Here's a staggering statistic: 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. And these numbers are growing according to DogFriendly.com which lists dog-friendly companies in every state.
So, the canine employment rate is on the rise and it's due in part to Pet Sitters International's Take Your Dog To Work Day® (TYDTWDay). First celebrated in 1999, the doggie holiday was created to celebrate the great companions dogs make (even at work) and to encourage their adoption from shelters and rescue clubs. Employers are encouraged to open their workplace to employee's four-legged BFFs on Friday, June 22nd, 2012.
Those that register on PSI's website will receive a free downloadable copy of the 2012 TYDTWDay Participant Action Pack which contains a sample "dog at work" policy, tips for planning the eventful day and additional resources to help make your TYDTWDay a total success!
The celebrity pet "Chunk" (for those that don't tune into late night talk shows) is Chelsea Handler's dog who not only accompanies his mistress to work at E Entertainment Network, but also maintains his own Twitter account, with over 136K followers. When interviewed by Doggie Matchmaker recently about his adoption and sharing the spotlight at work with his famous owner, Chunk barks that "he was saved from an Animal Shelter a day before (his) execution." He also admits that due to Handler's celebrity, he is "helping raise awareness about all the great dogs out there that really need homes."
Another celebrity dog that know how to work it on social media is "Beast." Facebook's CEO Mark Zuckerberg owns the 1-year old Puli Hungarian sheepdog that has attracted over 570,000 LIKES on his FB fan page over the course of the last year. For more on Beast's back story in the workplace, check out my previous post, titled, "Zuckerbergs Play 'Wag The Dog' To Distract FB's Stock Plummeting?
A Maltese mix named "Dolly" also working "9 to 5 " is owned by Erin McCormack, a producer on the Discovery Channel's "Auction Kings." She describes her work-life as one that's been enhanced by having her dog by her side throughout the day. "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."
"Having animals around also encourages camaraderie," McCormack said. "Dogs automatically break down barriers. They are automatic conversation starters and ice-breakers."
However, as much as pet owners might want their places of business to institute a "dog friendly" policy, Len Kain, co-founder and editor of DogFriendly.com is quick to point out that not every business can allow dogs. "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 offices, (hospitals) and insurance firms," he said.
Perhaps those who do own dogs might want to test the waters on June 22nd by asking their bosses if they would allow their dogs to punch a clock at least once on their special day. However, I would leave out the part about "their barks being worst than their bites!" Might not be the greatest selling point!