Officially speaking, Take Your Dog to Work Day is still over two months away. The celebratory pup-focused occasion isn’t observed in most offices until June 22 this year, but for some companies it might as well be a doggone holiday every day. Amazon is one of those organizations.
Recently, the Bezos behemoth e-commerce company wrote a blog on its in-house website singing, or, er, barking the praises of its canine culture.
According to the post, at the business’ headquarters in Seattle, people share their work space with approximately 6,000 pooches. That’s a lot of puppy employees! Plus, these pups have one trailblazer to thank for their adventures in online shopping and workplace canine culture. His name was Rufus, he was a Welsh corgi, and he was originally brought to Amazon by a husband and wife duo, then quickly won over the rest of his human coworkers.
In fact, Rufus became such a beloved mascot, his colleagues took to using his paw to click on important projects (he clicked the mouse to launch some of the earliest Amazon.com pages) as well as using his visage on the site’s error pages, along with a few other model pups —Lucy the Labrador, Sherriff the golden-Aussie mix and Martini the Papillon, among them — who have since followed in his paw-prints. Not only that, but Amazon says there are multiple images and photos of Rufus throughout the company’s 8.1 million square foot campus. There’s also a building named after him!
“Having dogs in our workplace is an amazing treat. They make employees smile, and we’re proud this is such a uniquely Amazonian tradition. It’s truly ingrained in our company culture,” says Lara Hirschfield, Amazon’s ‘Woof Pack’ Manager. “Our employees love bringing their dogs to work and love meeting their co-workers’ dogs … Amazon has been dog-friendly since Day 1. Our dogs add to the fun, dynamic energy of our workplace.”
While many human Amazon employees get daily lunches catered in and happy hour Fridays, the pups enjoy the perks of spending their days alongside their owners, socializing with other canine coworkers and frequent doggie treats which stock every reception desk at the company’s headquarters.
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But wait, it gets better: According to the Amazon blog, “on the 17th floor of one of our buildings (Doppler), there’s a doggie deck — complete with a fake fire hydrant — where dogs can run around.” The grounds also feature “poop bag stations, designated dog relief areas, and dog-friendly water fountains.” And, as of this year, the company now offers a “community off-leash dog park … for employees and dogs in the community to enjoy,” with “rocks and other structures for dogs to play on.” Both in-office and outside play dates help facilitate camaraderie amongst employees (and their barking babies).
Finally, Amazon also dedicates itself to animal welfare. Beyond its dog-friendly campus, more than 90 employees (including volunteers and retailers) traveled to Tempe, Arizona, last year to support the Ohana Animal Rescue. The crew clocked in over 480 hours, completing the rescue’s renovation wish list, creating new “meet and greet” rooms, renovating the medical exam room, and organizing a 1,000 square-foot thrift store. Plus, three volunteers became new pup parents, adopting and bringing rescue pets back to their new forever homes — and their forever company.