It’s been “Take Your Dog to Work Day” every day since I picked up “Sprig,” my now 5-month old English cocker spaniel and my first bird dog. That’s because Pheasants Forever’s national office is dog friendly.
If you’re a Pheasants Forever Life Member and you’ve talked to Carol Durtschi, her English springer spaniel, “Scout” was assisting on the call from beneath her desk; Brad Heidel’s Lab, “Otis,” is his right hand man as he puts together our National Pheasant Fest & Quail Classic event; and two other Pheasants Forever employees are expecting new pups later this spring. Pretty soon the dogs will need their own break room.
There are some noted business benefits to having dogs in the office. For one, they’re therapeutic, and non-stressed employees are more productive employees. One survey found that 46 million Americans would work longer hours if they were allowed to bring their pups to work. It’s no wonder that more than 20 percent of companies in this country now allow dogs in their offices and cubicles.
And the dogs benefit too. Pheasants Forever office life, with people and dogs alike, has been great for getting “Sprig” well-socialized. Spending all our time together has made housebreaking and early obedience training much smoother. She did chew through my internet cable a few weeks back, but I think that was her way of telling me to take a break.
In the larger scope of things, companies or corporations that are dog friendly are vitally important to the future of sustainable upland hunting and conservation. Sounds crazy? Consider that more of us than ever are living in suburban or urban settings, and are working more than ever. If bird dogs can’t fit into our modern lifestyle, we’re asking for a future of fewer bird dog owners and, consequently, fewer of us interested in upland hunting and preserving wild places and spaces.
Having grown up in farm country, I always think about that iconic image of a farmer driving down a gravel road in his pickup with his trusty gun dog riding shotgun. Had I been born with a shed of handiness or mechanical inclination, that would have been me. As it was, I had to go to the big city to find work. Instead my pup rides in a crate in the back, but she goes everywhere I go, including 8 to 5, and for that I’m very grateful.
Do you take your bird dog to work?