Virginia Nelson

Virginia Nelson

Submitted photo

We call it work. Our pets on the other hand, they consider the eight hours (and then some) we spend without them every given weekday something of indefinable proportions. This dark nebulous of time is known in the canine world as “the black hole.” At least that’s what I imagine they must call it judging by the unconstrained, no holds barred enthusiasm I’m greeted with the minute I walk through my front door. It’s the kind of greeting one would show a person they never expected to see again and even though it happens every day, they never cease to make me feel like the most important person on earth. This Friday, June 21, take your pet to that air-conditioned black hole and teach him the true value of a kibble.

June 21 marks the 14th annual Take Your Dog to Work Day (TYDTWD). First observed in 1999 and hosted by Pet Sitters International, the event encourages pet lovers around the world to celebrate the one day we can actually have a best friend in the workplace. More than an excuse to dress up your dog, the event hopes to inspire non-pet owners in the office to adopt a dog after seeing the unique bond between their pet owning co-workers and the furry companions beside them.

Here’s how you can make the best of Take Your Dog to Work Day:

• Can your pet join you at work? Ask your boss, human resources department or whoever is in charge of granting permission to have pets in the office. Give yourself a few days advance in order to have more negotiating power should your workplace be on the fence about it.

• Talk it over with your co-workers. For positive water cooler conversations, chat with your co-workers about Take Your Dog to Work Day, get them involved and find out about their pets. This is also a great time to find out about any fears or allergies non-dog owners may have so you know who to keep your dog away from.

• Prep your pooch for a day at the office. A few days before TYDTWD, get Fido used to being around other people and dogs. Make an appointment at the groomer so they are spic and span for their big office debut.

• Pack a lunch and other goodies. Prepare a sack with everything your pet will need for the day. Bring treats, waste bags, a water dish, toys, a dog bed and anything else that will make your pet happier outside of their regular environment and avoid potential fussing in the office.

• Have a Plan B. No matter how much you plan and organize, your pet might just hate the office atmosphere. They might get home sick, fussy, vocal, or even ill. Make sure you have a plan to get them back home safely should TYDTWD be too overwhelming for your pet.

• Ahwatukee Foothills resident Virginia Nelson is co-owner of Desert Dog Pet Care, a locally operated pet care company. Reach her at (602) 538-5486 or

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