Traveling Dog Lady: Memories About Take Your Dog To Work Day

Sunday, June 25, 2017

Memories About Take Your Dog To Work Day

For most of my career in student travel, my dogs accompanied me to work. I worked long, long hours at our company headquarters, and it was better to just bring the dogs with me, rather than leave them home alone, drive back and forth to let them out, or hire a sitter.

But times changed, and I pretty much stopped bringing the dogs to work with me a few years ago.

Things are about to change even more, now. We are selling our office building that we've occupied for 31 years and we're moving the family business to an office park a few towns away.

I get emotional thinking about all the memories and the sheer volume of hours I spent in that building, most of them with my hounds snoozing at my feet. I had the good fortune to work with my life partner every day -- we even picked out the building together, all those years ago. It was our second home, for sure.

Timba, my devoted black Lab, came to work with me for 17 years. Every. Single. Day.

Timba at work at Passports, (and Laurent diligently working at his desk).

After Timba, it was Hobie and Hector who came to work with me, but usually only on weekends.

Not exactly a flattering pose for Hobie, but a good shot of the front office reception area with both dogs.

Cooper and Charlie are not as well-behaved as the others and they haven't spent as much time at my office as their predecessors.  (I'm getting lazy with training as I get older -- maybe I should call myself LAZY Dog Lady ha ha.)

But wait! Stop! Hold on! Let me back up a minute.....

Hobie didn't just come to work with me. I actually met him at my workplace! Hobie was my heart-dog, my canine soul mate, the canine love of my life; and he was brought to me, for consideration, right there at my office. I took him for his first walk, on the country road by the office building, and adopted him on-the-spot. That dog changed my life. He is the one who got me started writing about and photographing my pets. He gave me fodder to start writing this blog, and all my dog and cat stories. He was the "child" I never had. He filled the maternal void for me.

Then it hit me. This past Friday was Take Your Dog To Work Day,. Suddenly, I remembered: I met Hobie at work. What? Say that again? This is where I found Hobie. Oh my Dog! I can't leave! What the hell am I thinking?! If I had not been in this building, on that very day, back in the spring of 2000, I would never have adopted Hobie. My life could potentially have been entirely different.

"If I block the door, she can't get in; then maybe we can go home!"
(Note strategically-placed dog bowl)

And Hector? The very first thing I did with Hector was bring him to the office to meet his "DogFather" -- his doggy-daddy soul mate. Everyone in the office gathered 'round in a big circle, and we played with then-tiny Hector on "the red rug" (as Gil used to call it). Hobie was there, too. People still talk about that day "Remember the time you brought the little puppy in and we played with him on the floor?"

There are so many nooks and crannies in this building.... Hector, what were you doing down there?!

The iconic portrait of Hobie that I use for my profile picture on Instagram, Twitter and Pinterest was taken on the grounds of the office.

Photo credit: Patricia Glennon

Some of the first photographs of Charlie Brown were taken at my office. I brought Charlie to work with me for the first few months of his life. Starting the day I adopted him.

Photo and collage credits: Patricia Glennon

It seemed I had started a tradition -- to bring my new dog to the office when first adopted, -- and Cooper was no exception. Here he is on his first or second day as a member of our family.

Still shaved and healing from his amputation surgery! Tripawds rule! Dog mom has messy desk!

Even my blog's header photo was taken at work!

Everyone has been asking me how I'm handling the move and the sale of the building, emotionally.
I am perfectly FINE. To be honest, I AM SO OVER IT! (yeah, I'm yelling!) I have now emptied out five (count them!) five buildings since Gil passed away. The man never threw anything away. It has been grueling, a chore, a maddening, sometimes fun and exciting, mostly expensive, exhausting, anger-producing task. I still love him with all my heart, and always will, but enough already! I need a break, and a normal life. I'm looking forward to some good old-fashioned ordinary!

Even though I complain, I do so in jest. I was so incredibly lucky to have shared my life with a fellow pet lover. I am one of those ladies who'll bring home yet another dog or cat, without consulting my partner. He loved dogs and cats as much as I did, so he was perfectly fine with it and never balked. His only worry, when I adopted Charlie (sight unseen!) was.... would it flare up my fibromyalgia and stress levels too much? No objection regarding his own life, just concerned about how hard raising a puppy might be on me. When it was time to consider adopting Charlie's brother, Cooper, his remark was, simply, "Can you imagine having TWO of them?!" Yep, I could. I did. I adopted. I took them to work with me.

Hobie outside the barn at Passports.
Photo credit: Patricia Glennon

Hector with me in my office on Take Your Dog To Work Day, 2010

As I write this, I think again about Timba. Like the time she abruptly ended a sales meeting by clearing a room with one single dog fart! Timba was just like a human (which is sort of an insult to dogs!) -- she was BEYOND human. She was magic. A gift from God. She "worked" in that building for nearly 15 years, just like we all did.

I couldn't bring Charlie and Cooper with me for Take Your Dog To Work Day this year because we are so busy with the move.

Hobes, on "the red rug" playing sentry.

I'm not sad about giving up the building. I'm excited to move on and start fresh. But that's the place where I fell in love with Hobie, and I probably won't ever bring Charlie or Cooper to work with me again.....the realization and the memories stopped me in my tracks. You can mourn saying goodbye to a location, just like you can mourn any other loss.

In memory of Hobie
Photo credit: Patricia Glennon

Readers and fellow bloggers: Other than if you're working at home, do you ever take your dog (or other pet) to work with you? Does your company allow dogs or pets? What are the rules? Tell me in the comments.


  1. Hi Kathleen,

    I just found your blog through BlogPaws SLC. I'm in awe at the years you've had with your pets snuggled up with you at work. For fifteen or so years, I've mostly been a public middle school teacher, so no pets allowed on school grounds. And the districts I've worked for are strict with this policy.

    I've recently switched positions to my school's library manager and I'm hoping that my two pups will pass the certification test for therapy dog status. If my pups are certified therapy dogs, I wonder if my principal would allow me to bring them to work. Being centrally located in the library would seem like an ideal location for them to help de-stress students and adults alike. Time will tell.

    Cheers! Irene

  2. Hi Irene! Thanks so much for sharing your thoughts, and for finding me through the SLC. It would be so cool if your principal would allow the dogs to come to the library to help de-stress the students and teachers/staff members. Keep me posted on your progress.

    I will certainly miss bringing my dogs to work, but I'm glad I've transitioned slowly with my ill-behaved Cooper and Charlie... ironically, that's made it easier to NOT bring the dogs to the new location. It would have been an extra difficult move if I had been bringing them along all this time. Everything happens for a reason, or works out the way it's supposed to, I suppose.

    Thanks again for checking in! Much appreciated!!


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