Did I mention before that I work from home surrounded by my pets? Yes, it’s true. Your cat scratcher is made all by me within my home: Charley and Billie is very much a home affair.

The dustiest of jobs – drilling, chamfering, sanding – is done in my workshop where Charley and Billie prowl every nook and cranny, in search of those mice that I allow to find refuge from the elements. If the weather is good, I often bring a workbench and tools outside. This is my favourite workspace and I will often be found – paused with the drill in my hand – looking up to where two buzzards patrol the sky. All remainder works take over the house. The Robert Thompson dining table becomes a work station for the cutting of cardboard, which I find extremely apt as every piece of the Mouseman’s furniture houses a hand-carved mouse. Then there’s the office side. Just the other day I was sitting printing out orders while eating my breakfast. Suddenly, I felt a tap on my back – which worried me as there was no other person in the house! Turns out it was Charley, soliciting for a taste of butter.

 

So, regardless of wherever I am based in and around my home, Charley, Billie and Lány the Hungarian vizsla – even Squirtle, my son’s hamster – are never far away.

Often, they are a little too close for comfort and I have to be extra vigilant. Lány has a particular taste for wood shavings, so she has to be cleared out of the way when I’m woodworking. And there’s the odd time when I’ve found Charley sprawled out on the cardboard cutter, so the blade always has to be out of sight, just in case. Growing up with us, they have all become accustomed to the sound of power tools meaning noise is not a problem. Indeed, they can often be found lying close by with not so much as a twitch of an ear. The most memorable time has to be when Charley and Billie managed to get into a room where I had stacked hundreds of cardboard inserts, all cut, drilled and meticulously stacked in columns ready for assembly. While they might have enjoyed themselves, I assure you it was no fun for me, having to re-stack all over again! One final anecdote to relate is that, once assembled, I have to be super quick to package your cat scratcher before Charley and Billie offer their services in quality control – the scratch test! Rest assured their kind offer is always declined and their claws are re-located onto one of their own cat scratchers.

I’m wondering how many more of you work from home, with your pet by your side, and what positive effect this has on your working day? Or, whether you are fortunate to be able to take your pet to work with you?

I recently accessed a fabulous resource by Squarefoot that offers a wealth of information for creating a pet-friendly office.

I’ve not always worked from home and, many years ago, when working as a secretary I had taken my dog, Reid (one of four Staffordshire bull terriers, now all sadly passed) into the office with me. He’d had an operation to his cruciate ligament and while he was recovering I needed to keep a permanent eye on him. I was lucky to have an understanding boss who permitted this and so Mr Reid spent a week with me, laid comfortably on his bed under my desk. Needless to say, he was a big hit with all employees and received many an “Awww!”.

There can be many positives to including your dog – or other pet – in your work life within the office environment, but there are also considerations that need taking into account. I would highly recommend you take a look at Creating a Pet-Friendly Office Policy: What You Need to Know.

I’m waiting to hear about your experiences…