it helped dogs, too. “I think its great for people to recognize how important dogs are to everyone, not just their [owners],” says Jamie Hitchings of the Manhattan Edit Workshop in New York, who took her dog Vivian to work with her. “I hope that someone will think about adopting from the time they spent with Vivian.”
To learn more about Take Your Dog To Work Day or register your participation, visit TakeYourDog.com. The 2010 event will take place on Friday, June 25.
Annamaria Barajas is the managing editor of DOG FANCY magazine.