The benefits of bringing your dog to work: Our dog is part of the team!

In this blog, we talk to Steve and Carla Holmes of Dow Schofield Watts in Reading about the benefits of bringing your dog to work and how they made the decision to adopt.

Steve and Carla Holmes DSW Reading
Steve and Carla Holmes

Advising on strategic acquisitions is routine for Steve and Carla, but lockdown saw them make a key acquisition of their own with the addition of a furry four-legged friend. Summer, a golden Labrador, is now a regular in their Wokingham office at Berkshire Place.

When did you make the decision to get a dog?

Steve: My sister is a veterinarian, and she recommended a Labrador as the ideal dog for our family when we were considering getting a puppy. What we weren’t expecting was a phone call from her practice saying they had an eight-week-old golden Labrador puppy, weighing only two kilos, who had been abandoned and needed a new home – fast!

I tried to resist, but once Carla saw the photo, I knew there could only be one outcome. When we told our son, Oliver, the news, I think he was so excited he couldn’t quite process it. He was so taken aback that he assumed we had agreed to adopt a child rather than a puppy!

Summer the puppy | The benefits of bringing your dog to work
Summer as a puppy

Why did you give her the name Summer?

Carla: Oliver made the decision. Despite the fact that she arrived in the dead of winter, her name perfectly matches her bright colour and sunny personality.

How is she adjusting to office life?

Carla: Summer now joins us every day after a good hour’s walk and settles in while we work. We would never have believed it a couple of years ago if someone told us we would have our own business, had an incredible first year, including the completion of nine deals, and have a dog working with us! There are a few other dogs who come to our office building with their owners, so Summer enjoys catching up with her coworkers.

How has Summer impacted your life?

Steve: Carla and I had both previously worked for large accounting firms. Our lives are now all about finding the right balance. While we have client commitments like everyone else, we work in a different way; we work just as hard in many ways, but I’d say we’re less stressed and in control of our own destinies. Summer is a part of that balance. We wouldn’t have been able to bring a pet dog into the office or take a lunch break to walk Summer in our previous jobs. Dow Schofield Watts is a firm believer in rebalancing your life and regaining control of your time; after a year, we can attest to the effectiveness of their approach. It’s been a very welcome change.

Summer on a walk | The benefits of bringing your dog to work
Summer on a walk

How have clients reacted to an office dog?

Carla: They’ve been fantastic, really welcoming of her, but if bribery is required, Summer is a big fan of pigs’ ears. If she makes a little fuss when we’re having a meeting, one is quickly thrown in her direction. They used to last about two hours when she was younger, but now they only last about five minutes!

How have you found training Summer?

Carla: One of my clients is a dog trainer, and she’s been assisting us in training Summer. We also included our son, Ollie, in her training, and he walks her with us frequently in between his studies.

What kind of pet would your family have had if Summer didn’t come along?

Carla: If it had been up to Ollie, he would have chosen a snake because he adores them! However, I’d say his chances of owning one were (and continue to be) extremely slim!

Thank you, Carla and Steve, for providing us with an inside look at what it’s like to work with DSW.

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