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When A Co-worker Disses Your Dog on Take Your Dog to Work Day

Friday is Take Your Dog To Work Day. But what if a co-worker thinks your dog is a big pet peeve? Meow.

I've covered Take Your Dog To Work Day. Do you know that it's actually Take Your Dog To Work Week? Yes, the dog thing at work is going on all week long, and it's likely at least one work colleague will get their dander up over it.


Let's say somebody walks into the office with Rover leading the way on the end of his leash. "This is Rover!" the happy employee says as Rover proceeds to sniff a vinegar-free work colleague who instantly recoils as if the lid has just been lifted off a container of moldy meatloaf.

"Go ahead and pet him, he's very friendly and he loves people!" the employee says.

"That's okay," the wincing work colleague says. "I'll pass."

"Don't worry, I'll hold Rover's collar while you pet him," the employee offers. "Go ahead!"

"No! I don't need to pet your dog," the dog-shy work colleague says while backing away. "Could you make him stop sniffing me, please?"

Ouch. The employee feels like her dog has just been dissed. How could anyone not love Rover right off the bat? He's a good boy, and this colleague flat-out rejected him!

When Pets Get A Colleague's Dander Up
From "Wow, your dog sure sheds a lot" to "Could you please make him stop panting, I can't hear myself think" to "I guess you won't be getting any real work done today," Take Your Dog To Work Day could end with a few work colleagues stuck in the proverbial doghouse.

One survey found 66% of Americans surveyed would be willing to take a pay cut in order to bring their dogs to work every day. The truth on Take Your Dog To Work Day, however, is that some of your work colleagues (the other 34% surveyed?) might be cat people.

So, what can you do as a dog owner to make sure there are no hard feelings that linger until Labor Day?

The most important takeaway is to remember that some co-workers simply aren't pet people. They don't want a pet, maybe they've never had one, and seeing dogs at work makes them highly uncomfortable. Some people are fearful of dogs, even tiny dogs. That's okay; they are entitled to their feelings and their feelings (and boundaries) need to be respected.

Also keep in mind that wagging tails in the workplace may be a new experience for some work colleagues, particularly if they hail from other parts of the world where dogs are kept outdoors. Other co-workers might have a pet allergy, too.

If a co-worker turns your pet's office presence into an opportunity to comment on an expected lack of productivity, it's best to let the comment roll over like a puppy on a hot day. If you expect such commentary from a certain colleague, you might consider working extra hard today so you can say: "Oh, that? I'm already done with it." Woof.

Refuse to hold a grudge toward the canine-averse co-worker. Invite co-workers to engage with your dog ("Would you like to pet Rover?") but be ready for some of them to decline, and perhaps not always with the best of manners. Don't even think about asking these co-workers if they want to play fetch. It's not happening, unless you're making a coffee run.

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