Be prepared to learn new stuff! Pet Sitters International is, I assume, an organization you did not know existed. It is an educational association for professional pet sitters headquartered in King, North Carolina, which represents nearly 7,000 folks who make a living taking care of dogs, cats and other companion animals when their humans are at work, traveling, or otherwise unavailable. PSI provides training and resources to its members along with professional certification and liability insurance. As an entity focused on making sure that animals get what they need, PSI absolutely gets my vote of thanks! Second new thing to learn today, PSI is also the organization that founded Take Your Dog To Work Day (TYDTWDay), celebrated the Friday following Father’s Day every year since 1999.
Perhaps not yet a holiday with the same following as President’s Day or Black Friday, TYDTWDay has indeed grown. In 1999, PSI’s first Take Your Dog To Work Day enjoyed the participation of an estimated 300 companies throughout the U.S., a number which grew to 5,000 in 2003 and continues to grow with the theme “Because who ever heard of working like a cat?!” As much fun as that slogan is I also very much appreciate PSI’s second theme for the day, “Make it your business to help pets in need.” Friday June 22nd marks the 20th annual celebration with activities planned throughout the U.S., Canada, Australia, the United Kingdom, New Zealand, and Israel. And wishing to avoid any accusations of speciesism the now weeklong celebration begins a week from today with Meow Monday.
While not every work environment might be appropriate or even safe for pets, finding dogs (and, to a lesser degree, cats) along with their people in offices and shops is of course an ever-increasing reality. But whether or not your workplace is right for Fido and Fluffy, please consider creating some opportunity next week to at least acknowledge if not actually help an animal in need – or (admittedly getting a bit self-serving here) helping an animal shelter like Peninsula Humane Society & SPCA.