Walker has a new employee, Star. She is a beautiful Lab/Retriever mix with a great disposition. Star is not a pet but is being trained to be a service dog. Star is a puppy that is currently part of an organization called ICAN. ICAN is the only organization in Indiana to use the prison system to train dogs. Once the dogs are trained, they are placed with all kinds of handicapped individuals (including recently training a dog to alert the owner with diabetes when their sugar is too low).
I always enjoy walking by the office where Star is to pet her, it just kind of brightens up the day. No matter what is going on, there is something about playing with Star that just seems relaxing and allows you to take your mind of the day for just a few minutes.
I had a client years ago that had a company dog. It was a very laid-back dog and when you first walked in, it spooked you a bit because this dog just walked up to you. Then you realize how sweet the dog was and how nice it was to have a dog walking around while you were meeting.
A recent article confirms the benefits of having a pet at work. Obviously this would not work everywhere, I have a son that is highly allergic to most dogs and cats. Clearly that would need to be considered before bringing in a pet to the workplace. I know there are other factors that would prevent something like this. However, my point is this is just another creative thing companies are doing to make the workplace just a little better, which is going to lead to improved employee loyalty.