Personally, I think this day should have been called THE JOY OF BRINGING YOUR DOG TO WORK DAY. Why?
Anybody who has a dog will appreciate the many benefits they bring to your life, but here’s a few you may not have thought about that they bring to you at work too.
There’s nothing like the joy of seeing my elderly dog curled up in his basket in the office. Hugo follows me into it in the morning and settles down immediately for a good nap – well he’s been up at least half an hour! Yet if I so much as move to grab a file or leave the room, he’s up and raring to go for the next adventure. And the distraction is only brief – unless I trip over him – but he’s a great reminder that life is full of good things if only we look for them.
This is more profound and it’s to do with your state of mind.
Once, I was busy fretting about my financial situation – early 90’s, mortgages at 15%. Phoebe seemed to understand when I was having a bad day, and she’d interrupt me with her big, brown eyes and propel me towards her Biscuit Barrel….
Then there were the good times when I was writing proposals and Phoebe seemed to know instinctively when a break would do me good. She’d interrupt me with her big, brown eyes and propel me towards the Biscuit Barrel…. Funnily enough when we returned, I’d always find a slightly different tack which improved the proposal.
I remember once how pushing the wrong button caused me to delete a whole day’s work. I’d pressed ‘save’ too soon and absent-mindedly clicked ‘cancel’, thinking I was cancelling the ‘save’ but which cancelled all the changes I had spent a whole day making! Suffice to say that Phoebe and I spent most of the evening in our respective Biscuit Barrels! (What’s with the Biscuit Barrel?)
In all of these situations, she managed to interrupt and change my state of mind. It’s very difficult to stay stressed when giving a dog a biscuit. You have to talk to them in an encouraging tone, generally have to move, and you have to both listen and respond to the gratitude your dog is showing you.
Dogs live for the ‘Now’. Whatever’s going on ‘Now’ may be just dandy, but the potential of a new ‘Now’ is super-exciting. Dogs demonstrate unbridled hope that where they’re going is better than where they are now. (In fact, anywhere they’re not now will do!) What’s even better is that when they’re returning to the old ‘Now’ that’s super-exciting too.
Hugo doesn’t seem to run a train of thought that sitting in the office all day is boring! Instead, he’s always up for the next wild adventure in his life; and that could be just going through a door.
There are numerous activities when bringing your dog to work that can actually increase your efficiency. For example: walking the dog, filling up the water bowl, throwing a ball, retrieving said ball, tickling ears, attending the Biscuit Barrel….
How can these increase your efficiency?
Well, I remember hearing John Cleese speak on The Importance of Doing Nothing. In it, he espoused the idea that whilst we all need more downtime to create really great ideas, the reality is that we all have less. He essentially said that giving the brain ‘downtime’ improves mental health and allow ideas to incubate.
These days, doing nothing is not an option, we think of it as a waste of time. Most of us feel guilty if we don’t have something to do and will fill our days with all sorts of activities to avoid boredom. Boredom is hard to tolerate yet, in many instances, it can be a prelude to something new. It can free up your mind by triggering imagination and creativity, thereby causing you to do something better than you would have done. Even now, if I’m not being efficient, I will deliberately do something else to clear my mind (cup of tea, walk in the garden, moving cat off keyboard…). I guarantee that I’ll return and do a much better job.
An animal has a lovely way of bringing you back to what really matters in life. You may have had a disastrous day but how can you fail to be moved when a furry face with adoring eyes looks at you intently, patiently, just waiting….?
This is where bringing your dog to work is invaluable. There you were busily panicking over how to recover the situation when, unexpectedly, you were interrupted from your negative thoughts.
If you’ve been following my Blogs, you’ll know that your thoughts are reflected in the life you experience. It means you have a choice. Keep thinking unhelpful thoughts or focus on something much more pleasant. Better still, bring your dog to work and always keep life’s Biscuit Barrel topped-up. ?
With love to the dogs who have shared my life: Phoebe and Hugo