It has come to my attention that today is officially Take Your Dog to Work Day.

As a freelance writer, I work mostly from my desk in our home office. Or the picnic table in the back yard. Because of that, the dogs (and cats) are just about always at work with me. Unlike the guinea pigs, who, lazy buggers that they are, only want to hang around the water cooler.

Here, for instance, is Crispin, hard at work in his role as office support staff.

The pleading and frightened look on his face is there because I’ve just told him to come up with a business plan that will clean up the mess on the printer table (I’m not even going to show him the desk–he’d just go on strike). Don’t anyone tip him off to the fact that he’s only going to be paid in kibble.

We bug the dogs now and then because they aren’t making any money. Why can’t they be models whose pictures end up on biscuit boxes? Why don’t they win silver bowls and big checks in the dog shows (okay, maybe that one is because the closest we ever get to a dog show is to watch them on tv once in a while)? Why can’t they rescue children who have fallen into wells, perform search and rescue missions after an earthquake, work as companions for people with disabilities, or have their own tv shows?

I mean, all they do, pretty much, is to lay around here waiting for meals. And, okay, the cats keep the evil spirits away. Yeah, Dinah and Crispin do jump up to see where we’re going even if it’s just to the bathroom or to the fridge for more iced tea, and they do race out the door ahead of us and fan out along the path in our terribly danger-infested suburban back yard and watch us all the way down the walk to see that we’ve made it safely to our cars without being–oh, mauled by chipmunks, say, or hit by falling acorns.

But most of the time they just hang around here under my desk, or wait for crumbs to fall from the kitchen table, or run in crazy happy circles greeting kids when they get home from school or grown ups when we return from long hard expeditions to the grocery store, or give us adoring looks when we do even stupid things or just sidle up and give us little nose-touches to let us know they’re on the . . . oh, wait . . . job.

Never mind. Maybe it’s really Take Your People to Work day. Keep up the good work, dogs.

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