What happened to the Dogs of Amazon?
When working from home means your dogs get to see you more
There are no guiltier eyes than those of preschoolers on their first day and dogs who watch you walk out the door on your way to work (or anywhere, really). Both can successfully make you feel like the worst person ever. So all I could do was laugh when I saw a recent Facebook post of a dog holding a “Daily Dog” newspaper with the headline, “Humans Stay Home, Dogs Overjoyed.” Sounds about right. The only time that you’ll ever be on your dog’s good side for going to work (assuming you don’t already work from home) is if you have a job that has a never-ending Take Your Dog to Work Day policy. And Amazon is one of those companies that does that quite well.
Although there haven’t been any new @DogsofAmazon posts on Instagram since Feb. 27, there are more than enough to enjoy. Get ready for truck delivery outfits, prowls underneath office chairs, a duo unapologetically sleeping on a desk and amazing Halloween dog photos.
But how did this all get started? In its official Amazon blog, more than 7,000 dogs are reportedly registered to hang out in the Seattle headquarters office. According to Lara Hirschfield, the “Woof Pack” Manager, “Amazon has been dog-friendly since Day 1.”
And Day 1 meant Rufus, who was a Welsh Corgi brought in by a husband-and-wife team. He wasn’t just there to be cute apparently. His paw was also used to click a computer mouse that would launch some early Amazon pages. You know that dog you see if you get a 404 error message on Amazon’s website? That’s not a stock photo; you may be catching a glimpse of a real Amazon dog strutting around the headquarters.
Of course being able to bring your pet to work means (s)he definitely has to be socialized. Prepare for some to get along better than others. And don’t underestimate the smaller ones of the pack around large dogs. I wasn’t quite sure how a Mini Schnauzer would react to a drop-off at doggy day care, although I’d been walking him since he was small enough to hold in one hand. But the minute he got there, he took off past at least 30 dogs (most of which were large), bum-rushing his way to the dog slide.
As I expected, Amazon’s headquarters also has a reception desk with treats. That made me miss one particular Cockapoo, who was adamant about stopping at the front desk of her condominium and a bank around the corner. (My favorite Maltese mix — a dog who barks so loud I can hear him from the gate two buildings away — is on the prowl for bank bones too.) If ever you want to get a dog in the habit of walking a certain direction, take note of dog-friendly businesses in the neighborhood. Once a dog has spotted the treats, be prepared for a protest if you try to go in the other direction and a surprisingly easy walk if you head toward the treat spot.
The headquarters does humanitarian work, too, including a prior assignment of more than 480 volunteer hours with a 90-person team — and three new dog parents by the end of it all.
And while the nation’s current situation may make it more difficult for dog groomers, dog walkers, dog boarders and dog sitters to bounce around like we used to, know that there are some companies (like PAWS) that are posting updates looking for temporary dog adoptees during region-specific lockdowns.
There’s also an option for a “virtual dog adoption” where viewers can check the dog out while still at home. (Note: There is a $300-$400 adoption fee that includes vaccinations, microchips, pet food and a spay/neuter surgery for of-age dogs. However, $100 is refundable for owners who complete a basic obedience class in the first four months.) So whether you’re a current dog owner who is enjoying working from home the way Amazon workers have been for years, or someone who misses the steady attention of a four-legged friend, just know there are other options.
And if all else fails, you can always just spend some time checking out your social media friends who post their dogs’ photos like their life depends on it.