Opulent Mutts at Pets Pyjamas
My dog Juniper and I struck it lucky recently, and landed an awesome part-time job with Pets Pyjamas as a Pet Concierge on their weekend travel team. Pets Pyjamas have a fantastic Travel department, and a really friendly team. I am thoroughly enjoying the whole experience so far.
My job is to help individuals, couples, and families who want to travel with their pets, find the best hotel and cottage deals for their holiday plans. I had no idea just how many people there are holidaying with their dogs! Pets Pyjamas help to take the stress out of finding pet friendly hotels and cottages for so many people every single day - I just wish they could help me, Juni and Fig find a pet friendly landlord in London - Yes we are still looking for a studio flat to rent, it has been three months now, sigh.
The best thing about my new job has to be the fact that I can bring my dog to work with me. You have no idea how happy this makes us. Bringing Juniper into the office with me feels like the most natural thing in the world. I am always happiest when she is by my side.
What struck me first of all when I came for my interview was that the dogs were just wandering around the office like it was home and everyone was their family. I don't know why, but I had thought that all dogs would be tightly secured to their owners' desks, with a dog bed or crate underneath and out of the way, where they were expected to stay and chill out all day. But no, these dogs were meandering around, upstairs and downstairs, while their owners focussed on their jobs.
In a way I was relieved because I had been having nightmares about Juniper being attached to the desks, and then upon freaking out at something or other, taking off at full speed and dragging the whole office, computers and all, with her.
I was still very nervous the first time I brought Juniper into the office with me. All sorts of things were going through my head. I was worried of course that she would be anxious or over-stimulated being in a new environment with so many new faces to meet, although the weekend team is a bit smaller and the vibe more relaxed. Juniper and I are used to spending all day everyday at home together because primarily I work from home as a pet portrait artist, craftsperson, and freelance writer.
I was nervous that Juniper would be a distraction or get me into trouble by being a distraction to others. I was also concerned that she might get bored with nothing to do, being stuck in a strange place all day waiting for me to take her home. What if she decides to develop a set of lungs and start barking at the phones? What if she has an accident on the floor because she's confused about whether she's allowed to "go" in this new place? What if she disappears somewhere in the building and I lose her forever?
I decided to go well equipped. I brought with me her dog bed, so that she would have a safe and comfortable place to relax in that smelt like home, and as many treats as I could find in order to bribe her to stay close by.
When we arrived on her first day she got lots of fuss from everyone, and then I was told to let her off the lead so that she could explore while we got down to some work. I nervously unclipped the lead, giving her that look of warning you give your kids that lets them know you're still in control even though they're not quite in arms reach. She could smell the freedom coming a mile off.
It actually turned out to be quite a calming experience to watch her fervently sniffing all the nooks and crannies of her new environment. She kept checking in with me to make sure I was still where she left me, which was reassuring, and whenever I got up to go somewhere she was close behind. At one point I went to the loo and when I came back out she was waiting for me on the other side of the door. It's really nice to know that the bond you have with your dog isn't all in your own imagination!
It turns out that my dog is natural "Office Dog" material. She has been so calm and relaxed, so sweet and friendly to everyone, so patient and chilled out - it's like she has been hanging out in offices all day for years.
The lovely thing about having a dog in the office is that it gives everyone the opportunity to take a moment to slide away from the computer on our wheelie chairs, exhale, and say hello to an eager friend with a wagging tail. I actually found myself forgetting that Juniper was even around, because she was so content to chill out on the sofas or snuggle up in a cocoon on someone's lap while they worked, always with one eye on me of course.
All in all I have to say that I am very, very proud of my little Juniper. She has surprised me. Part of me wishes I could bring Fig my Cornish Rex cat into work too - but then the other part of me realises how chaotic that would be, Figpig is not your usual house cat, he's more of a gremlin. The last time a gremlin made their way into an office, all of hell broke loose!
We have been taking some fun behind the scenes snaps and videos of Juniper at work, you can take a look at them over on the Opulent Mutts Instagram Account. Don't forget to follow us on Twitter, we want to start being more active on there too!
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