School’s out for summer! But not for important working dogs with canine hay fever who are worried about their sickness record.

So it’s that time of year again; all the school kids get to break up for the summer and spend their days soaking up the sun and even playing football. It’s great when the kids are playing football because when I walk home from work I get to join in – I’m well known for my 5-0 score. That’s 5 footballs I ate last summer that the kids couldn’t get back from me. I’ve heard mention of £50 so far in compensating angry parents. I don’t know what that’s all about, nothing to do with me for sure.

The other reason that I am so tightly restrained whenever there are footballs near is because I am suffering from a touch of doggy hay fever. My mum and dad give me some cold baths to make me feel better and this seems to help, thankfully. I don’t sneeze very much and my eyes don’t water or get painful but my fur gets very itchy and I can’t stop scratching, I feel like a toddler with chicken pox (with the exception of the red spots and the onesie of course!). My mum thinks it’s to do with the pollen from the beautiful green park right outside our house. She thought it would be a good idea to stay at home today because she said it’s not very nice weather for dogs as it can get too hot. I now have to face the doggy dilemma. Do I try to ignore it, try to stay away from itchy pollen but have more sick days off work or do I just dive straight in and pop some meds so I can keep up my Receptionist and Security role at the office? This is a working dog’s worst nightmare, I don’t want to suffer any longer but giving up and taking some pills soothe my condition? What if gets out of hand? I’ve read about these celebrities who were stars before they could even lift a paw or have a wag of their tail. I don’t want to be sucked in to that dangerous path. But then if I keep taking sick days off of work, my absence will surely cause problems in the office and they might find another dog to replace me who can attend work on a regular basis (without scratching all day). But I have had to come to the decision to just enjoy lots of cool baths and fuss to make me feel better so I can keep up my role at Roots HR. That sounds perfect to me.

As it happens, I don’t mind staying at home, my friend Ady comes and walks me at lunch time to make sure I get enough exercise to keep up my perfect physique – it is swimsuit season after all. Then my afternoon is free to unwind, relax and wait for mum and dad to get home.

I think that’s enough out me for now, until next time pedigree pals!

Buddy pictures with glasses 2

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Thank dog it’s Friday!

It's the time for blue skies and sunshine.

It’s the time for blue skies and sunshine.

It’s Friday and it’s summer in the Roots HR offices and Buddy reflects on workplace motivation and the availability of apples…

Do you ever get those days when you’re body just doesn’t want to get out of bed? Not even if you know that you have to get up as you’ve got a hard day’s work making sure there’s no security breaches at the Roots HR office. Well today was one of those days. My mum was out of the office today and Dad left early too so I thought that I could have a sneaky lie in. But alas, the time came when I had to put on my lead and bound off to work.

It’s a beautiful day here today. The sun was shining through the trees and as soon I got out the door the warmth hit me. I made my way through the park, my usual route to work, then down to the canal and the tow path and into town. One of the things we all like at Roots HR is a short walk or drive to work in the morning

I saw the apples starting to grow on the trees. I can’t deny I have a particular fondness when it comes to apples. It made me wonder if anyone had any apples at work that they didn’t want. I have been known to ‘borrow’ apples from staff and clients bags at work. Apples are so lovely and round, aren’t they? Very like a dog ball. I start off just wanting to play with them but they’re also so handy for a snack and good for you too. If people don’t eat them, I am only providing a service really by eating them for them. And I’m sure they’d rather make sure the security watch keeps up his strength, just in case I need to keep the filing cabinet in check in the afternoon.

When I got to work everyone was there already but you know me, I do like my entrances! I whizzed around and did my usual first thing bag check. There were no apples but I found a banana. It’s important to have a varied diet. This year we have got 2 new directors and 2 quite new HR consultants and Paige is here on work experience which I am very happy about as there are more fruit, cuddles and head scratching for me. Also, everyone in the office is really excited as we’ve been shortlisted for not only the Charity Times Consultant of the Year Award but the CIPD Consultant of the Year award too! I like to think that it was partly because of me as I bring a touch of glamour to the team – especially my glossy coat, it’s all about conditioner. I’ll be having a new collar and lead for the award ceremony, no doubt.

Well that’s enough out of me, I best get back to standing guard and my favourite job around the office – shredding!

Happy Friday everyone, keep your tails wagging and eat apples.

I’ve passed my probation review!

A few weeks back I was notified that the CEO (who looks very like my Mum) wanted to hold a probation review meeting with me. This would determine whether my work in the past months has reached the exacting standards that I always diligently try to achieve and, most importantly, whether I have met the canine specification and will be able to continue my job as Office Dog. I was in fact wondering if this would even happen – as in our office, we often hear from clients who have not given employees their probation reviews at the right time and once the time has gone by, probation is deemed to have been passed through a lack of any indication to the contrary. However, I clearly work for a diligent employer and the date for my review was set.

Not being able to continue my job was unthinkable… what would I do? The job market for Office Dogs is extremely competitive and those who manage to gain employment do so through personal connections. I think I would struggle at interviews too as being a Staffordshire Bull Terrier, some humans may not understand tail language and also might think I would be a disruptive addition to the team. In fact I, personally, am the complete opposite: conscientious, friendly,  approachable and only a little bit stinky on occasions.  In my current role I also have an extremely generous benefits package including weekly treats, quiet on site sleeping areas and flexible working from home when consultants are out of the office. It would certainly be difficult to negotiate this with any future employers.

On the day of the meeting I had a bath, combed mycoat and put on a clean collar. When I entered the meeting room I was extremely nervous and had to take a good few slurps of water before I was ready. I then shook hands/paws and awaited the verdict. My concerns were slowly disappearing as Mum (sorry, the CEO) first of all mentioned my professionalism and diligence in ensuring tasks get done to a high standard. She then went on to mention how I provide a friendly meet and greet service and extend a warm welcome to all visitors, which was great to hear and that I can continue to practice doing this Gently.  There is always a lot of focus on Gently.

She was also pleased to see how I have addressed certain “lapses in judgement” such as when I took a pasty from Louise’s desk thinking she didn’t want it any more, confiscating a satsuma from Deirdre’s bag due to mistaking it for a hazardous item and carrying out my untidy version of paper shredding as opposed to asking someone for help to use the electronic shredder. These were completely deliberate as far as I am concerned but it was all going so well, I wasn’t going to let on. I will just have to be more stealth-like in future.Anyway, in light of all this, I was told that I had passed my probation review! The organisation feels that I am an integral member of the team and it was pointed out how having dogs in the office can reduce stress levels too! http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-17561272

I was informed that my job role would also expand to include offsite client visits, (I went to Witton Lodge Community Association just last week and GMCVO in Manchester tweeted to ask when I would be going to see them https://twitter.com/BuddyBlog).

So it looks like I will retain my role as Office Dog for the foreseeable future. Much positive tail language has taken place!

 

Dogs are extremely talented

At the weekend on the UK’s biggest talent show, Britain’s Got Talent, Pudsey the dog and her owner Ashleigh made history by becoming the first ever dog act to win the competition.  Wow, Pudsey’s moves were amazing and he didn’t seem fazed at all by all the bright lights. It shows just how amazing dogs can be, with even a humble dog like me learning to shake hands, give high fives and sit in chairs; all useful for my role as Office Dog at Roots HR.

Pudsey showed that dogs have developed their skills from classic tricks like “roll over” or “play dead” to more flashy moves like moving on 2 legs, balancing on humans’ backs and jumping through tight spaces.  I so wanted Pudsey and Ashleigh to win that I rung the voting number many times. I heard Dad say it was a premium line number, probably means that it’s a specially made line to handle all the calls and let me tell you, I made sure it was well used! I’m sure Dad will be so pleased at the number of times I voted when he gets the bill.

On the subject of skills, I am working hard to develop mine so that I can be an even better Office Dog. I’ve recently tried my paw at staff engagement by striking up a conversation with Cathi, one of our new consultants, though I don’t think my continuous barking had the desired effect. She looked a bit shaken actually and Mum had to come down from her office upstairs and explain how I can be a bit misunderstood. Apparently staff engagement is all about the discretionary effort you humans bring to your work – the bit your employer can’t pay you for – and it is greatly influenced by the relationship you have with your line manager and colleagues. This does not necessarily include dogs apparently. Cathi has been Out With Clients and Working From Home since then and Mum says that was Going to Happen Anyway so I haven’t scared her off. I think she is still talking to Mum. She has a very interesting bag that she brings with her when she comes here but strangely she keeps it on top of the desk when she is here. I can’t think why.

I’ve also amended my diet to include more fruit, ensuring that I get my 5 a day including tropical varieties like pineapple and mango. This will help keep me active and agile so that I carry out my security duties more quickly, leap up to confiscate dangerous items where necessary (Louise, I’ve got my eye on your very threatening biscuits) and run away when Mum tries to take shredding items away from me. Trust me, dog shredding is the most effective form of disposal and I need to be left to do my job. She has tried to separate me from the items I plan to shred with a fine looking banana, but I am too professional to shirk my duties.  I will remind Mum of this display of tenacity and professionalism at my now very overdue probation review (taps paw patiently).