Office Dog

Every Friday afternoon Finn spends a few hours entertaining my co-workers. It's Doggie Disneyland for him, and therapy for all of us.

Every office should have a dog.

That's Jerry, one of our secretaries, tossing a ball for Finn.

I'm fortunate. My boss, Marie, loves dogs. In fact, long before she became my boss, she was instrumental in helping make Maian Meadows Dog Camp a success: she and her husband Tom were camp chefs for the first few years, doing an incredible job of providing us with scrumptious food. Later, when a new camp location provided food, she and Tom still came to camp as guests, just to enjoy the dogs (their own dogs were too old for camp). Almost everyone in the office loves dogs; the two who don't have the good sense to not complain about Finn, being so outnumbered. Dogs aren't allowed in the building, but since one of the county commissioners brings his dog to meetings, we figure we're on pretty good footing. Marie insists on bringing Finn discretely into the office once a week. Who am I to argue with the boss?

Finn does wonders for office morale. He brings smiles and laughs, a sense of play and joy. You can see and feel the positive difference in energy when he's there.

After first searching for Marie - who gives him chicken and other yummy treats - Finn next looks for Kathy upon arriving in the office. She has a drawer full of dog treats. She's taught Finn to shake hands, and roll, just like her own dog Misty.

Kathy used to play softball. She loves to toss the ball over desks and shelves, making Finn run around them to get it. She's got a mean left hand pitch. Carla observes from a safe location.

Finn and Marilyn have a special bond. Marilyn takes Finn for a lunchtime walk every Thursday, when I have court. She has two Labs at home and loves dogs as much as I do. Clearly Finn loves her, too.

Finn's joie de vivre is infectious.

After making sure everyone in the office has had some canine happiness therapy, Finn takes a break under my desk. (Note the hole in the ball, a gift from Breck, one of the other lawyers.)

Big Boss Marie drops by late in the afternoon, after attending a meeting all day in Seattle. She adores Finn; he adores her. She's always got some sort of special treat for him and constantly tells him how handsome he is. She bought him a nice water bowl for the office. Sandra, another attorney co-worker and dog camper (along with her daughter Tara), purchased a rope toy and Flying Squirrel for Finn to have at the office. No wonder he considers the office Doggie Disneyland!

Hard to tell who's enjoying this more!

While Finn loves coming to the office, and my co-workers regularly ask when I'm bringing him up (we're on the sixth floor; Finn's become quite adept at elevators), he still has trouble when I leave him behind for any reason. On this particular day, I had to spend some time in our lobby with a party to case a I'm handling. Several co-workers tried to comfort and distract Finn while I talked with the man, but he was upset that he couldn't see me. He jumped against the door, trying to get to me. Marie propped the door open so he could come see me, but he was very distracting. Luckily the man I was talking to was fine with having a dog suddenly appear. Before Finn can become a true Delta therapy/office dog - my goal - we're going to have to work on his separation anxiety.

In the meantime, he brings smiles to our faces each Friday afternoon.