What It's Like When Your Colleagues Are Dogs

Let sleeping dogs work.
Who's top dog in your office?
Who's top dog in your office?

The workplaces that I've worked in love to profile the employees. They're always asking us to answer questions or complete online questionnaires in an attempt to slot us into categories, be it character strengths, personality types, or whether you're an introvert or an extrovert and what that means for your role.

For me, it has frequently been a point of tension as I don't neatly fit into either, rather I oscillate between the two; I love to meet new people, talk to them and learn about their lives, but I'm also much happier observing rather than participating and can't wait to go home. I've always felt misunderstood.

But recently I've discovered a whole new category and it is life changing. The 'Caninetrovert': Someone who prefers the company of dogs, and not really people at all. I wish I knew who coined this. If you're reading this, please find me. I know we will get along famously... dogs included.

These days, my workplace is my home. I went into business with my best friend, a business which involves our furry four-legged friends. It's just us two and our dogs. We mostly work from home, but separately, which means I really just work with my dog all day, every day.

This is how I discovered that I just prefer the company of dogs. And I'm quite certain they make the best colleagues. Here's a snapshot of what it's like to work with your dog. I'll let you decide whether it's a positive or negative thing.

1. They don't talk back.

They're great for bouncing ideas off. So supportive and they never disagree. You can also unload everything on your dog and they take it so well. You can talk all day if you want and they can't do anything about it. Just the tilt of their head is all. Although, my dog has been known to sigh.

2. 'Networking' is really just playing with puppies.

No, really, it is. That's exactly what it is. No dinners or events. Or small talk or awkward silences. Networking is now going to the dog park. We do all our own photography and scout for dog models, which is just borrowing dogs, playing with them and taking their photo. It's very important and serious business.

3. You start using a dog voice... everywhere.

When there aren't any people around and you want to have inane chit chat, a dog is perfect. But you need to make some effort to engage them for a head tilt or tail wag, so your cutesy dog voice gets exercised far more than your regular, adult voice.

4. You're always in charge.

I know you've fantasised about confronting that particular colleague, and when you do it you'll use that passive-aggressive patronising voice. But it's incredibly antisocial. When you work with dogs, however, you have to. It's what they respond to. It's your duty. They need boundaries that only you can give.

5. So many excuses, so little time.

Want to go outside for some fresh air? The dog needs to go to the toilet. Want to go up the road for a coffee? The dog needs some exercise. Didn't really get anything productive done today? Well, the dog put his face on my lap so... You get my drift.

6. They're just so damn happy.

In all seriousness, dogs improve our mood. They are loyal, sociable and have such a wonderful positive-energy in any space they're in. The bond between humans and dogs is one of lore, and there's nothing better than returning from a long day at work, to be greeted with a wagging tail and happy face. That's why spending the whole day with them instead is just so preferable.

I'm proud to say I'm a 'Caninetrovert' -- doggy voice and all.


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