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Thread: Dogs at Work?

  1. #81

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    Quote Originally Posted by Angelskates View Post
    My cats are at my house, which is also work (centre working with special needs kids). My kids LOVE them. They make the kids feel instantly at ease, and I use them in sessions all the time.
    How sweet! I love those pics!
    Clearly, in the mental health industry, pets are valuable in the office.

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    I would love to take my dogs to work, right now I come home everyday at lunch and walk my dogs and if I could just walk them from work it'd be so much easier, but I totally understand the reasons not to. Obviously I don't have a fear of dogs (although I'm not a big fan of little dogs, I much prefer big ones. Both of mine are pushing 100 lbs), but I have an outright phobia of snakes and every post I've read here describing fear is spot on. I have a friend who has a snake and even though every time I go there she puts a brick on top of the tank to make me feel better, I spend the whole time with my heart pounding, unable to focus because I'm so terrifed it'll some how get loose. I can't imagine getting work done feeling like that. Unless you're in a small work enviroment and everyone can agree, I don't see it working.

    I also can't stand children and hate hate hate bring your kids to work day

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rex View Post
    How sweet! I love those pics!
    Clearly, in the mental health industry, pets are valuable in the office.
    Mental health and special education/work with special needs.

    Quote Originally Posted by KikiSashaFan View Post
    I would love to take my dogs to work, right now I come home everyday at lunch and walk my dogs and if I could just walk them from work it'd be so much easier, but I totally understand the reasons not to.
    I don't get how the dogs go to the toilet? Are their pooper scoopers everywhere, or do people who take their dogs to work also carry around pooper scoopers and bags? Where do you put it (the poop) so it doesn't smell? What do your bosses think of you taking time away from working to take your dog to the toilet? Do they just sit under your desk all day? Aren't they bored?

    My mum's dog gets a lot of attention (she's not in the harness unless mum needs her) but she's good and just sits next to mum most of the time. When she needs to go to the toilet, she goes to a park across the road I think. Mum doesn't need to clean up after her, though usually someone goes along to help.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Angelskates View Post
    Mental health and special education/work with special needs.
    Sorry. That is what I meant. Not industry.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Angelskates View Post
    I don't get how the dogs go to the toilet? Are their pooper scoopers everywhere, or do people who take their dogs to work also carry around pooper scoopers and bags? Where do you put it (the poop) so it doesn't smell? What do your bosses think of you taking time away from working to take your dog to the toilet? Do they just sit under your desk all day? Aren't they bored?
    Right now I go home on my lunch break to walk my dogs, which I don't think is any different than my coworkers who leave to run errands etc. I'm always back on time. When I walk my dogs I take a roll of bags, no scooper. When I need to pick anything up I put a bag over my hand like a glove, pick it up and flip the bag around without touching anything, though I still do wash my hands after. When I get home (or wherever I'm going) I toss it in a dumpster or other outdoor garbage. I use special bags that are small and absorb odor. Since I don't actually take my dogs to work this is hypothetical, but if I did and took my dogs out for 10 minutes here and there, I don't see how that'd be different than the coworkers who take smoke breaks throughout the day.

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    Where I work, in the past some people would take their dogs to the office when they come in on the weekend. Well one day somebody's dog left a present for someone to discover on Monday morning. That incident immediately put an end to taking the dog to the office day

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    Quote Originally Posted by numbers123 View Post
    In fact, I was assigned to go after an OCD patient who was so exact about time he would correct all the clocks in the unit. I had to go around and change the time on clocks to "expose" him to different clocks/times. Of course it didn't work for either of us.
    Obsessive Compulsive Disorder and phobias are two very different things, that cannot be compared that way. You cannot compare someone who compulsively needs to set what s/he considers to be the right time on a clock and someone who suffers from phobia, whether it's animal phobia or whatever else (water, dark, empty spaces, etc). They are both anxiety disorders but phobia is anticipating the possible awful consequences something could have and being paralized by them, when the urge of performing a specific ritual is, most of the time, dictated by something that doesn't really exist.

    No amount of exposure to dogs will decrease my fear.
    If I'm not mistaken, you said in a previous post that you didn't know in what your fear was rooted. Meaning there is apparently no direct explanation (like being bitten - personal experience, seeing someone close to you being attacked - observational experience) to this fear besides the instructional and informational fact that dogs can bite/hurt. Or at least none you can remember and/or are aware of. So, since you don't know the reason for that fear, with all due respect, you consequently cannot know what could or could not help you get rid of this fear. The first thing to do would be to find WHY you're afraid of dogs. Otherwise, it would be like treating the symptoms but not the cause. In your second post you're also, more or less, opposing irrational and real. But, people should realize that the fact a fear is irrational (or considered so) doesn't diminish it's reality. Your fear of dogs can be considered by most people irrational if you have never had a traumatic experience with a dog. But the simple fact of hearing of bad experiences lived by others can be enough to trigger said fear. And it's not irrational to be afraid of something that has happened to others because if it has, it could happen to you too. It's not irrational being afraid of animals that were once wild and predators, even if they have been domesticated long ago and even if man has never been known as they prey of choice when they were wild. Let's face it, even the tiny teeth and fangs of a Yorkshire Terrier can hurt. The irrationality only lays in the level of the reactions this fear triggers in people. And from what you're saying, Numbers, in the presence of dogs, you are extremely uncomfortable and very worried but you don't present the signs of uncontrolable behavior, you don't suffer panick attacks that will send you locking yourself up in the bathroom or curl up under the table. Which would make a therapy much easier on you than on some other people. But that doesn't mean you need one anyway. Usually, a therapy becomes necessary when people can no longer deal with something. It doesn't seem to be your case, hence the reason why some answers you got seems a bit out of line to me.

    Accept you like dogs, you think that everyone should like/love dogs. Not everyone will agree with you.
    I'm not Rvi5 and I cannot answer for him/her. But the fact I love dogs doesn't mean I expect everybody to do the same. I wish everyone could love them and treat them well, but I can also understand why some people can be afraid of them, see previous paragraph. But fears, rational or irrational, aren't a curse and providing people are not suffering a specific illness that induces said fears (low level of GABA, dysfunctional amygdala, etc) they can all be cured or at least significantly curbed. Or just acknowledged and dealt with like you seem to be doing, Numbers. Only you can define the level of unpleasantness involved and if it has to be addressed or not. And if you wanted to, I trust you for already knowing it can be

    Quote Originally Posted by genevieve View Post
    Unless you are a psychologist - and specifically a pasychologist treating the poster in question, that's an incredibly ignorant and arrogant thing to say.
    Sorry but no, it is not. (Past the patronizing aftertaste that rvi5 posts left me...). To this day, the best way to treat cynophobia is actually in vivo therapy. The SDT (Systematic Desensitization Therapy) which is another alternative, and was very popular in the 60s and 70s, has proved to be less efficient. But of course in vivo/exposure therapy doesn't consist in locking someone up with a bunch of dogs until he/she stops being scared of them. Numbers, don't worry, I wouldn't lock you up in the kennel with my 4 big sled dogs ! The principle is to have someone showing you modeling behaviors after you have defined with the therapist what are for you the most and least scary dog-presence situations. You work first on the least scary ones and gradually get to the most scary. It can be a very long process but it gives good results. And it's useful only if you cannot avoid being in the presence of dogs from time to time and if it really messes up with your life. My best friend is afraid of cats, I simply lock them up when she's visiting. I mean, people around you knowing of your fears should not force you to live through them either, it's not a commandable solution.

    Just for the record, I am a trained psychologist with a background in cognitive sciences but I have never treated someone suffering from cynophobia. I just happen to have studied and practised psychology AND to be a musher who've owned big dogs all her life. I'm quite used to meet people who are afraid of them and I've had a lot of opportunities to study and research on what I could do about it.

    And back on the original topic (sorry for the long digression), to me the equation of dogs at work is very simple : 3 dogs in an office of 3 people when everybody agree on their presence is just great. Even if everybody agree, an office where 15 people bring 15 dogs, err, even 15 tiny chihuahuas, no. It must be quite hard to concentrate in an environment where there are so many animals, because the distraction caused by their presence is mutliplied by the number. It all depends on the dogs too... I can't imagine having any of my sled dogs spending the day in my office, eventhough I work from home and I'm my own boss. It's just not a good place for them. On the other hand, my mother's poodle mix spends most his days on the couch behind my desk, along with my 2 cats... But they are very quiet or I would not let them.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Angelskates View Post
    I don't get how the dogs go to the toilet? Are their pooper scoopers everywhere, or do people who take their dogs to work also carry around pooper scoopers and bags? Where do you put it (the poop) so it doesn't smell? What do your bosses think of you taking time away from working to take your dog to the toilet? Do they just sit under your desk all day? Aren't they bored?
    When I was able to take my dog to work, both of the owners brought their dogs to work as well. It was a very chill environment and taking the dogs our to pee was just part of the day. There was a stash of plastic bags in the kitchen - I don't know anyone who uses one of those pooper scooper things. all the dog owners I know have plastic bags on them all the time -a big bowl of water and a bin of treats. Poo bags went in the garbage cans outside - right where anyone who was walking their dog by our office would put theirs. The dogs were not bored - they sometimes played together but mostly just lounged. They just liked being near their people (and by people who came by).
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    I'm genuinely shocked that so many people have stories of bringing dogs to work. I can't imagine that ever happening where I live. I wouldn't necessarily mind as I love all animals but dogs are dogs and they can not always be controlled.
    -Brian
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    actually saying I don't know what is the root of the fear is probably not entirely true. My grandparents lived on a farm with big huge german shepard dogs. The dogs came at a running pace barking at the car when my parents drove up the lane. The dogs would terrify me, and I suspect that it was because they seemed tp be in attack mode all the time. I couldn't get out of the car until my mom or my aunts and uncles got the dogs off to the back yard that was fenced. But I have a hyper senitivity to any unexpected event. My family knows that if I am startled, it sometimes takes me 10 minutes to recover.
    I do have panic attacks when around animals - my oldest son's dog has learned to approach me very, very slowly and seems to not fell rejected if I don't pet him right away. I have to be in the house for about 45 minutes before I can calm down enough to have Gizmo lay his head on my leg. And then he knows not to make rapid or unexpected movements.
    I experience major panic attacks - and have tried some of the desenitization methods you describe. My husband used to fly small planes, and I would panic almost to the point of blackout while in the plane with him. His flight instructor and several other pilots suggested that I take an FAA course intended for spouses or SO of pilots to know what to do if the pilot experienced health issues while flying. I am told that the FAA rarely if ever refunded anyone's money for the class before. The level of panic that I had within the first class, the instructor recommended that I drop the class as I was freaking out the rest of the attendees.
    I accept that people love their pets, I don't think that they belong in the workplace. Same with kids - when our kids were little my husband had a small business. He thought that he would be able to work and watch them at the same time. I told him it would be extremely difficult. After 2 months he agreed with me and the kids were in daycare while both of us worked.
    I have read the research and studies indicating pets are calming and useful in therapy or medical situations. I think that they are with some populations and not so much with others.

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    Quote Originally Posted by numbers123 View Post
    I have read the research and studies indicating pets are calming and useful in therapy or medical situations. I think that they are with some populations and not so much with others.
    Just like any other therapy Too many people think that the simple word "therapy" is a guarantee of success, it's definitely not, we're all different and we all react differently.
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  13. #93
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    Quote Originally Posted by Angelskates View Post
    I'm so glad you are also thinking of the cat! I'm an animal person, I've always had dogs, but in Beijing I have four cats. When people who don't like cats want to come over, they think I should just lock the cats in a room. Um, that's okay for a short period of time maybe, but it's cruel for more than that. "They're just cats" is what they say. We can meet somewhere else, or we can stay confined to one room while the cats roam the rest of the house
    Exactly. You have to think of the animal's welfare as well. The cat doesn't run ours lives, but we'll always factor in what's best for him. It's why we haven't invited a particular set of friends to our house - their kids are just too rough (not badly behaved, just not knowing their own strength), and kitty has already been freaked out once by much gentler (yet excitable) children.

    Quote Originally Posted by Rex View Post
    She told me that she had actually thought of having the cat (named Shiva) stuffed and mounted so she could greet her patients!
    Ew! Creepy! Thank goodness she was talked out of it.


    I always joke that my fear of dogs is genetic because it is, in a sense, inherited. I've never really had a horrible experience with a dog personally, apart from being chased a couple of times, but both my parents had reason to be scared of dogs. My mother saw her mother bitten on the leg by a dog as a young child, and my father was bitten in the eye by an Irish Setter as a boy (my dad was holding a cake above his head, out of reach of the dog, which was kept hungry by its owner). So they would obviously have acted warily around dogs, and that was enough for me to pick up on from a very young age. My mother says that once they realised I was scared of dogs, they would go out of their way to try and show me that dogs were okay and not to be feared, but clearly the damage had already been done, and it was too late to reverse.
    The ancient Egyptians worshipped cats as gods, and the cats have never forgotten.

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    I've always had cats - I love cats! I'm much more of a cat person than a dog person. But I would have no problem sticking my cat in a room. Unless you've got more than one cat and there are compatibility issues, cats do just fine confined to a room. There's nothing cruel about it, as long as they've got water, and if it's for a long time, access to food and a litter box. Dogs? Depends on the dog - some are fine, others freak out.

    That said, if someone who doesn't like cats came over, I wouldn't so anything - my cat is not one to try to get in your lap. Most people who come to my house never see my cat. I don't invite over anyone who's allergic though - confining a pet to a room doesn't magically remove the dander and hair from the rest of the house.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Angelskates View Post
    I don't get how the dogs go to the toilet? Do they just sit under your desk all day? Aren't they bored?

    My dog doesn't go the restroom (uh-backyard...) during the day when I'm not home- so I would imagine if going outside during the day if she came to work with me (without dire reason, she wouldn't) wasn't an option, she wouldn't go then either.

    As for being bored- if my dog came to work with me she'd be crated under the desk, I'm sure she'd be bored. At home, she has free range of the house.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Angelskates View Post
    I don't get how the dogs go to the toilet? Are their pooper scoopers everywhere, or do people who take their dogs to work also carry around pooper scoopers and bags? Where do you put it (the poop) so it doesn't smell? What do your bosses think of you taking time away from working to take your dog to the toilet? Do they just sit under your desk all day? Aren't they bored?

    .
    When I brought Muttley to work, I took him for walks outside on my break and at lunch. I carry baggies to pick up after him just like I do on my walks with him at home. The bags went in the outside trash bin in the parking lot. Since I was only going out on my break, I wasn't taking extra time away from work so my boss had no problem with it.

    Muttley's just slept at my feet most of the time. He's not bored; he's old and just likes being near me. When he's home alone all day, that's pretty much what he does there. He's a pretty placid dog. His walks and a few minutes of lap time are his idea of playtime.

    Now if he'd been a more active dog like the schnauzer I had before him, I wouldn't have thought of bringing him to work. Likewise, if I'd worked in a busy office with a lot of people coming and going, I wouldn't bring a pet in there because it would disturb everyone. But I'm not only alone in my office, I was alone on the entire floor! Who does that hurt?
    I'd rather be thought of as absolutely ridiculous than as absolutely boring.

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