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Another paw-fect day at the office

Felicity Dear
Allister and Parker at Office
Allister and Parker at Office   Felicity Dear

We love dogs and dogs love us - so why not bring them to work?

Lockdown gave us a taste of a work life that was not always alone locked in the office. Since then, many work spaces have adapted to be more flexible and include the best parts of working from home in the office. One aspect of this that has seen an increase is pets in the office - especially dogs. 

Law firms are known for being strict and serious, but it is one of the professions including dogs in the office commonly. In Christchurch, Tim Holton Law, Walker Street Chambers and Clark Boyce allow employees to bring their dogs to work. 

Allister Davis from Clark Boyce has been bringing his dog Parker to work for five and a half years now and wouldn’t have it any other way. He said it lifts staff and client morale - everyone loves Parker and Parker loves everyone. 

Parker in Bed at Office
Parker in Bed at Office Felicity Dear

Anita Connew is a barrister at Walker Street Chambers and she brings her Pomeranian Peppa to work most weeks. Nine of 13 employees on her floor of the office bring their dogs to work - although they never have more than three in the building at once. 

Connew says sometimes dogs can distract people from work. She mostly worries about Peppa being annoying to other workers when she brings her in - which is the most distracting part. 

Other times dogs can distract them in a good way. Connew says taking Peppa out for the toilet is an enjoyable break because it forces her to get some fresh air and go for a little wander. 

She thinks it’s nice for clients and helps to reduce some stress for them. She said usually people come in to see a lawyer during distressing times and a dog can be a pleasant surprise or a nice distraction. It can also be a good ice breaker and make the whole experience less daunting.

Connew and almost everyone else at Walker Street Chambers loves having dogs in the office. She said the pros far outweigh the cons. 

Tim Holton started bringing his German Shepard Coco into the law firm while his house was being painted but he and his employees enjoy her company so much, he will continue to bring her to work even after his house is finished. 

He said Coco can cause some issues with clients due to her size which can be intimidating - but all the staff and most clients love to give her a pat.


Tim and Coco at Office
Tim and Coco at Office Felicity Dear

Dog behaviourist Blair Anderson says this is beneficial to the dogs too. Dogs would rather be with us than without us and a trip to the workplace is stimulating for them. He thinks the more we have dogs on short leashes and behind tall fences, the worse behavioural problems become.

He said the dogs will enjoy meeting different people, the car ride to work and being around their owner. 

As long as there is nobody at work who is afraid of dogs, the workplace is appropriate and safe for dogs and the dog is toilet trained and flea free, Anderson thinks it’s beneficial to dogs and humans to bring your furry friend to work. 

Dogs in the Office Interview Video