Who doesn’t want to spend the whole day in the office with his friends, fighting, being loud, having fun, barking at colleagues, visitors and customers, sniffing or licking at them, being fed the tastiest and also forbidden food by everyone, making nonsense and dirt and being loved and cuddled for it anyway or just because of it?
Who doesn’t want to do power napping on comfortable upholstered furniture as often as you want during working hours, interrupted by a nice, liberating and creative walk in the park around the corner?
In our company, for example. The only requirement for this dream job is: you have to be a dog!
Yes, we have dogs in the office: Meanwhile we have eight quite large dogs, which share their territory on two floors. It’s like a small dog meadow in the office. They are omnipresent and the true masters of the landscape. They romp through the office all day long, barking loudly, blocking escape routes, plundering one or two unguarded snacks from the tables and keeping the floor crumb-free. Living from hand to mouth, uh, to dog, so to say. And they always stay awake – only the humans are tired.
How did the whole dog misery start? Where is the deceitful dog that is responsible for it?
And why dogs? Nobody would think of bringing a cat, canary or hamster to the office.
To understand that, we have to do the “downward-facing dog” back in history:
The dog has been man’s best friend for millions of years. Its function as a protection, guard or hunting dog is only of secondary importance for most people today. More important is that the following basic needs for humans can be satisfied by this animal:
Need to talk: A dog always listens to you, looks understanding and does not answer.
Need for fidelity: A dog is loyal to his master/mistress until death
Need to cuddle: A dog is warm, soft and covered with fur – there’s no better cuddly toy
Need to play: A perfect playmate – motivated, tireless and able to learn. Better than any robot or drone
Need for care: the human being needs something to take care of and to educate. The good thing about dogs is that, unlike children, they never grow up and that you always need to take care of them.
Need for communication: when two dog owners meet, they immediately start talking – there is no lack of topics. Similar to smokers. Actually, they can be compared to a caste, a community or a secret society: They have their own language, rules, duties and philosophy.
Maybe people are jealous of the dog’s life. Most of the animals live a luxurious life with their owner and enjoy all privileges – the dog should have it better than the owner.
But the price is high: you are locked in the golden cage of obligations, have to rearrange your life around the animal and give up your freedom more and more. And that’s the point of it! The peak of the dog’s dominance is reached when the four-legged friend sleeps in the bed of his owner. But that’s the way it is – after a short time, the four-legged friends become close family members. Some people get into this role too hard and become militant dog fanatics.
I know it sounds pretty mean now, but you have to understand that these lines were written by an uninvolved person, who is not impressed by these animals, even puppies. After all, I tolerate the presence of dogs, but no skin contact, neither stroking nor, god forbid, being licked! And nevertheless, they love me and unfortunately want to be close to me.
They smell strong, make dirt, distract and make noise, try to copulate with everything and everyone, promote an exchange of bacteria in closed rooms – and yet, nevertheless, I have the opinion that our four-legged friends contribute to an improved climate in the office.
That’s easy to explain:
Dogs are therapy animals that contribute to mental and spiritual health, which is absolutely necessary for some humans.
They force their owners to exercise regularly outside and to do the prescribed breaks. In this way, they prevent a lack of exercise, which is a serious problem at computer workstations, and which can lead to long-term health problems.
They lead to necessary defocusing – a process in which thoughts are rearranged and viewed from different points, abandoning old paths, often leading to fresh and better ideas and thus increasing the quality and efficiency of work.
They also lead to more trust by visitors and customers, because there is still the common opinion that you must be a good person when you love animals.
Dogs and pets lay the foundation of inner satisfaction and thus the base for what can be summarized under the term “happiness”.
Subconsciously dogs remind us that the sterile, intact world in which we walk and work every day is virtual, i.e. not real. They help us to calm down and to recognize what really counts in life.