VICTOR TEIXEIRA – LMDI
Being made redundant last year from the job of my dreams was definitely a wake-up call. I had heard for many years that there was life outside of flying and I could see that many of my old colleagues were happy and fulfilled outside the airline industry. I just couldn’t imagine myself not being cabin crew after a 21-year flying career. The plan was to go more and more part-time until I was ready to focus totally on a brand new project or simply retire. Life had other plans for me though and I’m so grateful it did…
The first few months of working from home as an Independent Travel Agent were a huge adaptation, especially in the middle of a pandemic when there was virtually no travel happening. But I’ve always been a firm believer that the best time to start a new (ad)venture is bang in the middle of a crisis. So I did. And from being a Travel Agent I became the owner of a Travel Agency business.
Oscar (9) and Ollie (5 today)
Our dogs love the fact that we are both home, walking them longer than usual, spoiling them day in and day out, allowing them to sit at our feet while we work. Of course this comes with challenges, namely the barking during a Zoom call or the nagging for cuddles when closing a deal. But this still beats working for someone else any day. To say that I wish I’d done it sooner will sound like a cliché, possibly because it is; things happen when they have to happen. I’m just happy they did.
Here are a few stories of others who, like me, are blessed with the opportunity to work from home, in the company of their beloved pets.
Welcome to our March DogBlog!
LARS SVÄRD – Cinnabon aka Bonnie (2 years old)
Back in January I brought Bonnie into my life, hoping that it would soon become official. I passed the home check and she came home on 28th January. She is a two and a half year old English Bulldog rescue.
I had been on a waiting list (since August 2020) to adopt a rescue dog under three big rescue dog charities. I was matched with dog after dog but because I never got a home check it never got any further. By Christmas time I was close to giving up; I asked 2 of them why I was being totally ignored – after all we are animal lovers. We live down south and most rescue dogs are from Northern England, Scotland or North Wales. The problem is they only allow the dogs to travel a maximum of 2 hours from their rescue place. So I was always out of the question as I was in the wrong part of the country.
I was by then checking with both the RSPCA and Dogs Trust. They were also having problems getting the dogs down south as most of them were from London and the North. When I was about to give up, I got a phone call from the charity The Edward Foundation (EF) which does a great job for English Bulldogs. I was asked if I was still interested. As it turned out, they had a little Bull girl who was being returned from her adoption family. The foster home she was coming back to was located about 5 minutes’ drive from me in Brighton. As one of the heads of the charity had struck up a conversation with me during Autumn last year, she immediately put 2 and 2 together and knew she would be perfectly well with me. Also knowing I had no kids or lots of visitors made us a perfect match.
We are now such a bonded team… I had never had a stalker in my life before!!! I guess everything is a first: as I was having a bath after our evening walk, my little fan Bonnie grabbed her beloved “Duckie” and he was brought along into the bathroom but she did not stay awake for very long – what a lifeguard I have in her!!! Apart from being very tired from different activities during our walks, a little bit of training here and there, plus all the new scents to sort out! So the tired dog that falls asleep around 20:30 every night seems very satisfied in her new lifestyle and is a very keen and bright student, from training to walk properly on lead to getting traffic awareness into her perspective. The lasting consequence is an even softer-hearted, super-proud “dad” that can not stop cuddling and kissing EF Cinnabon, as well as singing her praises to anyone and everyone!
DAVID ROJAS – Gutierrez aka Guti (11 years old)
I have been working from home since March and I could not have asked for a better companion than Guti. At the beginning he was unsure of me invading “his” room. Then as I turned our dining room into an office, with a bigger bed for Guti, things improved. During the first few days, every call and every meeting was about him. He would wake up and come next to me, hit me in the elbow and get me to pet him. He loves sleeping under my desk – I have learnt the hard way to keep all cables tidy. One day, in the middle of a call, he took off suddenly and dragged my laptop, charger and headset all in one. Nowadays he is not that bothered about every call and my main worry is whether the other side can hear his loud snoring or not.
Something we both enjoy is a well-earned break. It makes all the difference to stand up, get out and disconnect for a few minutes. I walk him before I start, in the middle of my day and when I finish. Each and every walk is crucial for both of us. It has been a difficult process to adapt to this new way of working but having a loyal companion by my side has made everything better. It is soon going to be a year since I started working from home and all I can say is that there should be a dog in every office.
LEE SHARP – (Gizmo, 15 years old; Stitch, about 8; Flower, around 4)
I worked from home for a while before COVID, but only a couple of days a week, and without the stress of COVID impact on the business. Brexit really was nothing compared to this.
I’m part of a group of Directors who have been trying to navigate through the last 12 months. We work in an industry that was hugely affected. The stress that has come with that, the feeling of responsibility for your employees’ livelihoods, has never been greater. Whether their jobs survived was directly related to the decisions we made, many of which were 50/50 calls.
And what is scientifically proven to be better for stress than a furry family member?
We are a dog-loving company, loads of us have them, and they are always talked about when work chat is off the table. They’re often visitors to our offices. Here is a photo of Gizmo trying to get involved in the day’s work, taking a break from sleeping on his bed next to the radiator in my office.
Lockdown for all of us meant loads more time with them. Also more time they could appear on Teams calls (what’s Zoom?) where others who were perhaps living alone – or had the stress of kids at home whilst they tried to work – could also enjoy a smile or two before a meeting started. Some of our employees have actively fed back that people’s pets on video calls have been a real highlight of a difficult day.
They also helped to ensure I got good breaks. They needed walking a couple of times during the working day, and obviously what I called ‘Fuss Breaks’ were common escapes from the reality of what was going on.
Overall, a life saver for my mental health and sanity having them about.
SOPHIE MA – (Maisie, 4 years old; Selby, 3 months old)
Working from home with a pet…
So firstly there was me. Perfectly adequate… but frequently referenced; chatted to cups of tea, glasses of wine, beakers of squash, as if they were, in fact, people. Very, not normal.
So then there was Maisie (Chi/Cavalier cross) with the most hugest of ears. Pork loins.
We’re 4 years in and she’s absolutely A (amazing and annoying)!! We watch SATC in bed… she snores, she cuddles and she looks at me most days, with a WTF face. She’s never happy, or sad. She’s just for always grumpy and tolerant of life. She’s a MOG (meh’dog).
Old world, I’d be out for hours and hours, (naturally I had the FURBO watching her every (sn)move(ze) ) and she’d swan around all day sleeping and snacking… but new world… she never leaves my side – rolls eyes to heaven.
Monday morning. 6.32am.
Me: (gotta get up and shower)
Maisie: I’m starving. When did you last feed me? I need a wee. And a poo. NOW NOW NOW!
Me: (releases said monster into the garden for ‘essential matters’
Maisie: I DONE!!! I DOOOOOOoooooOOOOOoooooNE! Lemme back in!
Me: (here is your breakfast, I must now shower)
Maisie: ooOOOOOooooooh I wanna watch and freak you out!
(awkward cleansing ceremony takes place and I question whether Maisie is a creepy pervert, or in fact dead cute… – we’ll never know!)
Monday morning. 8.32am.
Me: (gets up to use the bathroom)
Maisie: WHERE YOU GOING? WHAT’S HAPPENING? OOOOOOOH I COME TOO!
Me: No, no. It’s fine, I just need a wee.
Maisie: OOOOOOOH YEAH THAT SOUNDS GOOD! I COME TOO!
Me: Oh no, you really don’t need to.
Maisie: Yeah I do. I COME TOO!
Me: FFS, yes, fine.
And we all pass water, together. There is then a prolonged period of sleep… (whoop)
Monday conference call.
Me: (chat chat chat – worky worky worky)
Door: Amazon Prime / Nextdoor neighbour / Postman / Person walking dog / breeze / leaf dropping off a tree…
Maisie: WTF WTF WTF WE’RE ALL GOING TO DIE AND I MUST SAVE YOU. AND ME. AND THE WORLD. AND ALERT THE UNIVERSE TO THIS TRAVESTY!
Me: FU**ING NORA!
Maisie: Oooooh it’s just a letter. Sorry, not sorry. Annnnnd you didn’t die, did you?! (All because of me)
Me: Fewmin! K Facepalm chaos.
And then I thought an addition would be fun.
Welcome to the world Selby!
He’s dreamy… and the madness continues.
Let us ALL go back to WORK, WORK, WORK – Soooooooooon!
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