Although we are quite a few weeks away from the dog days of summer, I had an experience with a dog this morning that brought a lot to mind. As I was doing my morning walk, I was loudly attacked, although not touched, by a very large dog who was doing his best to get away from his owner holding a strong leash. I do not know what cadence I may have walked or what smell I had that he did not like; but, for some reason, he did not take kindly to me walking near him. If the owner had not been a very strong man, I’m sure the dog would’ve gotten the better of me. As I continued my walk I noticed dogs with their faces pressed up against fences looking at me as I passed their houses.
I grew up in a small town where there were no leash laws or fence requirements for dogs. Just like all the kids in the neighborhood knew each other, so did the dogs. When we played king of the hill on the Gibson’s bomb shelter or kick the can, the dogs would play too. When baseball and football games broke out in my backyard, Mark, David, Brian, Billy, and Jane would come over. (My cousin Jane deserves to be in the Kids Backyard Sports Hall of Fame – if there is such a thing.) Accompanying my friends to our own Wild World of Sports would have been Duke (a tripod dog who lost a battle with a riding lawnmower), Ginger, Snoopy, Taffy, and a crazy dog aptly named Freud. They joined my loveable mutt, Missy.
Other than in parks in the city of Charlotte, it is very rare to see a group of dogs playing together. I’m sure that has to do with the fact that dogs cannot roam the neighborhood freely. Likewise, people do not get to know the neighborhood dogs as well either. We all, dogs and humans, probably miss out.
What does this have to do with labor and employment? Good question. How about this – let’s don’t be so leashed to our workstations and desk that we do not get to know our work neighbors. Rather than checking Facebook or the latest tweet on a break, get up and chat with someone. Who knows – maybe the work environment will be friendlier. Maybe even a discourse over a work item, rather than a series of emails, can solve an issue. Let the dogs out!