In December 2016, with much excitement I was rolling out the first edition of the Office Dog Series. One year, 6 editions and 30 office dogs later, here we are celebrating its first birthday! So I thought it would be a nice gift to tell you a bit about the backstage of the Series and run a special edition, something one of a kind, a bit different from the 30 office dogs stories published so far, but still about dogs and offices…
Office Dog Series: one to five
In the beginning, the concept was that of a single blog post featuring 5 dogs working in Shoreditch. I will be forever grateful to Tilly, the Strategy Dog of Made by Many, and co-founders Tim and Isaac, if the idea shifted to a more complex project and the Series was born: some of the photos I took of her are still among my absolute favourites (like the one above) and I loved so much the interview answers Isaac gave that I thought it would have been a real pity not to dedicate her a single blog post.
So there it came, the idea of a new format: one office dog story a day for five working days! And didn’t only mark the first Office Dog Series’ edition: it was the beginning of a new exciting journey.
I had already started a Stories thread on the blog, to celebrate the unique bond between dog and handler and explore the different declinations of a human-dog relationship. But telling the stories of office dogs in that world behind close doors that is an office and agency life in London felt even more exciting.
Office Dog Series: Wall of Fame
Obviously the Office Dog Series couldn’t have been possible without all the companies, people and dogs who participated and supported it in various ways so far.
So the first big thank you goes to the companies that got on board and opened their doors for this project: Mother, Google, Virgin Galactic, Ogilvy & Mather, MullenLowe Profero, Made by Many, Design Bridge, Impero, ING Media, Ignis, Gluru, ThirtyThree, Make Us Proud, Movebubble, Dylan Collard, Margaret London, Inner Temple Garden, Kindred Agency, Perkbox, Abbott & Holder, KWB, Kontor Space, The Crocodile, V2 Studios, Zambuni PR, TopLine Comms, London Link Properties, Ace Hotel, Upper Studio and OPX.
Thank you to them also for their appreciation and support: it was delightful to see that Ogilvy & Mather publicised the feature of their agency dog in the Series on their blog, Virgin mentioning theirs in a blog post about their people, and being told by ING Media, many months after their feature, that their office dog’s participation in the Series remains the highlight of 2017.
Another due thanks goes to the lovely people. Not just for their participation but for the excitement filling the office when I visited it for a photoshoot and for their warm welcome. At Ignis, once I was even greeted by a message on their a cinema message board at the entrance of the office.
Last but not least… big woofs to THE DOGS. Excitable or quiet, old or young, shy or cuddly, you have made the Series unique as you are. Here is a furry little wall of fame (in order of appearance). Each photo links to the dog’s story if you want to read it.
Stories behind the stories
Behind the stories of the office dogs featured in the Series there are often anecdotes that remain untold. And some of them are rather singular. Just to mention one, I had probably the weirdest encounter ever at a building’s loo… A dark furry thing appeared from under the door; it took me a few seconds to realise it wasn’t a humongous spider but a just lovely office doggie!
Having a full-time job means that photoshoots fit in very early mornings, after-work hours, lunch-breaks and occasional annual leave days. I don’t have the luxury of time, and often would have loved to spend more time talking with the dogs’ humans or to give more space to the set up. I had to learn to get things done quickly and efficiently instead. I guess this adds spice to the making the Series in a way. Apart from the great fun I have, I love of the Series that it had nudged me out of my comfort zone on many fronts, including talking to complete strangers – which wasn’t that easy for me in the beginning -, learning new skills and working on continuos self-improvement.
Thanks to the Series I met many people from different backgrounds and industries, so I started thinking how lovely it would have been to introduce them to each other and set up a space for bringing them together. Members of the creative and tech industries and professionals from other sectors who share a love for dogs and their office with the four-legged… what could be better.
For this reason, I recently started a private LinkedIn group for participants to the Series, which aims to stimulate ideas exchange, enhance partnership opportunities, and celebrate canine colleagues. The network is at its early days, but hopefully it is going to evolve in something inspiring for everyone participating.
In general, I can’t wait to another year of office dog stories. In terms of features, there are already a few very interesting ones lined up for 2018. We will even have a theatre dog featuring in it!
Finally, I have a wish/dream list for the Series… one of the boxes I would like to tick is interviewing a dog-friendly law firm: the legal sector has been completely missing from the picture so far and it would be lovely to see a four-legged presence is the formal world of the big league law firms I get to visit with my regular job (if you know one get in touch!).
The Special Office Dog Pack Edition
But for now… to wish the Office Dog Series a HAPPY FIRST BIRTHDAY, we arranged a Special Office Dog Pack Edition, starting tomorrow!
First up will be Mother London’s dog pack, you will then read about DTV’s furry crew, Impero’s four-legged squad, and Ignis’ canine gang. Great readings for your morning commute, lunch-breaks and perfect as good-night stories…
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Thank you at beforehand for your generosity! All the best wishes!
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