Paw-ternity leave, not an entirely new concept, is drawing some major attention this week — the root of which, best I can figure, was a story in London’s Daily Mirror.
To read the headlines that one story has spawned in the echo chamber that is the Internet you’d think giving employees paid time off when they get a new dog was an idea that was sweeping the nation, if not the globe.
Not quite — though we wouldn’t mind if it did.
The Mirror story mentions two companies in the UK — one of them being Mars Petcare, which provides 10 hours of paid leave for employees with new pets, the other being a small British tech support company whose owner offers up to three weeks of paid leave when employees bring a new pet home.
“Pets are like babies nowadays so why shouldn’t staff have some time off when they arrive?” said Greg Buchanan, who owns Manchester-based IT company BitSol Solutions. “The first few weeks of a dog moving to a new home is a really important time, especially (with) puppies.”
“I don’t have kids myself but I do have dogs and I understand how much they mean to people,” he added.
In an interview with USA Today, Buchanan said he took a week off from work to help a new puppy get settled in his home.
“We got a puppy from a rescue home and we realized it needed to be looked after properly, so I took a week off to ensure it was welcomed into the home, and to set boundaries for the dogs. You know, ‘You can’t chew the couch’ and ‘You can’t jump on the television,’ things like that. And it went from there, and my dog is now better for it,” says Buchanan.
After that, he began offering employees paid leaves when they got a new pet. He says the policy has helped improve office morale.
The Mirror article also cites a survey by pet insurance provider Petplan that found almost one in 20 new pet owners in the UK has taken paw-ternity leave.
“The rise in new pet owners taking paw-ternity leave indicates that people recognize the importance of settling in new pets with the right support and care,” said Petplan’s Isabella von Mesterhazy. “The early days of a kitten or puppy’s life are a vital part of the pet’s early development – especially for them to become a proper part of the family.”
Posted by John Woestendiek May 5th, 2016 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animals, bitsol, bitsol solutions, dog, dogs, employees, employers, england, home, leave, london, mars petcare, new, new dogs, paid leave, paw-ternity, paw-ternity leave, pawternity, pawternity leave, pets, uk, work
A group of inmates picking up trash along a road in south Alabama came together last week to give a stray dog something they don’t currently have — freedom, specifically freedom from the large plastic jar stuck on his head.
Cpl. Joshua Myers with the Geneva County Sheriff’s Office says a road crew was picking up trash on the side of East County Road 4 Thursday morning when they spotted a dog motionless on the ground.
As the inmates approached, the dog got up and began blindly running around, Myers told WSFA. The inmates were able to catch him, hold him down and free his head from the jar.
Once his head was freed, the dog ran off and the inmates couldn’t catch him.
Myers said the dog looked healthy.
WSFA reported one person has called the sheriff’s office to say they believe it’s their dog that has been missing for about a week.
Inmates in the Geneva County Jail with minor charges are allowed to work on road crews picking up trash as community service.
In addition to saving the dog, Meyers said the work crew on the same day found someone’s missing wallet. It has been returned to its owner.
(Photo: Geneva County Sheriff’s Office)
Posted by John Woestendiek November 3rd, 2015 under Muttsblog.
Tags: alabama, animals, crew, dog, dogs, free, geneva county, head, inmates, jail, jar, litter, pets, prisoners, sheriff, stuck, trash, work
The newest member of the KOLR 10 news team in Springfield, Mo., is making the weather report much more interesting.
Griffey belongs to KOLR meteorologist John Ziegler and, as you can see from last Thursday’s weather segment, the beagle’s not shy about getting some time on the air.
He seems to have trained Ziegler to master delivering the weather and playing fetch at the same time.
Griffey joined the news team last month, and is quickly becoming a local celebrity, with his own Griffey the Weather Dog Facebook page.
We think he makes the weather reports, which can get a little depressing and repetitious in the winter months, more entertaining for viewers; and we’re sure Griffey is making KOLR a warmer place to work.
Here’s a video of him on his second day on the job.
Posted by John Woestendiek February 9th, 2015 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: animals, dog, dogs, forecas, griffey, griffey the weather dog, john ziegler, kolr, meteorologist, missouri, news, pets, springfield, television, weather, work
Does this video remind you of your work week?
You run your ass off, despite your tiny little legs. You surmount all the obstacles put in front of you. You bark now and then. And by the time you’re done, you’re right back where you started, except now you’re dizzy.
This five-year-old Pembroke Welsh Corgi, named Meatball, is getting a workout on a backyard carousel, built by his owner’s dad.
The video isn’t quite as soothing as that Pomeranian on a tire swing we showed you earlier this month, not as rhythmic as mutt on a cart path, but like them it shows that dogs quickly adapt to the opportunities they’re introduced to — whether the activity is recreational, relaxational or simply some human’s ridiculous idea.
Dogs love to repeat a familiar act, whether they are at work or at play. Their trick is — however repetitious or mundane the task might be — they almost always see it as play.
Maybe that’s the secret of having good work week.
Posted by John Woestendiek December 16th, 2013 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: animals, behavior, carousel, corgi, corgi on a carousel, dizzy, dog, dogs, humans, jobs, pembroke, pets, play, repetition, running in circles, spinning, tasks, treadmills, video, welsh, work
The series of tributes kicked off yesterday with a look at Cali, a grey dachshund who is a fixture in the office of California Rep. Ken Calvert. Her owner is Rebecca Rudman, the congressman’s communications director.
The 3-year-old dachshund can often be seen running the marble halls of the Rayburn House Office Building.
Politico reports that “Rudman threw a tennis ball along the corridor outside Calvert’s office, as Cali ran for it wildly and dutifully brought it back.”
OK, so it’s not exactly hard-hitting reporting. Still, it’s nice to see some inside-the-beltway dogs other than Bo getting some attention.
Posted by John Woestendiek February 25th, 2011 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animals, bo, cali, congressman, dachshund, dogs, ken calvert, news media, obama, pets, politicians, politico, politics, rayburn office building, rebecca rudman, washington, work, workplace
The county council in Washington state actually has five members, but Hewitt, a black and brown terrier mix, has been a fixture in the council’s eighth-floor office for more than a year, the Daily Herald reports.
Hewitt belongs to County Councilman Dave Somers, who was headed home from work about two years ago when two men pulled alongside in a pickup truck and asked him to take their dog.
“The guy says, ‘Be good to him, give him a good home,'” Somers, who already had three dogs, recalled. “Then they took a left, and they were gone.”
The councilman drove to an animal clinic, where, when asked for the dog’s name, he responded “Hewitt” — the name of the street he was on when the dog was handed over.
After a few months, Somers started bringing Hewitt to work with him — because, he says, the dog liked people so much.
“He could stay at home, but he’s just so much fun,” Somers said. “He enjoys us, and he fits right in. So we’ve settled into a routine here.”
(Photo by Dan Bates / The Herald)
Some of you might remember Darcy — the too cute to strangle Boston terrier for whom I’ve served as babysitter while her mom and dad were away.
Twice, I took Darcy into my home for multi-day stays, where she proceeded to test my patience half the time, and be adorable the other half.
That was back when I had a house. Now, upon my return to Baltimore — having given up my home for the purposes of our continuing road trip — the tables have turned, and Darcy and her humans have most graciously taken Ace and me into their’s.
Where, as you might guess, I proceeded to test their patience half the time (going so far as to clog up their toilet yesterday morning … the house guest’s worst nightmare), and attempted to be adorable (once I had my coffee) the other half.
And all this just before the start of school, no less.
Here in the city of Baltimore, yesterday was the first day of school — so, with both Darcy’s mom and dad being city schoolteachers, it’s all the more impressive that, with everything else that was on their minds and agendas, they agreed to house one road-weary man and his 130-pound dog over the weekend.
There, in addition to the hazards of using too much toilet paper, this is what I learned:
Teachers — or at least teachers like Dan and Marite — should be appreciated much more. I say this not because they gave us shelter, but because in the days I spent with them I’ve seen how much of themselves, their own time, their own money, their hearts and souls, they pour into what they do.
Yesterday, as Ace and I sat drinking coffee on their front stoop after they left, I watched as children headed down the sidewalk for the start of a new school year, many of them tightly holding the hands of their parents. And I thought how fortunate they were — even in a school system as troubled as Baltimore’s — to have teachers like Dan and Marite. And how much worse things would be if they didn’t.
Dan spent the bulk of the weekend on his computer, finalizing his lesson plans, sweating the details. Marite cooked up some do-it-yourself orange Play-doh out of flour, water and food coloring. When we walked with the dogs down to the shopping center for lunch, Dan and Marite hit the Goodwill store, and came out with a full bag of classroom supplies.
But Dan and Marite take chaos in stride. They seem to have mastered patience, which I guess all teachers must. They are so easy going that she probably won’t mind that I — lacking the technical know-how — am writing her name without the accent thing over the “e”.
While their home has plenty of clutter — I would describe their decorating scheme as contemporary-tornado — Ace and I only added to it, what with our leashes and dog bowls and dog food and camera and laptop and dirty laundry. We just wedged ourselves and our stuff in, and felt right at home. (Virgo that I am, I will admit I feared putting anything on a counter for fear it would disappear immediately under a stack of paperwork, laptops and school supplies. By the way, have you seen my glasses?)
The clutter, though — I’d say it’s 85 percent school related — is just another sign of their commitment.
Most people seem to truly cherish their work — though not always their jobs. And there’s a difference. One’s “work” is doing what they got into a career to do, whether it’s teaching kids, righting wrongs or driving trucks, whether it’s lawyering or newspapering. One’s “job” is what that work has evolved into — thanks to managers, supervisors, corporate chiefs and stockholders.
We the workers, in a way, are their Play-Doh, and they tend to mold, bend and stretch us, sometimes to the point of snapping.
They take your one job and squeeze two more jobs into it; then shovel layers of bureaucracy on top, burying you under piles of seemingly meaningless paperwork, and doing away with anything that might serve as support. They tell us to do more with less, and, at times, seem to be doing everything in their power to prohibit us from doing our jobs right. Then they — those at the very top — reap the benefits of the more, while we scrape by on the less.
I don’t think that makes me a Communist, just a pissed off worker — or a pissed off former worker, to be precise. (I kind of like the boss I have now, who looks a lot like me.)
As a nation, we fail to show enough appreciation for those doing the heavy lifting. And yet the heavy lifters keep lifting — they, and teachers especially, manage to stay fired up about the work, if not the job, despite shrinking benefits, paltry salaries and all the forces that seem intent on extinguishing that fire.
So, a little early for Labor Day, I salute the American worker, who, like the American dog, keeps at it — leaping obstacles, heeding commands, summoning up energy even when exhausted, snapping at and shaking off all the annoying little bugs that come down from above, buzzing in our ears and getting on our backs.
(“Dog’s Country” is the continuing account of one man and one dog spending six months criss-crossing America.)
Posted by John Woestendiek August 31st, 2010 under Muttsblog.
Tags: ace does america, america, american, animals, benefits, career, darcy, dog's country, dogscountry, employees, employers, job, labor, labor day, ohmidog!, overburdened, overworked, pets, road trip, salary, school, support, teachers, work, workers