The Mountain Times

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Along these lines: Every dog has his day

And this year, that day is Friday, June 21 - the 15th national "Take Your Dog to Work Day." Once again, dog owners throughout North America will be prodding their poodles and pulling their pugs to patronize their place of employment.

The event is promoted by Pet Sitters International (see www.takeyourdog.com if you think I'm pulling your paw), and has been growing in leaps and bounds nationwide since the first year, according to spokeswoman Beth Stultz.

"More than 287,000 visitors explored the official website seeking ways to participate during the 2012 campaign," said Stultz.
Involvement ranges from merely taking a dog to work, to holding office pet parties, and even raising money and awareness for local pet rescue organizations.

"I've heard about an owner-dog look-alike contest with proceeds going to a local animal charity," Stultz said. "Although I'm not sure I'd want to win that contest!"

Needless to say, a few words of caution should be heeded before hauling your massive mutt to the office. Some people have cynophobia (fear of dogs), so it's a good idea to check with your boss for approval prior to organizing an event.

Also, some businesses are clearly inappropriate for dogs. For instance, if you're employed in the funeral trade, definitely leave your dog at home. There are just some items you don't want Rover digging up and dragging back to proudly show you.

Fast food retailers also come to mind, because you're always going to encounter a few customers who frown on fang marks in their cheeseburgers. And for heaven's sake, don't take your dog to work if you're in the boomerang testing business - you'll drive the poor animal nuts.

So don't be too hard on an employer who shoves his face in yours, angrily refusing to sanction the event. It will just confirm what you've always suspected: your dog's breath is better than his.

Should you want to press the issue, however, you could always attempt to persuade a stubborn boss to allow dogs at work by pointing out that some breeds are invaluable in the workplace. What better security than a nervous Rottweiler leashed to the office supplies cabinet?

Or maybe your boss is always complaining about staff that never makes it to meetings on time. Tell him your border collie will round up those slack stragglers and herd them into the conference room before he can say "Lassie come home."

Speaking of the iconic TV pooch, if you're a collie dog owner, you may want to mention how dependable they are at alerting others when a colleague falls down the elevator shaft.

If you do get permission to take your dog to work, you should also remember that dogs love to chew. So keep a close eye on him to ensure he doesn't run off with stuff.  Just because you steal stationary supplies from the office, doesn't mean your dog should.
Finally, keep in mind that co-workers also might bring their dogs to the office, so it's important yours can socialize with fellow canines.

On the other hand, you don't want your dog to be too well-behaved. Should the boss ever realize that your dog fetches things more quickly than you and comes running immediately when whistled, Rover might be promoted to your position while you're demoted to the office dog house.

Thomas' features and columns have appeared in more than 300 magazines and newspapers, and he is the author of "Raised by the Stars," published by McFarland.