Take Your Dog to Work Day is June 22

When take your dog to work day rolls around every June, I am super jealous of anyone who works at a company that participates. I have never worked at a dog-friendly company, or even one that would participate in Take Your Dog to Work Day, and every day when I leave for work I wish I could take my dogs.

pets(Photo courtesy of Embrace Pet Insurance)

There are so many perks of having a dog in the office – stress relief, mid-day exercise, morale-building – so I can understand why more and more companies are offering the ability to bring dogs to work. Local Cleveland pet insurance provider, Embrace Pet Insurance recently did a survey which found that:

  • 50% of policyholders wished their workplace was pet-friendly
  • 30% of policyholders have pet-friendly employers
  • 70% of policyholders said, if interviewing for a new job, an employer with a pet-friendly workplace would be very appealing.

As more and more companies consider pet-friendly policies, Take Your Dog to Work Day is a great time for a workplace to try it out and see if it’s a good fit. Pet Sitters International, the founder of Take Your Dog to Work Day, has a free toolkit for any employers interested in planning a Take Your Dog to Work day, as well as some sample “dogs at work” policies, which can be found here: https://www.petsit.com/toolkit


To encourage more workplaces to take part in Take Your Dog to Work Day, Embrace Pet Insurance is giving away three prize packs to participating workplaces. The prize packs include a graphic tee, pet bandannas, tennis balls, pet treats and Pooch selfie smartphone attachments. Embrace will accepting entries here: https://www.embracepetinsurance.com/waterbowl/article/TYDTWD-giveaway-2018 until June 12.

Check out the June issue of CLE Dog Magazine for more tips from Embrace Pet Insurance on bringing your dog to work! And check out my Dog-Friendly Office Spotlight of Embrace from a few years ago to learn more about dog-friendly office culture: http://dogsinthecle.com/dog-friendly-office-spotlight-embrace-pet-insurance/

And, if you are taking your dog to work on June 22, please tag me in any photos (@dogsinthecle on IG and Twitter). I’d love to see pups at work!



From the Life To-Do List: Therapy Dog Training

Do you have a life to-do list (I don’t like the term bucket list, too depressing) for your dog? I have one for Hunter and Roscoe, although most of the items on the list are things that only Hunter will do since as a shy, fearful dog, I know Roscoe would not be comfortable doing some of these things. Hunter has always been an exceptionally friendly and easy-going dog, so I pretty much know he is down for any activity.


As you can see, we’ve completed quite a few of the things on our list, but we still have more to do (follow us on IG @dogsinthecle!) Last week we took a step towards completing item #7 on the list – Therapy Dog training! Hunter went to his first session this past week at Fortunate Fido to find out if he has what it takes to become a therapy dog and I am excited to learn more about it.

What is a Therapy Dog?

Just in case there is any confusion, since people have asked me when I’ve brought it up, a therapy dog is not a service dog. A therapy dog’s role is provide affection and comfort to various members of the public. Unlike service dogs which typically work with one individual who needs emotional and/or health-related assistance, service dogs don’t get any special access places (unless they are working there). Therapy dogs can work in many different places, such as hospitals, schools, nursing homes and libraries. In recent years therapy dogs have been used in crisis situations (visiting schools after mass shootings, for example) and even in airports as a way to relieve the stress of traveling.

Therapy dogs visiting Parkland after students went back to class. Photo courtesy of Reddit. https://www.reddit.com/r/aww/comments/811q2p/therapy_dogs_waiting_to_welcome_the_parkland_kids/
Therapy dogs visiting Parkland after students went back to class. Photo courtesy of Reddit. https://www.reddit.com/r/aww/comments/811q2p/therapy_dogs_waiting_to_welcome_the_parkland_kids/

As someone who works a standard 8-5 Monday through Friday work schedule, I was concerned that would be less opportunities for people who can only volunteer on weekends. The instructor assured me that many organizations need therapy dogs on Saturdays and Sundays and many nursing homes are flexible about when you can visit once you establish a relationship with them.

How does my dog become a therapy dog?

In order to become a therapy dog and work in various locations, you must register your dog with one of the national Therapy Dog organizations. Alliance of Therapy Dogs, PetPartners, Bright and Beautiful Therapy Dogs and Therapy Dog International, are just a few of the therapy dog organizations you can register your dog with so that he or she will be accepted into various programs at schools or other institutions. There are fees involved, since part of the reason you join one of these organizations is to get liability coverage in case something happens when your dog is at an assignment.

If you are interested in getting your dog registered with one of these places you will want to look into training for your dog since there is a handling test required for each organization. A few local Cleveland trainers do therapy dog training, including Fortunate Fido, Alpha Dog Pet Center, Total Canine and The Dog Class. Classes are often not regularly offered, so it’s a good idea to reach out a trainer near you to see if it’s something they are offering currently or could offer in the future.

The training will vary depending on which organization you plan to get certified with, some may require Canine Good Citizen certificate first, while others may not. The Fortunate Fido training is connected with Alliance of Therapy Dogs and does not require CGC certification first.

I am still learning more about registering with this organization and what training is involved, so I will share more details as I learn them. I am going into it more as a learning experience and deciding whether this is something that would be a good fit for Hunter, and for myself, since it will require a lot of time from me. But as a true believer in the power of dogs to reduce stress and improve your overall state of mind, I am really excited about the opportunity to spread joy though Hunter’s undying love of people!



Dog-Friendly Baseball Games in the CLE

So the Indians have ditched Puppypalooza, maybe for good. Last year it was taken off the schedule (I think after they added in the Corner Bar) and it’s not on the schedule again this year. It’s too bad too, since I think Cleveland dogs were some of their most loyal fans…

Lucky for us dog-and-baseball loving Clevelanders, we have some other options. Several area minor league teams will be hosting dog-friendly nights this summer. And, you can always take a trip a little further away to see a major league game.

Check out the schedule of dog-friendly games:

Bark in the Park

Lake Erie Captains – June 26, Aug. 8 and Aug. 28

Classic Park in Willowick will host three dog-friendly nights this summer! Seats for these dog friendly games are $8 for the bleachers and lawn area, plus the $5 Pooch Pass. Visit http://www.milb.com/promotions/index.jsp?sid=t437 for more details. Proceeds from the games will benefit the Lake Humane Society or the Geauga Animal Shelter.

Lake Erie Crushers – June 19 and July 10

Bring your dog to watch the Lake Erie Crushers take on the Traverse City Beach Bums on June 19th and the Joliet Slammers on July 10 at their park in Avon. Find out more here: http://www.lakeeriecrushers.com/information/promotions

Akron RubberDucks – June 8, July 6 and Aug. 10

Load up the furkids and head to Canal Park in downtown Akron! Visit http://www.milb.com/promotions/index.jsp?sid=t402 for more info.

From Puppypalooza 2014. #RIPPuppypalooza

Away games

For major league dog-friendly baseball games, you’ll have to travel a little ways. The Pittsburgh Pirates host dogs every Tuesday for home games. The Cincinnati Reds will welcome dogs on June 9, Aug. 24 and Sept. 13. Visit http://pittsburgh.pirates.mlb.com/pit/ticketing/pup_night_form.jsp for more details on Pirates’ games and http://cincinnati.reds.mlb.com/schedule/promotions.jsp?c_id=cin for more info on the Reds.

If you want to plan a road trip with your dog for a baseball game, check out GoPetFriendly’s list of dog-friendly baseball games across the U.S. : http://www.gopetfriendlyblog.com/dog-friendly-baseball-games-2016-schedule/

Don’t forget to tag your photos #dogsinthecle when you hit the town with your pup! I love to see your photos. I may even feature the photo on my Instagram account (@dogsinthecle).