Are You Ready for “Take Your Dog to Work Day” 2014? Not Us.

Vulture Dog.

Remember those old Peanuts strips where Snoopy impersonated a vulture? Based on a true story.

That’s right, kids! Friday, June 20, 2014, sees the return of Take Your Dog to Work Day, that annual festivity in which lovers of pets and pet-shaped things invite their trusty companions into the workplace and spend eight to ten more hours with them than usual. It can be a wondrous bonding experience, a welcome break in your routine, and a fun opportunity to talk about the joys of pet ownership to other lonely souls who have neither pets nor joy. I’m sure Take Your Dog to Work Day is already marked on your Garfield calendar and my gentle reminder is superfluous, but I’d hate to see anyone miss out and waking up kicking themselves on the 21st.

…wait, no, actually, I’ve never heard of it.

Wikipedia swears that Take Your Dog to Work Day has been a real thing in America since 1999. On another page, Wikipedia also confirms that Oceania has always been at war with EastAsia, and that both superstates have observed Take Your Dog to Work Day for centuries.

Until today I’d never heard another living soul mention it, but I overheard coworkers discussing it in reverent, hush-hush tones, possibly after reading today’s hard-hitting exposé over at USA Today. And, as you might imagine, You Won’t Believe What Secrets Are Revealed About “Take Your Dog to Work Day”, such as:

* Dog lovers would love to have dogs at work.
* Dog food companies would love dog lovers to have dogs at work.
* A predictably short list of American companies are willing and equipped to facilitate it.
* This one guy named his dog after Roscoe P. Coltrane, even though everyone knows Enos was the smart one.

Take Your Dog to Work Day is so officially a holiday that it has an official website. Site visitors can learn more about pet adoption; find suggestions for Take Your Dog to Work Day activities (pet fair! photo sessions! costume contest!); download a Take Your Dog to Work Day “action pack” to help organize underlings for a company-wide Take Your Dog to Work Day event; or gather statistics and facts and trivia to include in your two-hour Take Your Dog to Work Day pitch that you plan to deliver to your local CEO, optimistically assuming he won’t have security eject you after three minutes. Or worse, he’ll release the hounds. Vital safety tip: for some corporate overlords every day is Take Your Dogs to Work Day.

For those precious few companies who can and will make it happen, God bless you. But even if my wife or I had employers who were on board, she and I would be fighting over the privilege of not taking our dog Lucky to work.

Sure, Lucky can be cute. That’s not enough to make him a viable asset where I work. I pride myself on my productivity, which would be cut down to a fraction of normal if I had to keep commanding him to stop barking at the strangers in the other cubicles, stop barking at all the pedestrians outside, stop barking at every pigeon flying by, stop scratching at the windows, stop staring wistfully at coworkers while they’re snacking, stop trying to hop on people’s desks and lick up their crumbs, stop digging through their trash for souvenir candy wrappers, stop begging the nicer ones to scratch behind your ears for two or three hours straight. And if everyone else brings their dogs, too? There’s me on eight-hour leash-wrangling duty, doing my impression of the hapless pushover from Marmaduke with a dog the size of Marmaduke’s head.

Excitable, high maintenance, insatiable appetite, hard to keep focused, fidgety to a fault, tough to corral when his mind’s in the zone…and those are just my issues. How I can I be expected to manage two of me without getting us both sacked? No one wants that, especially since Take Your Dog to the Unemployment Office Day isn’t a thing yet.

Lying Dog!

Lying Dog is very lying.

But see, if Take Your Dog to Netflix Day were a thing, then we’d be filled with holiday cheer. Lucky isn’t the kind for structured, formal environments where he has to observe etiquette or common decency. He’s more of a living room buddy. He hangs out with us while we watch em>Chopped or Doctor Who or whatever. He cozies up to us at night like a wiggly warming pillow. He doesn’t talk through the dialogue. He doesn’t turn the channel without asking. He keeps his uninformed opinions to himself. And he’s never spoiled an ending for us.

Everyone should have a living room buddy like Lucky. But a working buddy? Nah, he’s not meant for that world. I wouldn’t wish him on our most annoying competitors. Well, okay, I just might do that, but only if he still came home after work.

Different strokes for different folks, of course. If your dog is much happier lying on threadbare industrial carpeting while wearing a Ralph Marlin tie and a pair of Burberry glasses, I wish you a most splendid Take Your Dog to Work Day. Someone let us know when they invent Take Your Dog to a Comic Convention Day and then we’ll see if Lucky’s ready for our kind of networking. Hopefully we won’t meet anyone who brings twin mutts named Coy and Vance.

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