Chloë Gets a Taste of What Real Work Is Like

As the weather gets cooler, I find myself spending more of the day in my blue dog bed on the floor in Mike’s office. In this spot I’m a lot warmer than I am outside in my exercise pen, and warmth is something that matters to me. In the office I also can bother Mike much more often than when I’m outside.

Chloë (lower center of photo) working outside Heather’s office.

But as much of an interruption as I can be to Mike when he’s sitting in front of  his computer screen all day (exactly what he’s doing,  I don’t really know, but he must be doing something, because he doesn’t just stare at the screen, sometimes he types and clicks, then stares some more), I could tell that Mike missed me when I went to Heather’s office every day last week. Mike’s trying to rest the knee that started bothering him three weeks ago,  so Heather took me to her office so she could be in charge of my walks and exercise during the day. This knee situation upsets Mike’s routine and devotion to daily exercise, so Mike is not very happy about it, and he’s lonesome at home all by himself. Heather and I dubbed him “Los Lonely Boy.”

On the other hand, perhaps Mike’s sad because now I know exactly how easy he has it every day. I didn’t know what real work was like until I went to Heather’s office for a whole week. Yikes, those people work! Heather and I left the house  every day before 8 a.m., and we never made it home before 8 in the evening. Even in the car, Heather doesn’t listen to loud rock music or baseball games like Mike does. She listens to important stuff on National Public Radio, but soon her mind drifts  and she’s thinking about work again. Next thing you know she’s talking out loud to me about work! After spending a week with Heather, it seems to me she’s pretty much always thinking about work (whereas  I haven’t the faintest idea what Mike’s thinking about, if anything).

Chloë and the CFO discuss strategic initiatives.

Except for a little nervous or protective barking, I was pretty well-behaved at Heather’s office. Many people complimented Heather about it, even the Chief Financial Officer, who was one of the many co-workers who came around to my exercise pen outside Heather’s office to say hello and give me a treat (conveniently located in a container on a chair next to the pen). I also attended  several meetings (and was in my best down-stay at every one) and even a team lunch (without once begging for food). My only disappointment came on Friday afternoon, when nobody put a note in my mailbox to let me know where they were gathering for Happy Hour.

That aside, we had fun breaks every time Heather took me out of the office for  exercise. We went to the UW Bothell campus and walked around its wetlands trail two or three times. I ran away there once,  and Heather came away with cuts on her legs from the blackberry vines she had to scramble through to track me down. We also did a lot of ball-throwing in her company’s huge, nearly empty parking lot, which has woods and trails around it.  My nose let me know a lot of squirrels were hanging out in the vicinity, and it never stopped twitching from the moment we left the building. I was so locked into squirrel mode that after I yanked Heather around a loop of the office park trail she was out of breath.  Then, even though it was already dark , we went back inside and Heather worked some more before we came home.  It’s a good thing she gave me some extra snack

Chloë waits for donuts in her cubicle.

Being with Heather and in a new environment was fun while it lasted, but I don’t see how I could do that five (or more!) days a week for the rest of my life.  This work thing seems much too stressful for me. Given the choice, I’m going back to Mike as soon as they let me. Mike’s pace is more in line with my bio-rhythms.

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