Doing Life Together

In honor of national dog day…

I feel blessed that I get to take my dog to work every day. Zoe, pictured here, is the comfort dog for the medical school in which I work. Every morning she greets the students and helps reduce their stress. And when they need a little reminder from home, she goes on walks and plays in the field. She’s obedient, hypoallergenic and doesn’t bark. She knows her job and does it well.

Dogs provide us with much more than companionship!

A  study by Dr. Barker (I am not kidding, that is his name) at Virginia Commonwealth University, published in the International Journal of Workplace Health Management  found that dog owners who brought their pet to work, lowered their stress. And that stress stayed low throughout the day. In contrast, those pet owners whose dogs stayed home, not only increased their stress during the day, but doubled it by day’s end. It turns out that man’s best friend is a good stress reducer!

Some of the dogs in the study were noisy (imagine the routine barker), not so clean, and at times, destructive. So the idea of the quiet pup who sits by your side, lovingly gazing into your face, is not always reality. But some employers might institute the take your doggy to work day when they learn that workers felt more productive. And the people who came in contact with the dogs at work were more satisfied on the job.

So if an employer wants to increase productivity, workplace satisfaction and reduce stress, he or she might consider inviting Fido to join your morning coffee!

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