To begin with, I am a dog lover and have owned a few temperamental dogs in my lifetime. I also had a cat growing up that was really a "tomcat" and showed up for meals and affection on his terms. What I am, is not a big fan of the growing trend of pets in the workplace.
Have you ever walked into a place of business and hear a dog barking from one of the offices? Would you feel comfortable doing business there? Whether you are an animal activist or just a plain old dog lover, unless it is a service dog, a dog in an office is an accident waiting to happen.
There are many companies that allow or are in an animal-friendly building. What you may not know is that most have no signs posted on the doors or elevator walls informing their visitors that dogs may roam freely about the building. I work in an office building that is dog-friendly. There are no signs, apart from an occasional smell or bark from one of the resident dogs.
There are several dogs that roam the enclosed offices on each floor. There is a large breed called a Weimaraner, on the third floor, that is stately and as gentle as a pussy cat. He doesn't bark or advance unless has permission from his owner. He stares out the window or paces back and forth when people are outside his window on the patio. On this same floor, there are two other dog owners that occasionally bring their pets into work.
Two little short haired dachshunds are crated in the manager's office and occasionally will be let out to roam when the office is empty of clients. They are well behaved and seldom bark and never aggressive. Because these two dogs are so people friendly, they are an easy distraction, and other employees will come in the manager's office to visit and play with the dogs. This distraction affects everyone near that office.
A second employee of the company has two mutts and on occasion brings in her temperamental one because she is having work done in her home. This animal is not meant to be around other people. The owner does not use a crate and it growls at anyone that passes by the office. It is aggressive and has frightened me on several occasions. The owner does not know how to keep her pet calm and quiet and spends a better part of her day with the animal on her lap trying to calm it. The stress of hearing an aggressive animal all day in an office can be overwhelming, to say the least.
The company on the second floor has several dog owners and on numerous occasions, owners and dog will be out on their expansive patio. I've witnessed a few times as an owner is chatting on his cell the dog will relieve himself in the potted plant area on the patio. This area is meant for employees to relax, unwind, and possibly have meals on the provided tables. I have never witnessed an owner cleaning up after a pet has left a pile in those rocks.
It seems to me that this new trend has some kinks to work out. Rules need to be set in place like an apartment building maybe the employees should be required to pay a deposit for cleaning and other expected incidences that might occur. If an animal is aggressive it should be removed from the premises and never be allowed to return. If the employee is not responsible for his pet always he should be asked to leave as well. I know these are harsh rules, but to be honest it is a dog-eat-dog world we live in these days.