When our 14-year-old, 70-pound, lab-mix Bogie died our family was heart-broken. Bogie was a loving and loyal dog that we had rescued from the Seattle Animal Shelter--we couldn’t imagine having any another dog. But eighteen months later we decided that we were finally ready to welcome a new dog into our family. Little did we know that we were about to get so much more than just a family dog.
Because of our busy schedules and periodic need to travel, we decided to adopt a small, lap-dog rather than a larger breed. We settled on a poodle because of the breed’s exceptional intelligence and loving nature. So in January of 2012 we adopted Lucy, a champagne-colored Teacup Poodle that weighed just 3 pounds (5 pounds as an adult dog).
We started bringing Lucy to the office out of necessity while she was being housetrained. We never intended for Lucy to become an “office dog”—it just sort of happened. And now we, the staff, and Lucy can't imagine the office without her in it.
Office Dogs Improve Productivity
According to The Eugene Lang Entrepreneurship Center at Columbia Business School, having pets in an office can bolster employee productivity and reduce stress. New studies back up the theory that having canines at work is helpful. During a Central Michigan University study researchers found that having a dog present in an office increases collaboration and encourages colleagues to develop greater trust and team cohesion.
Lucy has become a core member of the team at Davis Law Group. She spends most of her day sleeping under my desk. Or Lucy often finds someone who is willing to allow her to sit on their lap as they work or attend a staff meeting.
Lucy can often be seen vigorously attacking a stuffed animal that is bigger than she is. At lunch time she likes to hang out in the kitchen in the hope that someone will inadvertently drop a tasty morsel on the floor—even though feeding her ‘people food’ is against the rules. Lucy is rarely seen in the lobby or conference rooms as she is not allowed to hang out there---to keep her from barking at the legal messengers or delivery people.
Emotional Support Dog For Accident Victims Suffering PTSD or Loss
But Lucy may have found her calling as an emotional support dog. From time-to-time (if the visitor first agrees) she may be invited into a meeting with a client or potential client to help offer comfort and emotional support when discussing a traumatic accident, catastrophic injury or loss of a family member.
There have been a number of studies that suggest that animal-assisted techniques can be beneficial in the reduction of stress. According to Center for the Interaction of Animals and Society at the University of Pennsylvania, some research indicates that animal interventions can help with conditions such as anxiety, depression or fear.
Does Lucy Think She Is A Cat?
And occasionally Lucy (also known as ‘Lucy Lawless’ due unique ability to get away with breaking the rules) escapes into the lobby where she likes to pretend that she is a cat and sit on top of the front desk counter to wait for someone to walk into the office and admire her cuteness.
If you visit the offices of Davis Law Group you probably won’t see Lucy. But just ask any member of the staff they will gladly bring her in to meet you.