Our office’s best friend

You could say the Democrat’s gone to the dogs.

That’s what I love about it. I look forward to my Thursdays in the office now.

Tucked in my little corner of the office, I sit on the edge of my seat, my ears perked.

I hear a “click, click, click” on the stairs, and I’m out of my chair in one graceful movement.

“Dale is here!”

I round the corner, and he comes barreling at me, his oversized ears flapping in the breeze whipped up in the frenzy.

Since the melding of the Democrat and Towne Crier offices, we’ve welcomed with open arms our new colleagues but none so much as Dale.

He’s part of a parcel deal – coming with his “mommy,” Crier copy editor Ely White, who we’d enjoy spending the day with under any circumstances. The fact that she comes with her 7-year-old Corgi in tow just sweetens the deal.

He is, by all accounts, the office love machine – and the very best kind at that.

Although his loyalties lie firmly at Ely’s feet, he doesn’t discriminate between the dozens who wander through his office on a deadline day. He offers a hand lick to our editor on a trip to the water cooler, lets our photo editor ruffle the fur between his ears.

Best of all, he lets me blow off steam after a phone call from a particularly nasty reader by lying on the floor at my side while I give him a full body “doggie massage.”

A quick trip online proved what my publisher has no doubt found in the last few months – productivity is up at the one in five American companies that allow pets in the workplace.

The American Pet Product Manufacturers Association survey completed two years ago shows absenteeism is down, creativity is up and managers and employees are getting along better.

It’s hard not to laugh together over a little nose nudging your shin as you’re pulling at your hair, trying to crack the ice off the writer’s block in your brain. There’s all the more reason to get pages laid out and shipped off to the printer when there waits in the room down the hall a little ball of fur just waiting for someone to play.

He’s become – by far – the most powerful member of the newspaper staff.

Getting down on the floor, I’ve been pushed backward by this pup who stands no higher than my knee (if you’re counting to the tips of his ears).
Putting his paws on my chest, he knows just the angle he needs to drop me on my back on the floor so he can proceed to lick my face, while I’m struck with a case of the giggles my editor warns sounds maniacal.

He knew he found a friend for life the day I walked in with the box of treats I’d picked up just for him on a Friday night grocery trip – saved almost a whole week for Dale day at the Democrat.

I’m rationing my box over time. If I send Ely back a dog who’s had too many biscuits, she might leave him home.

I’m afraid I’d come unleashed!


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