Works for Cookies

I spent 11 years working for a large nonprofit, with nifty job title, my own office, staff to manage. In other words, a JOB. And then, I left. I left it behind so that I could write fulltime (which is working out GREAT but that’s enough blog).

My commute is a few steps from my kitchen, coffee in hand. There’s no break-room chats — a plus for me because idle social chatter is not my forte. Unlike employee-centric workplaces that allow you to bring your dog to the office, my employer only tolerated the annual bring-your-dog-to-work holiday¬†if it coincided with the boss’s vacation. Big change there.

I’m a dog person. More importantly, my dog is a people mover. Waffles keeps my schedule like an old-school Amtrak conductor, big pocket watch in hand. If I linger on the sunporch with my morning coffee,¬† he’s up and staring at me, a wild-looking Wookie of a dog with a snaggle underbite. Time to work. And the reverse in the evening … try to work too long and he yaps that it’s time for a break. He has his own needs in mind as well, of course. Time to eat is a big deal that can resulting in pitching his bark to the painful range and cranking up the volume.

When Waffles is on the job with me, there is nothing better. He has a bed cozied up to my chair (truthfully he has at least one bed in every room to fit his idea of proper sleep patterns). He doesn’t move until I stand to take a break, which can be hours if I am on a roll with a scene or character who needs to be heard/understood/accommodated.

According to dog books, Lhasa Apsos were bred in ancient Tibet to guard monasteries. I credit his genes with his sense of time and responsibility. Time to rise. Time to eat. Time to pray (we do that over our evening meal). Time to watch TV (monks would do it today, right?). Time to sleep.

“An independent breed, the Lhasa’s goal in life is not necessarily to please their master,” says the American Kennel Club. Spot on. He doesn’t want to please me as much as keep me on track. Picture a shaggy personal assistant.

I also credit his mindfulness to the fact that he was a stray, deserted by someone, and snatched up by animal control to be adopted out by MSPCA. He lost his life for a while there and when he had a home again with my husband and me, damn if he didn’t take it all seriously. And I get the best work companion ever. Ever, really.


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