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Thursday, March 11, 2010

Google, thanks for your dog policy.

I want to take a moment and thank my employer, Google.

See, Google has a policy that permits its employees to bring their dogs to work. Now whether you can bring your dog to your office depends on many factors: whether your building allows dogs, whether your teammates tolerate dogs, whether your dog is well behaved, healthy, and so on. In fact, the possibility of bringing a dog to work made it easier to decide that, yes, we could get one. (Note: it was not part of my plan to rely on bringing a dog to Google, it just helped with the decision. You can't predict a rescue dog's personality.)

And then we got Maggie, whom I like to call "the world's best starter dog." Superbly well behaved with only a penchant for barking at strangers a little more frequently and loudly than I'd prefer, taking her to work quickly became one of the very best parts of my job. In the morning we would walk the 2 miles to work, with a couple of walks in the afternoon, and play-time at 5PM, on the dot. She made people in the office happy. She made me happy.

And then we moved to New Jersey.

Dogs are allowed in the Google New York office. But, they're not allowed on the train, at least, not without a crate, and we never managed to successfully crate-train Maggie. That means the only choice is to drive her into New York City. Since my wife works from home most days, there's just a natural predisposition to leave her home. Unfortunately this means she gets much less socialization than she did in California.

I once brought Maggie the NYC office, on Bring Your Dog To Work Day. It didn't go well. Traffic jams dominated the trip in. Maggie was perpetually frightened. Frightened by the highway, the tunnel, the loud, twitchy freight elevator, the noise around my desk, the open cubicle area. She couldn't relax and neither could I. Taking her on a walk was out of the question. No, instead we left for home at 2PM, both of us stressed and sorry, and relieved to be getting out of there.

But this week my wife is away, so I decided to try again. Would things be different?

You bet.

I brought her in on Tuesday. Maggie still hates the freight elevators, but she's hating them less with every ride. The traffic still sucks but I'm beginning to assemble a plan that might help me beat it. My office mates were very happy to have her there. Maggie wasn't afraid of the office, she got lots of much needed human attention and socialization. We found an abandoned part of the office floor, a perfect place to throw a ball. We even managed to go on a walk in the afternoon, complete with a poop! I didn't get a lot of work done, but I brought her in yet again today, and managed to do a solid day's work. Just like when we would hang out at the Santa Monica office.

The traffic, the higher travel cost, the restricted walking, it was all worthwhile.

All of this is to say: Tuesday was my happiest day at work since moving back east. Thank you, Google.

Maggie and me, chilling on the carpet.

1 comment:

jennifer said...

Funny I just came across your blog post. I JUST said to myself today how lucky I am I can bring my dog to work. Not only that, but I have raised a kitten, and trained two foster dogs in the back of my store. And I get to bring my girl-child too! Really makes all the difference in the world!