Adverts: 0161 709 4576 - Editorial: 0161 709 4571
Mail Order: 0161 709 4578 - Subs: 0161 709 4575 - Webteam: 0161 709 4567
updated 2/11/01
Take your dog to work day 2001

Dog owners across Britain gave their canine companions a taste of working life when they took part in The Blue Cross's sixth annual Take Your Dog To Work Day on 25 September.

Sponsored by Pedigree and supported by Snappy Snaps, this year's event was the most successful yet with lawyers, hairdressers, shopkeepers and even a crane driver signing up to take their dogs to work.

All over Britain, the four-legged workforce put its best paw forward in schools, offices, hospices, factories, funeral directors and radio stations!

In Northamptonshire, Charlee had a barking time helping radio presenter John Griff get the Classic Gold Digital 1557 drivetime show on the road.

In Manchester, it really was Rover's Return as William Roache MBE took his Jack Russell Harry on the set of Coronation Street. William, better known to the nation as Ken Barlow, said "As a pet owner myself, with three Jack Russells and two Labradors, I know the benefits of having a dog around at work. Harry, one of my Jack Russells, loves coming to work on The Street with me.

"He'll sit by my side as I get ready in my dressing room and then have a sleep while I film my scenes. I have been known to take him for a little wander around The Street afterwards".

Celebrities lending their support to this event included Lady Victoria Hervey, TV presenter Philippa Forrester, Loyd Grossman, Julian Clary, Uri Geller, Coronation Street's Ken Barlow, Eastenders' Pat Butcher, Jilly Cooper, Anne Robinson, Jenny Seagrove and John McCririck

Over a thousand people across Britain entered their dogs for the event this year raising thousands of pounds in sponsorship for The Blue Cross. Although not all the figures have been added up as yet, 3,000 has already been sent in and we're expecting double that amount to come in over the coming weeks.

All the money raised will go to The Blue Cross to help it continue its work in the field of animal care. The Blue Cross has 12 adoption centres and four animal hospitals throughout the country and every year the charity finds loving new homes for over 7,000 unwanted and rescued animals and carries out over 50,000 veterinary consultations.

Take Your Dog To Work Day also promotes responsible pet ownership, by encouraging people not to leave their dogs 'home alone'.

Sadly, The Blue Cross often deals with cases of dogs suffering from separation problems - dogs that have been left for prolonged periods of time can get very depressed and lonely, which can lead to howling, tearing up the furniture and going to the toilet in the house. The Blue Cross takes in dogs that are sometimes no longer wanted because of their separation problem behaviour.

By holding Take Your Dog To Work Day The Blue Cross was asking people to give their dogs that extra bit of attention and love by taking them to work. Dogs are pack animals and are never happier than when they're surrounded by people or other animals.

Although we appreciate that not everybody can take a dog to work, we are hoping to draw people's attention to the fact that they should not leave their hounds 'home alone' for long periods of time. Four hours being the maximum 'home alone' time.

"Dogs are highly social creatures that thrive on companionship" explains Head of Animal Behaviour Services for The Blue Cross, Gwen Bailey.

Ice-breaker

"Unfortunately, when people try to juggle busy work and social lives the needs of their dogs can be forgotten".

Human beings also benefit greatly from taking their dogs to work. Having a dog around the workplace is a great ice-breaker with clients (so we're told by the many people who take part in the day every year), and dogs do seem to create a feel-good factor amongst bosses and staff alike - although we do stress that staff must check with their bosses before taking their dog into work as there may be health and safety issues or people who are allergic to, or frightened of dogs.

Having a dog around can also reduce stress, lower blood pressure and heart rates according to an NOP survey of GPs conducted by The Blue Cross last year.

The good news is that 3.5 million people in Britain already take their dogs to work regularly.

In recognition of these 'career canines', and as part of Take Your Dog To Work Day, The Blue Cross launched a nation-wide hunt to find the Top Dog at Work 2001.

The winner is Arnie, a 'canine nanny' at the Beltinge Day Nursery in Kent. Beating off hundreds of hopefuls from across the country, 7-year-old Arnie, an old English Sheepdog, received the award because of the role he plays in helping children with language and communication disorders.

Arnie has been going to work with his owner, Jean Hale, a speech and language therapist, since he was eight weeks old. He helps to relieve stress and take away the pressure from children who find it difficult to communicate verbally. According to his owner, he absolutely loves the children, as they do him

"Not all children are lucky enough to have a dog, but with Arnie they can share him and experience what it is like to have a dog around" said Jean.

As Top Dog at Work 2001, Arnie wins a year's supply of Pedigree Complete, plus a framed photograph and poster of himself from Snappy Snaps. A further 14 regional runners-up each scoop one month's supply of food from Pedigree and a Snappy Snaps goody bag.