It’s been almost 20 years since I first founded our agency in Brooklyn – and it’s taken almost that long to welcome our pets to the office. It’s not that we don’t love animals, actually, quite the opposite. Almost every member of the staff has a dog or cat, including my bulldog, Otis, and Nunu, a chocolate lab. Our digital manager brought her shepherd rescue, Ross to work one day, and he’s been a frequent visitor ever since. It turns out we were always pet-friendly; now we have an actual pet to test this all out.
Having a dog in the office is a natural fit for most of us; they’re happy, playful, and always up for a meeting. And, they’re great for our health: researchers at the University of Missouri-Columbia found that humans who petted a dog for 15–30 minutes during a study experienced approximately a 10 percent drop in blood pressure. Just one of many studies that have found a correlation with wellness, increased productivity and employee retention.
Our pets inspired us to launch a charitable rescue drive two weeks ago – the photos we shared at #GVLovesPets were the most popular Gregory + Vine social push to date. It turns out we are not alone in our love of pets – and together with our social friends we raised $1,000 for Wayside Waifs in KC and Bideawee Cat rescue in New York in honor of National Pet Day (April 11). The overwhelming response, both analytical and feel-good to this short campaign helped us improve the lives of animals in need and filled our office with joy (and dog hair). Follow the instagram story.
We know that there are boundaries to all this tail-wagging. We’re making allowances for a colleague who isn’t as into this as the rest of us. No judgments there – we’ve worked out ways to manage pet-free zones and schedules, and are prepared to reverse policy for future colleagues that suffer from allergies or a phobia. As with any new policy the best way to clear the air has been to talk about it. We’re not sure what the future will hold, but well-behaved, respectful pets (that are up to date on all their shots) are currently as welcome as their owners. We’d love to hear your stories and tips. Even better share a photo at #GVLovesPets – and learn a little about the amazing people and pets of Gregory + Vine.