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

Inductions and Introductions…

..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.