Wednesday, October 20

The dogs that keep office workers company during the confinement | Pets

“DOgs are like ‘play, eat, sleep’: they bring me back to the moment. I think we can all learn something from that, ”says Carole Henderson, who has been bringing her“ furry endorsement ”to the office for the past few months.

They’re not that great at making tea and things get a little rowdy when the delivery man arrives, but Henderson’s Labradors, Barney and Rusty, and Labradoodle Lily, have been their buddies for the past decade. In addition to being excellent foot warmers, they have emotionally helped her spend the months alone in the office.

After the latest lockdown left her with no choice but to stop working part-time for the rest of her team, including her husband, the empty office felt like a cavern. “I felt a little sorry for myself and thought, ‘I’ll take the dogs with me, because at least then I can hug a puppy when things don’t go as planned,'” she says.

As a master of the grief recovery method, Henderson’s work has felt more important than ever, particularly in reaching out to those suffering in isolation, and without her colleagues in person, her dogs have provided immense emotional support. “Things affect me. I am human, doing this job. Someone will tell me a really sad story and there is nothing better than receiving a hug from one of my dogs, ”he says. “Stroking a beautiful fur brings you down again, so I’m ready to help the next person.”

Bringing her French bulldog Archie to the office has also helped Kat Bailey mentally deal with the confinement by giving her a much-needed daily routine. Last year, he found himself working while trying to run his public relations business from home. “My mental health went down the drain because I would end up feeling guilty because I had wasted so many hours of the day, so working from home was really not good for me,” says Brighton-based Bailey. When the office reopened, he was back like a shot.

With his wife on leave and studying online, they agreed that the best thing for Archie was to go with Bailey to the office “because at home he sits on laptops,” he jokes. Archie is a reassuring and reassuring presence in your work day, spending most of his time lying on his fluffy pink bed next to his desk. Taking him for a walk in the park or on the beach gives them structure and exercise, and the office also gives him the opportunity to socialize with people and other dogs in the building.

Archie, Kat Bailey's dog
Archie, Kat Bailey’s dog

Archie is a great conversation starter, says Bailey, who sometimes has social anxiety. A rescue they got at nine months, he’s an office favorite, he says, and he’s especially in love with bearded men. “I’m not sure why, maybe someone with a beard was nice to him in his previous life.”

Spending so much time together during the confinement was a motivating factor for Amy Ferris to take her three animated puppies, Red Rock, Venom and Athena, with her. “By being with them 24/7, the dogs had become so fond of us being around all the time,” he says. Coming home with empty containers and wrecked couches made it clear that the dogs were eager to be left alone, which felt unfair to them. “Leaving the dog at home for five hours is a whole day in canine years,” he says.

Ferris, who runs a recruitment company, had to fire her colleague when England returned to lockdown in November, and says the office was really lonely without her. With the business slowly recovering, the dogs have also proven to be a hit with customers whenever they have joined Zoom calls, she says. “I feel really blessed. They are so happy all the time, you can’t be in a bad mood when you have a beautiful dog looking at you. “

The dogs of Paris Collingbourne
The dogs of Paris Collingbourne

“They’re distractions in a good way,” says Paris Collingbourne, who runs a public relations agency in Newport. She struggled with working from her boyfriend’s room, so she returned to the office after Christmas when Welsh lockdown rules were relaxed. The office felt pretty lonely, so bringing her Maltese Lola and shih-tzu Ruby “made up for the lack of human interaction” and breaks her screen time.

“It’s the company, I’m so happy the dogs are here,” says Collingbourne. His brother, Rory, who runs a car dealership on the family farm next door, also has his two Labradors, Rufus and Bentley, who help out in his showroom and make him feel a lot less lonely while teaming. withdraws socially.

His children love to accompany him on all his long journeys, delivering cars across the country, he says. “They go where I go, that bond is strong. Helps you get through the day. A bad day turns into a good day with a dog. “

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