Lessons from the Digital Marketing Dog Henry
There are many challenges of working in a marketing agency. Managing different workflows for multiple clients, staying up-to-date on new marketing trends, and finding the time to juggle internal work keeps me on my toes. When I started at Marsden Marketing, I knew to expect these typical agency challenges. I was not prepared for a completely different set of challenges related to one of my best pals.
Meet Henry. He is a three-year-old great pyrenees I adopted in 2015. I started at Marsden a year ago, and Henry started with me. He’s become the resident Digital Marketing Doggo around the office. Every day I grab my bag to head to work and Henry races to the door to make sure I don’t forget him.
If you ask Henry, hanging out at the office during the day is perfect. He receives unending pets and gets to sniff many new smells. However, he doesn’t realize that pups in the workplace present a unique set of challenges to their human coworkers. Since I don’t let him on the internet unsupervised, I thought this would be a great place to share the seven challenges of bringing your dog to work without Henry seeing, as well as share tips for any other pet owners considering bringing their dog to the workplace.
1. Dog Fur Goes Everywhere
If you can’t tell, Henry is one of the fluffiest puppers around. His fur is comprised of a thick, wooly undercoat and a hair-like top coat. The top coat is a major issue for days when you choose dark colored clothes. It’s long and flies off every time he gives a shake. While his white mane is majestic, it’s not so majestic when I am fervently lint rolling my clothes moments before a meeting. Coworkers also keep lint rollers on hand to combat his ever-present hair. A hair-removal tool is a must for any working dog and human team.
2. Naps In Inconvenient Places
There are two ways Henry likes to nap: peacefully in his own space or loudly right in the middle of the office. One of his go-to nap spots is the office conference room. He snuggles up into the corner and is pretty darn precious – until he starts snoring. There have been multiple calls when I needed to mute the phone, wake Henry up, receive an unpleasant glare, and then proceed with the call. If your furry friend accompanies you to work, I suggest creating nap spaces with a comfy bed or blanket that your pet can enjoy without inconveniencing others.
3. Constant Snack Sniffing
Like most work places, the Marsden office has a kitchen for human coworkers to store their treats. We also keep a bag of dog treats in the cabinet for the pups that visit. Henry has learned that the sound of cabinets opening sometimes means he gets a treat. Therefore, any time a person grabs a snack, Henry sneaks in to investigate. He’s a big guy, but he’s sneaky and can get right up into my snacks if I don’t keep a close eye on him. For anyone else with a large dog joining the office, be sure to keep people treats protected the same way a pup would protect their own treats.
4. Slobber (on me and him)
It’s gross, it’s slimey, and it gets on the floor from time to time. As a giant breed, no one is surprised when Hen gets a little too excited and slobs on himself. The issue arises when he decides to give a hearty shake immediately after dribbling on his fur. The slobber may fly, it may land on you, and we’re at a similar issue we encounter with his fur (see point 1). I can’t count the times I’ve frantically tried to spot wash my pant leg in preparation for a meeting. Along with a lint roller, a decision to bring your dog to work should come with an investment in a stain removal pen or wet wipes.
5. Scared Mail People
Dogs and mailmen have been on shaky ground for decades now. Many dogs are attempting to be positive representations for the species, but mailmen naturally keep a safe distance to protect themselves. Henry loves people. All people. When someone comes in the office, Henry saunters over immediately to receive a head pat and give a welcome on behalf of Marsden Marketing.
Mail people are never quite sure what to do when a 100-pound animal moves toward them, even at the lethargic pace at which Henry moves. As the primary human responsible for Hen, it’s my job to make sure new visitors, including mail people, are aware that Henry is friendly and polite, even if I’m right in the middle of something. If you are unable to keep an ear out for visitors, consider tethering your pet to your desk.
6. Frequent Bathroom Breaks
Accidents happen. The office was once a new place for Henry, and dogs have a learning curve to overcome in new places. The excitement and bustle of the workplace often creates events outside of Henry’s normal routine, which he has to handle without much notice. Dogs in the workplace may get sick, and may get confused about where the restroom is. It’s my responsibility as Henry Handler to schedule in regular bathroom breaks and take care of any sickenss that pops up. If you bring your dog to work, start by setting calendar reminders or alarms every few hours to take your pet out. You’ll benefit from the fresh air too!
7. Resisting (and mostly failing) the Urge to Snuggle
A good doggo knows how to entice even the most apprehensive person into a snuggle session every now and then. Henry has plenty of practice. He makes resisting the urge to lay down with him quite a challenge. His fluffiness is particularly inviting in the 1-3 p.m. range when a nap already sounds like a good idea. What could go wrong with a short and sweet snuggle session in the middle of the day? See challenges one and four. I wish I could offer quality advice on resisting the cuteness, but I haven’t mastered this challenge quite yet.
Is it Worth it? YES!
Working in a marketing agency brings a unique set of challenges, and although bringing my dog to the office may present some additional challenges, Henry adds as much to the team dynamic as other dog and human counterparts. It’s a huge perk to have him join me on daily adventures in the office and the entire team appreciates the helping snores and snuggles he lends.
Not every company lets you bring your pet to work, so if you’re on the prowl for a new gig and love marketing and dogs, peruse our Atlanta Marketing Careers page to see what’s available at Marsden Marketing.