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!
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).
That introduction doesn’t sound very professional or James Bond-esque does it?
When going for walks in the park, I must maintain a certain image as a professional office dog, you know. Therefore being called Buddykins in front of other dogs in the park is a professional faux pas, plus no good for park cred either!
My dog and human colleagues won’t be able to take me seriously in security matters. “Budster” however or “The Budster” really does make a statement and creates an image of a cool, modern dog. This is a point I will raise, so that it doesn’t happen in front of clients; surely this is something that HR Consultants should know?
I feel that I am a fully fledged member of the team now at Roots HR. I have found my job as Office Dog to be varied and interested, and I feel everyone is following my security measures now. Namely only I am permitted to answer the door, greet visitors and screen them before coming on to the premises, audit everyone’s bags and the waste bins (when they haven’t been moved to a place I can’t reach) and confiscate any dangerous looking food items. Yes Louise your food was in breach of safety and you should thank me for removing it. That baked potato you had the other day looked iffy, but you kept it out of reach and I couldn’t inspect it. Similarly I was sure I could smell cupcakes, but couldn’t see them. Clearly an item that should be confiscated I’m sure you will agree.
Last week I accompanied Mum on some client visits, thus handling matters outside of the office. I have been to the YMCA in Worcester where it appears that trying to squeeze under a fence into an allotment of chickens to check the level of security was beyond my remit. I only realised that when Mum had to leave her phone call and come to stop me. It seems my eagerness to do well can work against me. I went to Worcestershire Association of Carers where I was on duty in the boot of the car in a shady spot with the window down and some zzzzz’s may have been heard. I also dozed in the car outside Symphony Hall, dreaming I could hear the CBSO rehearsing but Mum says they are on tour in Europe and it was probably some pop music in a pub in Brindley Place. I may need to work on musical appreciation techniques so I can fully understand our clients in the arts sector. Clearly a development need.
Turning now to another important HR topic, namely Wellbeing. When commuting into work by paw the other day I demonstrated a curious hobble which raised much human concern. This was great fun so I hobbled on 3 out of my 4 paws at different times to see what happened. This backfired on me somewhat as Mum started muttering about Attention Seeking and somebody else mentioned the V word. I attribute the hobble to going pogging with Mum, (which is power walking and jogging and apparently Very Good for Dogs). We switch between low and high intensity walking and jogging and go for quite a few miles. I think this may be impacting on my energy levels. I am a very fit dog but I need to be fully energised when I arrive at work. Pogging has resulted in some sleeping on the job, see picture, which was captured on camera. No one seems to mind this – in fact they encourage me to do it but the last thing I want is any excessive sleeping being regarded as a capability issue. That’s another thing, does sleeping time count towards working time? These things really need to be cleared up.
Until next time… I’ve just spotted a flapjack acting suspiciously…
..in which Buddy the Office Dog enters gainful employment full of pride but soon despairs of his bosses.
Well hello humans! And of course any other animals able to access my blog. I am Buddy, the Office Dog at Roots Human Resources Community Interest Company. I am the pack leader for a human female who I call Mum and a human male who I call Dad. They are very difficult to lead but I am faithful and loyal to them and committed to training them to my standards even though it is slow progress.
I am a Staffordshire Bull Terrier so I am a very strong and handsome pack leader. There was a bit of a mix up with the humans somewhere along the way so I spent some time in a place called Forest Dog Rescue where they were very kind to me. Some humans are very strange and seem to think that being a Staffie and a Rescue dog, I will be fierce or dangerous. But I just needed a second (ok, well third) chance and Mum says that’s fine, there are plenty of humans like that too and in the human world those chances are called Marriages.
I always knew I had a good career ahead of me and since I had my chance, I can prove it! I started work at Roots HR about 3 months ago and I love my job. As Office Dog, my duties are to greet visitors Gently and to handle Security Matters. These duties are not always interesting enough so I have also taken on Shredding and Air Freshening, but there is another human mix up over these – more about those another time.
I was very happy with my Induction. I was a bit nervous on my first day so I ran like mad round the office to get to know the layout and to find the fridge, had a mighty fine sniff and then found my bed and my water bowl, all waiting for me. I felt so happy. I could tell that another dog had slept on my office bed before me but I didn’t mind because it had a clean cover so I knew I was welcome.
There are other humans in the office who seem to treat Mum as their pack leader when she is there but really we all know it is me. There is Louise who is an HR Consultant and who likes to share her lunch with me. This only happens when she has left the office and involves a sprightly leap from me into a revolving chair, a quick nip up onto her desk to reach said lunch and a great deal of human shouting when she comes back. Then there is Tony our Marketing Intern who talks to his little brothers at home about me. He is very kind to me and I sometimes help him with words for twoofs and blogs. He has a very interesting rucksack. We have Deirdre who is also a Consultant. On a routine check of her handbag over the month of December , I found a very cheeky satsuma which I immediately confiscated and ate in the interests of security.
I have special work to do with Emma our Accounts Clerk as she is very nervous of dogs. On days when Emma is in, Mum shouts Gently at me quite a lot. I spend lots of time with Emma, rushing up to her to show her how gentle I am and sitting under her desk to get her used to dogs. And then we have Shona our cleaner. She hoovers up my dog hairs and shakes up my bed to get the lumps out and sometimes she walks me. Mum says we are very Lucky To Have These People and it is a Mystery To Her How They Put Up With Me. I don’t know why Mum says that.
As time has gone on, I am becoming concerned about my rights as an Office Dog. I am entitled to a Statement of Terms and Conditions of Employment after 8 weeks, setting out my working hours, walk times, dog treat entitlements and other benefits and I have not received this. And this same document should describe my work duties, which would sort out the mix up over the shredding responsibilities, I’m sure. I don’t understand what they do in HR consultancy but they are obviously not good at managing dogs. I am due my 3 month Probation review any day now so I will raise these matters then and let you know how I get on.
Most days I commute to the office and back on paw, pulling Mum along. Sometimes we walk along the canal and Mum doesn’t need me to pull her any more and lets me off the lead. She says it’s ok because I can only go forwards and backwards on a tow path so there is a Limit To The Amount Of Trouble I can get into. I don’t know why she says that, either.
Buddy is a Staffordshire Bull Terrier from Forest Dog Rescue in the Wyre Forest and lives in North Worcestershire on the edge of a beautiful local park. He works as the Office Dog at Roots HR CIC, the UK’s first and only human resources consultancy specialising in services for small and medium sized civil society employers and trading as a social enterprise. When not working, his hobbies are walking his humans, barking at next door’s dog and chasing ducks. You can follow him on Twitter @BuddyBlog and catch occasional mentions on Facebook on the RootsHR page.