coworker wants to bring puppy to work, working in a coffee shop after graduating, and more

It’s five answers to five questions. Here we go…

1. My coworker wants to bring her large, hairy puppy to work

My colleague has just bought a new puppy, a very large, long-haired breed which is notoriously energetic and difficult to train. So understandably, I think, I’m very concerned about their proposition to bring it into the office, especially as it’s their first ever dog and they have only ever owned cats, a pet that is independent and worlds away from the needy breed they’ve just bought. Initially the office were all informed of their plans to buy the dog. I’m a huge dog fan and know a lot about different breeds and although I was very happy for them I was really concerned that this dog wasn’t going to get the attention it needs to satisfy the amount of exercise and training the breed requires. Regardless, it wasn’t my concern and I don’t have much of a relationship with this person so I didn’t say anything.

However, a week later this person was asking the permission of everyone in the office via an all office email if they could bring it into the office two to three times a week. Along with this email, they sent a photo of the puppy and some spiel about the breed being hypoallergenic, which simply isn’t true as the breed malts heavily and still contains the proteins that cause allergic reactions, as do pretty much all breeds of dog regardless of whether they have hair or fur. I chose not to reply and instead bought it up with my boss.

My issue is that our office is not a suitable place for the dog. For starters, we have a small open plan office; there are exposed wires everywhere, which I think a young pup or bored dog would definitely chew. Secondly, we have a number of high profile meetings and the thought of someone walking into the office to find a big, hairy, territorial dog is hugely concerning and embarrassing. I did bring up with them that my partner was highly allergic, as I can be too, but I was met with the defensive response that the dog was hypoallergenic and they even abruptly confronted my partner about it when they first met! I’m really at a loss at what to do. This isn’t a dog that makes a cute office pet, like a small breed or lap dog, and I feel like my opinion doesn’t matter because I’m fairly new and everyone else is seemingly okay with it. To be honest, I feel really sorry for the dog and that my colleague made a selfish decision to go ahead and buy such a high maintenance dog that can’t be cared for sufficiently without encroaching on our professional space. I don’t know how to approach this.

Well, she did ask each of you for permission, so I’d go ahead and take that at face value and tell her no. You could say, “I tried to figure out a way for it to be okay, but I really can’t. Like I said, I’m highly allergic, even to dogs that are supposed to be hypoallergenic. I appreciate you checking with us all, and unfortunately I’ve got to say no for health reasons.”

If she pushes back, go talk to your boss again. Say this: “After Jane asked if she could bring her dog in, I explained I have allergies, but she’s continuing to push. I really can’t work around a dog for health reasons, even dogs who are supposed to be hypoallergenic — could you resolve this with her?”

I totally understand that you feel bad for the dog — I do too — but if she can’t care for him, it’s better that she figure that out sooner rather than later.

2. Why is my company advertising a job when we already know who we’re hiring?

We recently made a verbal offer to an intern, John, to bring him on full-time. My boss has shared this with the team, and we’re already discussing what projects John will be working on when he returns. I know we don’t have any other openings, especially this year.

Last week, a few days after we made an offer to John, I saw that a new job listing appeared on the company’s website, and it’s clearly for my department and for the job John will be filling. It seems like this posting is just checking off some HR box that there has to be an external job listing posted for every opening. I’ve seen this done before too, but only for immigrants, where I understand there are legal complications to hiring without showing that you couldn’t find any qualified U.S. applicants. John is a U.S. citizen, so this isn’t that.

I feel bad for applicants who will spend time tailoring their resumes and cover letters and applying for this job, when I know it’s not a real opening. Even if John ended up declining once the formal offer came in, in that case we wouldn’t be hiring anyone this year under that job description; otherwise we would be looking for a more experienced candidate at a higher pay grade that isn’t in our budget this year, and we decided to go with John instead specifically because we’ve already had a test run over the summer. What’s with these fake job postings? Why would HR require something like that?

They presumably have an internal policy that requires them to publicly post all job openings. The goal of that policy is supposed to be to ensure that they’re hiring the best person for the job, to avoid cronyism, or just hiring the person right in front of them, or just hiring from their existing networks (which can end up meaning hiring people who are all white/from the same college/otherwise demographically similar).

But if employers just follow the letter of the policy rather than the spirit — meaning they already know who they’re going to hire but they follow their own policy anyway — they’re violating the whole point of what their policy is intended to achieve.

Often when you see this, it’s because the rule has been imposed from above, and the people carrying in out in practice don’t understand what the rule was intended to achieve.

3. Is it a bad idea to work in a coffee shop for a year or two after graduating from college?

So I just graduated in May with a major in graphic design and a minor in marketing. My plan (also my dream at the time) was to land a job at a big ad agency in NYC fresh out of college. Obviously, that didn’t work out, so I ended up moving back to my college town to look for a job there in my field. I’ve been trying to find a job for about a month and a half in the area and haven’t gotten anything. A friend from college and I decided to take matters into our own hands and start a creative agency / freelance collective. Also, I’ve always been interested in coffee and just got a full-time barista job at one of my favorite coffee shops.

I guess my question is, were those good decisions to make? My family thinks it is ridiculous that I want to be a full-time barista instead of getting a job that is in my major. Although I don’t plan on being a barista forever, it is something I’d like to do for a year or two at the most. Will doing this affect my chances at a job in the future that is more related to my field of study? Would doing my agency on the side appeal to hiring managers at a creative firm or even in-house establishment even though my main position is a barista?

Well, a month and a half isn’t very long to search. So if you’re completely abandoning your search for work in your field after just six weeks, then yeah, I think that’s a bad decision — that’s giving up weirdly early.

But if you’re continuing to actively search and just working in the coffee shop to earn money in the meantime, that makes a lot of sense. But do keep actively searching. Right now, you’re a recent grad and so you’re going to be attractive to jobs geared toward recent grads. In two years, if you haven’t worked in your field, it’s going to be much, much harder to get hired for a job in it — to the point that some people in that situation never get back in.

If you’re able to bring in significant work through the agency with your friend, that’s going to be impressive (and will count as working in your field). The catch, of course, is in whether you’ll be able to do that. So until you see how/if that pans out, I’d continue to very actively search.

4. Does my boss want me to call him Mr. ___?

I’ve worked at the same place for the past five years and there has been a slow, but noticeable, culture shift among administration and supervisors away from calling subordinates by their first names in favor of calling everyone Mr. or Ms. ______. So when my boss emails me, he writes “Dear Mrs. Doe” instead of “Jane.” I really hate this, but that’s not a question!

When my boss addresses me as “Mrs. Doe,” I’d assume that he would like me to address him as Mr. whatever. But in person for the past five years, I’ve been calling him by his first name and it seems just silly to not use that in email. Also, when he signs his emails he just puts his first name.

I realize he probably does not care about this at all, but I’m afraid of seeming overly formal or overly casual. Did I mention that my boss and I don’t have a great relationship, so I’m often on eggshells around him anyway?

The fact that he’s signing his emails to you with his first name is a pretty clear signal he’s fine with you addressing him by his first name, so I’d continue to do that.

Also, if you want to, it would be fine to say, “I actually prefer going by Jane.” I suppose if that’s totally out of sync with your culture now, you’d want to consider whether it will stand out in a bad way — but in general it’s considered acceptable to ask someone who has known you for five years to use your first name.

5. How do I network when I’m looking for a new job?

I’d like to begin looking for a new job. My industry is rather small and I can be picky at the moment, so I’d like to network rather than just rely on the job boards I’ve used in the past … but I have no idea how one does that!

Should I reach out to some contacts at interesting companies on LinkedIn/email and mention that I’m beginning to look for a new role, I admire their organization, and to keep me in mind if anything comes up? I’ve been a teapot sales rep, but I’d be interested in doing other teapot work. Should I mention that as well? What if my contact is at a senior level, but outside the department I’d likely work in? Should I still message them? Any advice would be greatly appreciated!

Yes, send those messages! But don’t just ask them to keep you in mind if anything comes up — that’s too vague and easily forgotten about. Say something more specific, like “I’d love to talk to you about the work you do” or “If I might be a fit for any of the roles your company needs to fill — either now or down the road — I’d love to talk with you or someone else there.” (Also, make sure you look at their online job openings first, because if they are hiring for something you’re well matched with, you don’t want to sound like you didn’t think to check first.)

I’ve got more specific advice here and here.

{ 414 comments… read them below }

    1. Ramona Flowers*

      I quite like dogs, and bringing them to work is cool if they’re well-behaved, but doing it because you made a poor choice of breed and are the kind of crappy human being who basically regards animals as toys really sucks.

      OP has brought it up with the person but hasn’t replied and outright said no. Definitely time to do that.

      1. Daisy*

        We don’t actually know any of that stuff- whether the dog was a poor choice, or is well-behaved, or how the owner sees dogs. There’s only the fact that the owner asked to bring it to work, and a lot of OP grandstanding about how much more they know about dogs than anyone else. Saying ‘I don’t like dogs in the office’ seems plenty, I don’t see the need for all these assumptions.

          1. RL*

            Nope, I agree. It’s 3 long paragraphs of “I know better than you and you’re soooo irresponsible.” This is SO INCREDIBLY JUDGMENTAL, a direct quote: “it’s their first ever dog and they have only ever owned cats, a pet that is independent and worlds away from the needy breed they’ve just bought.” and this – while admitting you don’t even really KNOW this coworker: “although I was very happy for them I was really concerned that this dog wasn’t going to get the attention it needs to satisfy the amount of exercise and training the breed requires.” and this: “To be honest, I feel really sorry for the dog and that my colleague made a selfish decision to go ahead and buy such a high maintenance dog that can’t be cared for sufficiently…”

            You can be opposed to having a dog in your office (and had the right to say that when you were asked, rather than declining to answer) without being so judgmental about your coworker’s life, situation, and family decisions like getting a dog. I am just blown away by the tone of this letter. If I had a coworker like this, I’d steer clear. Unbelievable.

            1. Dust Bunny*

              It’s a pet owner’s responsibility to be realistic about what kind of pet suits their lifestyle. I no longer keep dogs because my hours don’t work with their needs. I can’t afford doggie daycare, I’m gone too long to leave them in the house, and it’s too hot where I live to leave them outside, nor do I want them getting bored and turning into barking nuisances. So I have cats.

              And, frankly, people get large, energetic, dogs all the time and then sorta-neglect them. Not abuse, but not really enough exercise or mental stimulation for, say, large, intense, hunting breeds. It’s not the worst, but it’s also not really the best situation for the dog.

              Anyway, it’s not on the coworkers to make large-dog ownership possible for this person. S/he should have had a plan *before* the dog was acquired, and should not be pushing to bring it to work once s/he’s been told no.

              For the record: My breed of choices is about 30 pounds and medium-energy. Very manageable in an office setting. I would still *never* bring them to work.

              1. Sheworkshardforthemoney*

                Sometimes it’s the breed of the dog not the size. My friend has a Rotti who is a full grown love bug, super gentle, friendly and obedient. I know two chihuahuas who can’t be trusted as far as you can see them. That been said, why not go with a two week trial, if the dog is too disruptive at least then you can say you tried.

                1. Hibiscus*

                  And age. My sister was an experienced large dog owner, had had Great Danes and Dane mixes before, but her newest dog, a Great Dane puppy, almost wrecked her. Three years later Gracie is a wonderful dog, but it was a lot of work for her, her husband and young children to get there.

              2. Karen D*

                I have to agree. Maybe the OP piled it on a *little* too thick but this is a serious situation and the OP feels as if valid concerns are not being addressed.

                Aside from the allergies, which are a serious issue, OP knows this co-worker, and has a basic understanding of how responsible and disciplined this person is. If the OP believes this particular dog plus this particular co-worker are going to constitute a problem, I think we should probably give OP the benefit of the doubt.

                Years ago, I worked in a small, pet-friendly office. For months it was just two well-behaved dogs (one smallish, one mid-sized, both very mellow and well-behaved). Then one of the employees acquired a big, hairy, rambunctious 7-month-old dog. From the beginning, we all knew this was going to be trouble. Not just because the dog was not the kind you’d expect to behave, but because this co-worker was not the type of person who was going to behave responsibly. The dog was eating the other dogs’ food, jumping up on desks and yep, chewing everything in sight. It was also prone to be physically aggressive with the other two dogs. Throughout all this, the dog’s owner did very little to corral the behavior; in fact, more than once he brought the dog to work without any food and asked to “borrow” food from the other dog owner, reinforcing the bad behavior.

                Things finally came to a head when the big puppy bit one of my co-workers. Fortunately, our management didn’t just slam down a no-pets policy, but things got very tense and unpleasant when the co-worker was told that other co-worker’s dogs could keep coming to the office but his was no longer welcome.

                He actually ended up quitting a few weeks later and posting all over social media how he and his dog were “outcast” because his dog was just “being a puppy.” He got a lot of sympathy and stirred up bad will against our company. And we all pretty much saw it coming, just based on who the human beingwas and how he’d behaved since he started there.

                1. aebhel*

                  Right, OP presumably knows this person and can make a reasonably good prediction of how they’re going to behave as a pet owner; she hasn’t actually shared any of these concerns with the coworker, either. It’s not evil to say ‘I’ve had concerns from the beginning that this person was making a commitment they weren’t prepared for, and lo and behold now they’re in knee-deep and dumping the problem on my lap.’

                2. Anonymouse*

                  Also as I mentioned below I get the sense that EVERYONE in the office is going to co parent/have to take care of the dog based on how coworker is acting.

                  (Assuming work is cool with bringing a dog to a non dog friendly office, asking permission but refusing to take no for an answer when OP mentioned allergies, confronting OPs partner, thinking a puppy in an open plan office is a good idea to begin with).

                  The following I see playing out:

                  * Coworker making someone else watch the dog because they’re making an important call/going to a meeting/using the bathroom

                  * Coworkers having to clean up accidents in general plus when above happens.

                  * Coworker getting upset at someone for yelling at/disciplining dog. (I.e pulling it out from under desk to stop it chewing cords, peeing/pooping inside, nipping or biting someone and they react)

                  * Puppy nipping/biting someone and owner shrugging it off as puppy being a puppy instead of teaching them that biting people is wrong.

                  * Business expenses going up to replace things puppy chews or forcing coworker to replace them.

                  * Coworker getting defensive/combative whenever someone brings up a legitimate concern about the dog and impacting their interpersonal relationships.

            2. Liz T*

              As someone who’s primarily a cat person, I think OP is right to grandstand here! A dog is a far bigger commitment than a cat, as we all know–if a lifelong cat person said, “I’m getting a large rambunctious hard-to-train puppy!” and a few weeks later said, “…and I need to bring it to work a few days a week,” that sounds to me like someone who’s bit off more than they can chew.

              It’s a horrible feeling to see a dog in the ownership of someone who didn’t understand the commitment they were making.

              1. all aboard the anon train*

                The letter says the coworker asked if she could bring the dog in, not that she needed to, so I think that’s reading too much into OP’s letter.

                Besides, it’s not really OP’s place to decide the coworker is incapable of owning or training a specific dog breed. It’s pretty presumptuous.

                1. Anonymouse*

                  Asking implies they need to.

                  Dogs, unlike cats can have a lot of varying needs based on breed. I.e how much grooming, exercise and space they need to be happy.

                  From what OP knows about dogs and their coworker they can make fair assumptions about how well suited the dog they’ve chosen is for them.

                  E.g They work long hours with a long commute and have a small backyard. Hetting a working dog breed (like a sheepdog, cattle dog or similar) is not going to work well. The dog will do a lot of boredom chewing and other destructive behaviour.

                  Or they live in a small apartment with lots of noise sensitive neighbors. Getting a large guard dog breed who will bark at any disturbance is not going to work.

                  OP has noted the breed the coworker has chosen is difficult to train and they aren’t an experienced owner. Asking to bring the dog to work also shows they wouldn’t otherwise have the time needed to train this particular breed.

                  OP has also noted in the comments that coworker doesn’t want to use doggy daycare and in the letter confronted OPs partner about their allergy.

                  So I’m taking OP at their word and agreeing that there is a mismatch between the breeds needs and what the coworker can provide.

              2. MrsCHX*

                My cat is so needy. Now that I’m an empty nester my cat is actually(!) depressed because he just does not get enough people-time. We’ve always called him our puppy-cat.

                1. la bella vita*

                  I call mine the same thing (puppy-cat)! She definitely sleeps all day while I’m at work, but as soon as I get home the little chatterbox runs around my feet and then wants to lay on me and purr and snuggle as soon as I sit down.

                2. justsomeone*

                  My cats are also very, very needy. You might consider getting your cat a cat. We did and it really helped our very needy cat. We say we got our cat a therapy cat.

                  That being said, I’ve also grown up with dogs, and needy dogs and needy cats are two very, very different situations.

            3. Stop That Goat*

              I’m not sure I’d go as far as you have but I did find their personal opinions about this coworker’s ability to take care of pets to be a bit much.

              That being said, most offices aren’t the right place for a puppy to be.

            4. aebhel*

              The coworker opened herself up to judgement when she made her life, situation, and family decisions her colleagues’ problem.

              Nobody has the right to judge me for having kids, but if I demand to bring my kids to work because I can’t be bothered to find daycare/don’t like the daycare options/just really think my kids should be with me all day, my coworkers would absolutely get to call me an irresponsible parent.

              1. Stop That Goat*

                Whoa…nobody is making any demands and I’ve heard plenty of parents comment about wanting to be with their kids all day or not liking daycare options. That doesn’t have anything to do with irresponsibility.

                1. Vegan Atheist Weirdo*

                  You seem to have missed the word “if” in aebhel’s comment. “…if I demand to bring my kids to work….” And in a situation where a new parent has a child/children fully intending to incorporate them into their daily office routine, then yes, that’s irresponsible unless the office in question has an established culture of everyone bringing their kids to work and still somehow getting their job done. The reasons they want to do it aren’t why it’s irresponsible; the issue is the unrealistic expectation that this will all be fine with everyone affected by it.

                2. aebhel*

                  I am a parent, and I get how hard it can be to deal with daycare. But it would still be incredibly irresponsible and insensitive of me to just decide that I was going to bring my kids to work and steamroll any objections. Which is what coworker is doing here: she may have ‘asked permission’, but she clearly isn’t willing to hear a soft ‘no’ in the form of ‘uh, I have allergies, actually’. She’s making her failure to come up with an adequate plan taking care of her dog her coworkers’ problem and hoping they just go along with it. That’s irresponsible.

            5. AKJ*

              I got my first dog about two years ago, after having only owned cats. It was a learning experience! My little shelter mutt was 13 weeks old when I brought her home, and she turned out to be the exact opposite of the dog I was expecting. It took a while for the two of us to get settled into a routine, and there were a few bumps along the road, but now I wouldn’t trade my dog for anything in the world. She is, without a doubt, one of the best things that has ever happened to me.
              But I’m sure people were rolling their eyes at me too, because I knew next to nothing about dogs! And since I’d adopted a mixed-breed dog, her behavior was not a given. But, like I said, it took time, but we figured it out. If the co-worker is committed to her pup, she probably will too. We all have to learn what we don’t know, right?
              I do think dogs in the office are a little weird, though. I never even considered bringing my dog to work! I would suggest doggy daycare as an alternative, if that’s a possibility. (I know it’s not for everyone, or every dog, and it can be expensive, but my dog just loves it. She only goes once a week, but that works out well for us both.)

              1. JAM*

                I recently adopted a new dog who was sweet and timid and always snoring and easily scared. Within 10 days she was crazy and insane and still afraid of the trash man but with endless energy and no ability to rest or nap without being told. She lived in a foster home with 10 other puppies and was underfed so once we fed her more and she didn’t have 10 other dogs to wear her out she became the wild one. I definitely bit off more than I could chew but my husband really fell for her after a recent pet loss and there’s no turning back now. She’s definitely going to join a doggie daycare crew 1-2x/week for my sanity and thankfully I can visit her for now over my lunchbreak since I’m nearby.

                There’s several dog-friendly employers in my city who essentially have a doggie day care on site or who even allow them by the desks and they are huge perks. I definitely applied to those places when job hunting in the past.

            6. Vegan Atheist Weirdo*

              I agree with Dust Bunny, Liz T and aebhel, this is not grandstanding on OP’s part. They’ve not indicated that they expressed any of these other concerns to the new puppy co-worker; they’re sharing them with us to help explain why the situation is a difficult one for them. Co-worker has already tried to steamroll over the allergy objection. In OP’s shoes, I’d have a concern that putting my foot down about having the dog at the office could result in a negative outcome for the dog. That’s not something that OP should have to worry about, but maybe they are.

              I’m a cat person, but as dogs go, I tend to prefer the temperaments of large breeds. I live in a tiny condo and work full time. I’d never do this because it wouldn’t be fair to the dog, and I’d certainly never do it presuming I could expect my co-workers to accommodate a dog at the office. OP’s co-worker sounds like they’ve made a very selfish, poor choice.

              1. OP #1*

                Vegan Atheist Weirdo, thank you. I appreciate your understanding of what I’ve said. Setting aside how I feel about the office not being a good space for the dog (too small, not enough stimulation, too many wires), my main concern is the allergies and the serious lack of care for this by my co-worker. I’m not making assumptions on her ability to train the dog, not at all, but with both my knowledge of breeds and my partner’s allergies, this office isn’t a suitable place for it to be.

            7. Risha*

              Yeah, I agree. It’s not any of her business how well suited she thinks this particular breed is to this particular person, unless she has an actual reason to believe that the dog is being neglected or abused. All I see is assumptions. For all she knows, the new owner did her research, the dog gets hour long walks morning, noon, and night, and right now goes to doggy daycare every day while she is at work.

              (For that matter, I’ve met a ton of lazy dogs from supposedly high energy breeds that are perfectly fine being left alone for 10 hours every day.)

              1. Risha*

                I now see below that the OP does know that the dog doesn’t go to doggy daycare for financial reasons. The rest of my comment stands. I see a ton of assuming going on in her comments. I’m a-OK with her saying she doesn’t want dogs in the office (my dog would never in a million years be a good fit in one, for instance, and I probably wouldn’t bring him in even if he were. I don’t think they’re a particularly good fit in the vast majority of businesses). But the defensive judginess of things that aren’t any of her business is a bad look on her.

              2. Kate 2*

                One of the rules on this site is that we take OP’s at their word. They know their situation better than we do.

              3. OP #1*

                Vegan Atheist Weirdo, thank you. I appreciate your understanding of what I’ve said. Setting aside how I feel about the office not being a good space for the dog (too small, not enough stimulation, too many wires), my main concern is the allergies and the serious lack of care for this by my co-worker. I’m not making assumptions on her ability to train the dog, not at all, but with both my knowledge of breeds and my partner’s allergies, this office isn’t a suitable place for it to be.

                Risha, I can confirm that the dog isn’t in doggy daycare, as i said in my letter. Furthermore, I’m not making any assumptions about her ability to train the dog.

            8. Amy G. Golly*

              Am I the only one who’s verrry swayed by the coworker’s insistence that the dog is “hypoallergenic”? Not just that they believe a hypoallergenic dog is a thing that exists (it doesn’t. Just some dogs that cause fewer allergy symptoms for some people than other dogs do) but that they’ve used this misconception to shut down the OP’s concern that they have allergies? To me, that’s a huge indication that this person may not have done all the research they could have, and is making their request in bad faith. (After all, if you ask for permission, but aren’t willing to hear the word “no”…)

          2. Kate 2*

            I disagree with you Daisy. When you know a little about dog breeds, it can be easy to spot a disaster coming a mile away. I know of a few families who got dogs they couldn’t take care of, it always ended badly . . . for the dog.

            One was an elderly couple who adopted a high energy working breed. They overfed him and took him on walks twice a day. A slow walk isn’t nearly enough for a dog like that. She ended up gaining an enormous amount of weight and died of heart failure brought on by the weight gain at the age of 5.

            So yes, some of us animal lovers do feel a little passionately about these situations. And no, I don’t think OP was judgmental. They described the situation as succinctly and clearly as they could. Aren’t we always asking LWs for more details??

        1. sybil carpenter*

          I agree–I think OP is well-intentioned but comes off as a bit “grandstandy”. I, of course, feel badly for the pupper if he/she is going to be in a potentially unsafe environment in the office, but based on what OP said, the owner seems far from the kind of person who “regards animals as toys” if he/she is trying to make accommodations to bring the pup into work instead of staying alone at home. Has no one suggested doggy daycare? Or is that financially unfeasible for the owner?

          1. Ramona Flowers*

            And I think OP comes off as knowledgable about dogs and concerned about both their welfare and that of the dog.

          2. OP #1*

            Sybil Carpenter, my coworker had contemplated such arrangements before purchasing the dog. Jane believed that she could split time with the dog between her and her partner (who, from my understanding, is able to work from home 2 days a week), bringing the dog into the office 3 days a week. She had stated that she didn’t want to put the dog into daycare for financial reasons and that she wanted to bond with him. Which I think is more than fair. However, I do feel like alternative arrangements were a bit of an afterthought and I feel like we’re being forced to accept the dog in the office because of the reasons she has against day care.

            1. Danger: Gumption Ahead*

              Remember though, there is no forcing going on here. She asked permission and you (and anyone else who objects) can say no. Then she will have to come up with alternate arrangements.

              1. aebhel*

                Once OP said that she had allergies, that should have been the end of the conversation. That the coworker kept pushing after that speaks very poorly of her.

                1. bunanza*

                  Ideally, yes, that should have been the end of the conversation. But in many, many contexts, a soft “no” is met with resistance, and the right thing to do is to give a harder “no”. It doesn’t sound like OP has done that. I empathize with where they’re coming from, and I think their coworker sounds very ill-suited to owning this dog, but she asked directly…so, directly say “no, I am not comfortable with that,” and escalate the issue if she won’t accept an actual refusal.

              2. Snark*

                She asked permission, and then got pushy and confrontational when she didn’t get the answer she wanted. I’m not exactly convinced.

            2. Feline*

              What led the coworker to believe, before the purchase of the dog, that she would be able to have the pup at work 3 days a week? That seems like a huge assumption on her part unless there’s a reason.

              I’m not a fan of non-service dogs in the office because people tend to underestimate how disruptive their dogs are, the same way parents underestimate how disruptive their kids are. It’s just what happens when you live with them every day and someone else who doesn’t is trying to concentrate to get work done. I can’t imagine how much more disruptive this would be in an open plan office where there’s effectively no containment.

              1. Myrin*

                What led the coworker to believe, before the purchase of the dog, that she would be able to have the pup at work 3 days a week? That seems like a huge assumption on her part unless there’s a reason.

                I agree. To be honest, reading the question but even moreso OP’s follow-ups, this seems like a bit of a case of “asking forgiveness rather than permission” or, maybe more to the point, the dreaded “You have to give me X time off, I’ve already bought the tickets for my Special Trip!!” to me (only worse because there is an actual living being that depends on her involved).

              2. Ell*

                “I’m not a fan of non-service dogs in the office because people tend to underestimate how disruptive their dogs are, the same way parents underestimate how disruptive their kids are.”

                DING DING DING!

                Well said.

                1. Lissa*

                  Yes yes yes. There are some things people tend to be really bad at evaluating. See also: how good people are at multitasking. It’s usually not as good as they think they are…

              3. K.*

                I agree. Bringing dogs to work is not common practice. Unless this is an office where people regularly bring their non-service dogs to work, it’s odd to me that she felt like this would be OK. This came up once at a previous job; a woman wanted to bring her puppy in and her boss was basically like “What? No.”It was not a dog-friendly office so it was seen as a really odd request. And a puppy that isn’t trained in an open-plan office is a recipe for disaster. I get that day care is expensive, but that’s not her company’s problem to solve.

                1. Koko*

                  Yeah…I hate to say it but I wouldn’t even want to bring my reasonably well-behaved little dog to work unless I had an office where I could close the door the whole time, because “well-behaved” doesn’t meant “not distracting.” If we had an open plan she’d be running to the window every time a car pulled up and softly growling to alert us to people in the parking lot, dropping her tennis ball at random people’s feet and expecting them to play with her, and doing a lot of pacing and panting when she wants me to take her out and I tell her to wait. All of that behavior is more or less fine for her to do in my home, but it would be distracting in an office.

                2. fposte*

                  @Koko–Right, “well-behaved” for a dog isn’t the same thing as the best office behavior for an animal. An untrained snoozing lump is probably a better fit than yer average border collie.

                3. Dust Bunny*

                  My last dog was 32 pounds, people-friendly, well-behaved, mostly silent, and a committed napper, and I would still never have brought her to work. And my boss probably would have let me if it had been an absolute emergency (none of my coworkers are allergic and our office is mostly closed to the public), but I wouldn’t have asked.

                4. Vegan Atheist Weirdo*

                  Heck, I wouldn’t bring my cat to work because I’d never get anything done. He wants me to pay attention to him and nothing else. He’d be laying across my hands on the keyboard, resting his head on my trackball-hand so I couldn’t do anything without disturbing his highness. And when he wasn’t doing that, he’d be sitting at my feet hollering (yes, my cat hollers) at me to get up. Why? I don’t know, and I don’t think he does, either. And when he wasn’t doing that, he’d be jumping up on top of my credenza or bookshelves and casually knocking things down or yowling at shadows on the ceiling. Or scratching his nails in my guest chair. Or….

                5. hayling*

                  Totally agree with Koko. My dog is a great companion at home, but in the office he would be randomly running off, barking at the doorbell, and/or getting the “zoomies” and running down the hallway. Oy.

            3. bookish*

              Wow. So the three days a week is based on her partner’s work from home schedule. Were it not for that, would she be asking to just bring the dog every day??

              Yeah, you don’t get to take on responsibilities like that only to bring them to work. I can’t imagine a (non-service) dog in an office if it’s anything less than the type of tiny lap dog who doesn’t so much as bark and stays in their carrier. But this seems more like a “my dog can’t stay cooped up at home all day! He needs to be able to run free – at my office, because that’s where I’ll be.”

              FWIW, I have allergies to the point where I wasn’t even allowed to get the smallest pet (no cat, no dog, no hamster, no fish, no hermit crab) and if someone emailed asking everyone’s permission about bringing a dog in, and I was in an open office, I would immediately write back and say no. Honestly I can NEVER trust “hypoallergenic” to mean “I will be totally okay being around this animal, no trouble breathing, no breaking out into itchy hives, it’s fine!”

              1. Aud*

                I agree with the not trusting the hypoallergenic claim. I’ve had a few people make that claim about there pets and I’ve still left their houses sneezing and itching.
                It would never occur to me that the anwer to can I bring in my new puppy would ever be yes. Absent of any other pets already running around the office.

                1. Anion*

                  My husband is allergic to dogs, generally, but some really bother him and some not at all/barely at all. Oddly enough, it’s hounds of any type and other short-haired dogs that he has a big issue with–dogs many consider to be “low-allergy” because they don’t really shed. The collie-shepherd mix we used to have was no problem for him, and neither is my dad’s GSD.

                  So yeah, “hypo-allergenic” isn’t always hypo-allergenic.

          3. aebhel*

            Buying a dog that needs a lot of attention when you don’t ALREADY have a workable solution is at best incredibly selfish and shortsighted. Post-hoc hard-selling her coworkers into a totally unworkable and inappropriate situation because she couldn’t be bothered to do her research beforehand about the dog’s needs is not even remotely an appropriate accommodation, any more than me demanding to bring my kids into work every day because I can’t be bothered to find daycare would be appropriate.

            Sorry, I’m with OP on this. Coworker is behaving badly toward both her pet and her colleagues.

            1. AdAgencyChick*

              Yeah, that was pretty dumb on the coworker’s part. I have worked in offices that allow dogs, but that situation was there from the beginning (and spelled out to everyone who interviews there). Trying to change the status quo and asking for permission but not taking no for an answer is pretty presumptuous. Coworker should have asked whether this would be a problem BEFORE getting the dog, not after.

              I like dogs a lot, and don’t mind having them in the office. But I don’t blame others who feel differently, especially if the dog isn’t perfectly behaved.

          1. Daisy*

            What about what I said didn’t assume good faith? OP said herself that she hasn’t met the dog, and doesn’t know the coworker well, and the part about the coworker thinking dogs are toys was an extra assumption by the commenter that isn’t based on anything in the letter.

        2. Stellaaaaa*

          People who don’t like dogs are used to being challenged or even treated like they’re bad people for simply not liking dogs. It’s understandable that non-dog people would have something of a rehearsed response in their head and a bunch of well-articulated objections to being forced to be in proximity to dogs. There’s a type of dog owner (like OP’s coworker) who will push and push and not believe you when you say that you’re allergic or scared of dogs or plain don’t want to be around dogs. Incidentally, this is often the type of dog owner who also thinks it’s adorable when their dog chews on wires and jumps on an unprepared person, so yeah, OP isn’t out of line to be preparing a lengthy and reasoned response to a dog owner who isn’t listening.

          1. Gee Gee*


            Not liking dogs is often Not Allowed. I don’t get it. Say you don’t like cats, and it’s a big joke about how terrible they supposedly are.

            1. Ell*

              HA! Try saying that you don’t have an affinity for babies or young children and THEN see how you get treated!

                1. Fifty Foot Commute*

                  I’m not terribly fond of dogs /especially puppies/ or children /babies/, and this has been my experience.

                  I’m also sorry that my parentheses don’t work right now.

                2. Fact & Fiction*

                  Shoot, I write fiction and have noticed that fictitious lay killing off children generally engenders far less vitriol than killing off an animal.

                3. JamieS*

                  Fact & Fiction, I’m not surprised. According to a circa-1953 propaganda film I’m completely fabricating for the purposes of this comment, only Communists and Communist sympathizers wouldn’t take issue with an author killing off a puppy.

                4. MrsCHX*

                  Agreed!!! I am not a dog person. I do not dislike them, I just do not think your random dog is adorable enough to want it to sniff/touch me. I like my mom’s dog and my friend’s dog…not stranger dogs. Please keep your dog off of me.

                  You’d think that by asking “can you please get your dog?” that I kicked the poor thing!

            2. all aboard the anon train*

              I disagree about cats because the number of times I’ve said I don’t like them and had people react like it was the worst thing ever proves differently. I’m sure I’m not the only one who’s experienced this.

              1. Perse's Mom*

                I think cats have come up a lot in public opinion over the last couple of decades*, but it’s still more of a dog’s world. People (generally speaking) simply care more about dogs.

                *They were the media shorthand for sad homebody spinster aka crazy cat lady aka undesirable female. Still are, though I feel like it’s used less that way or more in the knowing-wink-to-the-audience sort of way. But I am very much in this demographic, so I pay attention to it more than most.

              2. Not a Morning Person*

                I don’t think Gee Gee was saying that all people think killing a cat is a joke or that no one thinks it’s awful to make that kind of joke, just that very many people do think making jokes about killing cats or dead cats is okay. I’ve seen bumper stickers and memes and heard those kinds of comments from lots of people that I consider to be otherwise decent people. I found those comments, bumper stickers, etc., hurtful, insulting, insensitive, and mean. I don’t see them so much anymore, but they used to be quite common, unfortunately.

                1. Kate 2*

                  I agree. Sadly cats have had a bad reputation for centuries in the Western world. They are seen as lazy, selfish and “evil”. Some people still have the insane idea that they steal the breath of babies. During witch hunts if the “witch” had cats, they would be violently killed along with the “witch”.

          2. aebhel*


            I don’t even particularly dislike dogs; I dislike being around poorly trained and controlled dogs, and I find that there’s a lot of overlap between people who are Very Offended that everyone doesn’t immediately adore their pups and people who can’t be bothered to do even a minimal amount of training, because of course it’s adorable when their dog jumps on people and destroys stuff.

          3. Tuxedo Cat*

            That’s my general experience. And I like dogs a lot but I’ve seen how some pushy dog owners will be towards those who do not.

          4. bookish*

            Also! I’m allergic to cats and dogs and I think they’re super cute, BUT often avoid being in contact with one like the plague due to my allergies. I always feel like people see me skirting their pets’ nuzzles and think I’m a jerk who hates animals. I don’t hate them, I just… prefer not to break out into itchy rashes etc.

          5. tigerlily*

            This is my experience with most dog owners. As soon as I say I don’t like dogs, I’m inundated with photos and videos and “well, you’d love MY dog – no one cannot love MY dog. Look at this picture and tell me you don’t love this dog.” And let me tell you, while I was pretty neutral on your individual dog up until this moment, you can bet your ass I now actively dislike your dog. And more importantly, I now actively dislike you.

          6. Not a Dog Lover*

            Oh boy, do they ever get judgmental over it. I can even show them the scars from where I got mauled by a dog as a child, and they still think that it’s unfair for me to not like their little furry precious.

            If I was in this situation, I’d go big and over my bosses head. I’d Get a letter from the shrink documenting my phobia, and formally make a request for accommodation. If that failed, I’d quit on the spot, claim constructive dismissal and consult a lawyer.

            1. SQL Coder Cat*

              My husband has a two inch scar on his forehead that is VERY visible from where he was bitten by a dog as a toddler. He has improved to the point where we actually have a (very calm, well behaved) Pomeranian, but he is Not OK with big dogs or dogs that jump. Even after explaining his history people get amazingly judgmental that he doesn’t want to spend time with Scooby Doo hanging off him.

          7. DArcy*

            I would argue it’s not about liking or disliking dogs; it’s about the fact that a high energy dog is a massive disruption to the workplace. I *love* dogs and have an immense tolerance for interacting with rowdy, high energy dogs — but I don’t imagine that I or anyone else would be able to get any actual work done around one.

          8. Kate the B*

            Yes, agreed! I like dogs on a case by case basis. What is the point of having a (non-service) dog in a (multi-person) office setting, ever? Why would you ever assume co-workers and clients are ok with this?

        3. OP #1*

          Daisy, I’m an avid dog lover and understand the needs and traits of different breeds. My concern is mainly that this breed isn’t a good choice of breed for a first-time dog owner nor an office dog (such as a small, short haired breed). None the less, I’m not making any assumptions about my co-worker’s ability to raise the dog. My issue is the appropriateness of this type of dog in our office environment.

          1. Jesmlet*

            And that is a perfectly legitimate concern to have. Focus on your allergies and the fact that it’s not appropriate for the environment. The bit about it not being the right breed for them comes across kind of judgy and really doesn’t add to the legitimacy of your position.

            I brought my dog to work on Tuesday, I occasionally do this but always ask. My dog doesn’t shed and no one has allergies and she’s incredibly docile and well-behaved. Even that situation is a bit of a stretch in terms of appropriateness. If even one person said no, I would not have considered pushing back.

          2. ZVA*

            My concern is mainly that this breed isn’t a good choice of breed for a first-time dog owner

            Respectfully, this really isn’t your business! It’s between your coworker and her dog. If you don’t want the dog in your office, that’s totally fine and you should say so. But I would focus on advocating for your own needs, and let the coworker & her dog figure theirs out.

            1. Gee Gee*

              Absolutely. This is a situation is which being correct doesn’t really matter. This new owner of a high-maintenance dog may crash and burn, but you can really only object to the dog-in-office part of the issue.

            2. tigerlily*

              It is her business when the person wants to bring the dog in question into the office. Were that not the case, the OP probably wouldn’t care all that much about the coworker and her dog other than a passing “huh, not the breed I would suggest for a first-time dog owner.” Now the dog is potentially being forced into OP’s office space, and so yes, her knowledge of dog breeds, their specific needs, and her knowledge of this coworker all have a place in her determining how concerned she needs to be about this situation.

          3. all aboard the anon train*

            See, my problem is that you clearly have an Opinion on the type of dog a first-time owner should have, which is none of your business and is really presumptuous.

            Also, I don’t know where you got the idea that small, short haired breeds are the only type of office dogs, because that’s a pretty weird suggestion and assumption. I can see it becoming an issue if you allow a certain type of dog into the office, but not other dogs based on your preference alone.

            I think you’re going to lose a lot of weight in your argument if you focus on the breed because that comes off as judgmental and pushing your preference. To be honest, I wouldn’t blame someone for being offended by someone suggesting that a specific breed isn’t what they should own, and I’ve had people tell me they didn’t think my breed of choice was “right for me”. It’s not a nice thing to say.

            Stick to talking about allergies or saying no dog of any type in the office.

          4. Boop*

            Ok, I’m dying here – what breed is it?! St. Bernard? Komondor? Afghan hound?! Newfoundland (I know a lovely Newfoundland who is also a therapy dog, but he definitely meets the requirements of large and hairy!)?

          5. Rachel Green*

            If you are trying to push back on this, I think you should leave the breed of the dog out of it. Either dogs are allowed in the office, or they aren’t. Let’s say, for example, your office decides to allow dachsunds because they’re small and short haired. But someone brings in a dachsund that has separation anxiety and whines every time their coworker goes to the bathroom. I just think it’s a slippery slope if some breeds are allowed and others aren’t. There may be some traits that common in specific breeds, but you can’t count on all dogs within a breed to have identical personalities. And what if someone wants to bring in a mixed breed dog? I think breed is irrelevant when trying to decide on whether to have dogs in an office or not.

        4. Anonymouse*

          It doesn’t matter how well the dog is or isn’t behaved – it’s a puppy going into an open plan office with exposed cables.

          At best there are going to be potential toilet problems even if the dog is toilet trained plus OP and their partners allergies (OP is in contact with dog cause open office then in contact with her partner).

          At worst you’ll have:
          Toilet issues
          Allergy issues
          Safety issues with wires
          The dog barking and disrupting work
          The dog running around
          Dog potentially biting people

          And doing all those things in view or to high profile clients? No.

          OP is not a bad person for pointing out potential problems or for having a knowledge of dog breeds that means they know the puppy is going to be high energy and in their office.

          1. Allison*

            Truth, puppies love to chew through wires. At best, IT will be running around changing out cables and whatnot; at worst, the puppy could get electrocuted.

          2. Case of the Mondays*

            Assuming OP meant a romantic partner at home, not a business partner in the office, I don’t think that is a valid reason to exclude an office dog. There are steps OP can take to keep the dander out of her house. I work with some extremely allergic people and none of them have ever reacted to me and I have a dog at home that cuddles with me before I go to work. If OP is just in the same building (open plan or not) as the dog and then goes home, it would be highly unlikely for her partner to have any type of reaction.

            I agree that you have many good reasons to be concerned OP but your partner’s allergies make it sound like you are looking for excuses. It might make them not take your other concerns as seriously.

            1. aebhel*

              I’m baffled that you think OP should need to come up with a valid reason to exclude the dog, here. The dog is not a service animal. It’s not a vet center. There’s literally no reason for the dog to be there other than the coworker’s poor planning. OP should not have to be ‘taking steps’ to alleviate a dander problem from a dog that (a) she does not own and (b) has no reason to be in the workplace. “This is going to make my life difficult” is all the excuse she should need, and frankly she shouldn’t even be required to give that much justification.

              1. K.*

                Yeah, this is where I stand. I’m getting a level of entitlement to bring the dog in. “No, I don’t want the dog at work” is a valid reason to exclude a dog from a workplace, and OP is not obligated to bend over backwards to make provisions for her allergies for a dog that at the end of the day, has no place in her office. It’s not a service dog. It’s not her boss’s dog (and I’d think poorly of a boss who prioritized bringing her dog in over her employee’s comfort). The workplace doesn’t work with dogs. The employee is asking for a perk – a giant perk, three times a week is a lot – to which she is not entitled, and it’s 100% reasonable to say no. Just no, without further explanation.

                In the OP’s shoes, I don’t think I’d give a reason. “Are you comfortable with me bringing my puppy to work three times a week?” “No.” “Why not?” “Because I’m not comfortable with it.” That’s the whole reason, and I think that’s fine. “No” is a complete sentence.

                1. fposte*

                  I’m with you. The co-worker has rather craftily turned this into a default yes rather than a default no, when it should be a default no. Unfortunately it’s on the OP to bring that no back into the equation if she is genuinely opposed to having the dog there.

                2. Myrin*

                  And honestly, that last paragraph of yours would be my reason. I am uncomfortable around dogs. I don’t really like them but I’m not afraid or suffer from allergies, either. I just feel “uuuuuuuuuughhhh” around dogs. There’s really no way to describe that other than “I’m not comfortable around a dog”. There’s no deeper “reason” for that, it’s just what it is.

                3. Anonymouse*

                  I’m also guessing they aren’t going to email the clients to ask if it’s ok for dog to be in office.

                  If they frequently have clients coming in that’s reason enough not to.

                  You don’t know which of them would have allergies or phobias and if you aren’t known as a dog friendly workplace it’s going to be a big surprise for them to come in and see that.

                  In an office environment it’s fair to expect it to be pet free particularly if it’s not a casual or newer company.

              2. Case of the Mondays*

                I thought this was like the prior letter writer where everyone else was on team pro-dog and she was trying to back out in a way that didn’t make everyone angry. OP is not the boss. She is a coworker. I agree that she can just say “I vote no” but if the boss says ok 9 yes and 1 no means the dog comes – she might need a stronger reason. I was starting from the position that it is unpopular to say no to an office dog. If one no keeps the dog out, great! Go with no. It just sounded like the boss was on team yes and OP needed some ammunition.

                1. Perse's Mom*

                  OP also has allergies, according to the letter. My interpretation of her phrasing is that hers perhaps aren’t as severe or as reliably activated, but a large hairy puppy in a small open-plan office is going to cause some reactions even if kept under strict control at all times.

              3. Sarah*

                Yep, frankly, “I don’t like dogs and don’t want to be around them at work” should be enough! There’s no inherent right to bring pets into the office (with obvious exceptions for service animals).

                And the set up here sounds just terrible. I have a coworker who will sometimes bring her dog into the office — but, it is an older, very quiet dog who sleeps all day on a little bed in her office, and she ALWAYS keeps the door shut when she has him in. That sort of set up is not going to be possible with an open office + an energetic puppy. Two other coworkers have dogs they absolutely adore, that are younger, bigger, and much more high energy. They have never even talked about bringing their dogs in, even though they are lovely animals and I enjoy seeing them in other venues.

            2. Samata*

              I think this is a good example/expectation of what Stellaaaaa was pointing to. People who are allergic to dogs, or have partners that are, are seen as being unreasonable in requests. I went to visit a friend once who has a long-haired dachshund. I came home and was standing the laundry room taking my clothes off when partner walked in and was talking to me while I was getting undressed. His eye swelled shut in minutes.

              If OP’s partner is as sensitive, she shouldn’t have to get undressed in the garage every single day when she gets home from work to make her co-worker’s new pet ownership transition easier.

              1. Samata*

                I feel like I should add that I didn’t hold or pick up the dog. I didn’t even pet her as she was sleeping in the bedroom and I didn’t want to disturb her.

        5. blackcat*

          Well, we do know that it’s a *puppy* not a dog. Many socialized adult dogs can behave in an office. Very, very, very few puppies can, even those with owners doing everything possible to train them.

          No puppies in the office is a pretty reasonable rule, even for dog friendly offices!

          1. AvonLady Barksdale*

            Absolutely! I used to work in a dog-friendly office. My adult dog and my co-workers’ adult dogs were awesome in the office, pretty chill, and made our days a little brighter. But when my boss got a puppy and brought him in every day, it meant cleaning up accidents, keeping the dog from chewing, preventing the dog from taking stuff off our desks, unprovoked barking, and all kinds of puppy things. It was annoying as hell, especially since our boss would often leave the dog in the main office while he took important phone calls, so we had to interrupt our work to babysit a puppy. It also meant that those of us with adult dogs couldn’t bring them in as often– my dog gets really annoyed by puppies, and I wasn’t about to subject him to that.

          2. Falling Diphthong*

            Yes. I love dogs, but my idea of a good office dog is one who quietly lies on their dog bed until it’s time for a walk. Which I have seen. But extrapolating from that to all dogs are okay–any age, breed, training level–isn’t logical.

          3. AndersonDarling*

            It reminds me of people who are excited to work from home because they won’t need to pay for daycare and they can now watch their 3 toddlers while they work. Um. That means that mom/dad will become daycare and the work will be left undone.
            Unless she plans on crating the puppy at work, there will be very little work being done.

        6. ZVA*

          This is exactly what I came here to say! The question boils down to “My coworker wants to bring her dog to work and I don’t want her to, what should I do”—and Alison’s answer, aka “Tell her you don’t want her to,” is spot on. All the stuff about the coworker’s supposed shortcomings as a dog owner seems irrelevant.

        7. Rachael*

          I thought that too when I read the post. However, I wonder if he has experience with that breed, itself, and feels protective of it. I do the same thing about pitbulls. I rescued one years ago and I am well aware of the pluses (lots of snuggles) and the minuses (the animal aggression) I have given my opinion to many people who are cluelessly talking about getting a pitbull (because they are so cool!) and tell them they just should not get one unless they can stay on their toes about training, exercise, and socializing them properly. I might come off like the OP as well.

          OP, your opinion of them as a dog owner is separate from the situation. You should just put their foot down and say “no, I don’t want a dog at work” and tell the boss that she is retaliating when someone ways no. Dogs don’t belong in the workplace. Plus, I’m sure that others feel the same but don’t want to speak up.

    2. Ramona Flowers*

      PS I can’t quite tell if it’s the dog owner or the boss who confronted the partner? If the former, I wondered how the boss actually reacted as it might be helpful to know?

      1. OP #1*

        It was my co-worker that confronted my partner at Friday evening drinks when I first introduced him to my office/ colleagues.

        1. Anonymouse*

          OP I feel your pain.

          My housemates got a kitten 2 months ago…. when I was 8 months pregnant and after we agreed they’d wait until a few months after my baby was born. All our lives were going to be thrown upside down so why add more stress?

          Not a special kitten like a pure or designer breed or tortoise shell. Did not find out about the kitten until the day before they were going to pick it up and after it was paid for.

          So I now have 2 babies I have to take care of during the day. The cat baby gets into things it shouldn’t and I’m the only one who disciplines it or tries to make sure it stays out of trouble.

          And the cat parents don’t do anything.

          You can’t reason with people who don’t want to reasonable. Particularly about pets.

          Even if you are logical, fair and reasonable they are going to paint you as a monster for saying anything against their beloved smoochiekins.

          And for the record I’m an animal lover. Had 4 rescue dogs and a rescue cat over my life.

          1. Call me St. Vincent*

            That was so thoughtless of your roommates! Pregnant women are highly vulnerable to toxoplasmosis!

            1. Anonymouse*


              And since I had started my maternity leave I was (and still am) the one home most often. So he has bonded strongly to me as “cat mum”.

              The housemate that wanted him so much (cause OMG kittens are SOOOO cute!) acts like a 1950s dad around him:

              I want you to be well behaved and you can have my affection and attention for half an hour between coming home and having dinner. After that I expect you silent and on your best behaviour, maybe some cuddles before you sleep. And you’d better sleep all night and not disturb me!

              Yeah….. baby animals don’t work like that.

              Whenever I bring up issues with said cat (he ate my speaker cable, he climbs onto the sink or counters , he sneaks into my or the babies room) and ask for help to stop him I get half assed, inconsistent attempts at training/discipline or straight up disbelief.

              I imagine OP that your coworker will be the same about their dog at work.

              No! Smoochiekins would never chew your computer cables! You’re making it up!

              Smoochiekins! Smoochiekins! No peeing on the photocopier!

              Shouldn’t you go over there and stop them?

              I told them no. Not my fault they did it…..

              1. Vegan Atheist Weirdo*

                I want you to be well behaved and you can have my affection and attention for half an hour between coming home and having dinner. After that I expect you silent and on your best behaviour, maybe some cuddles before you sleep. And you’d better sleep all night and not disturb me!

                Yeah….. baby animals don’t work like that.

                Even most adult animals don’t work like that. See my description above why my beloved 16-year-old feline companion would not be welcome at work.

                I’m sorry you have to deal with this. Some people really shouldn’t be permitted to have animals (and probably the same people shouldn’t have children, either).

                1. Perse's Mom*

                  The number of people who either gave up the family pet because 10 year old Junior couldn’t be 100% responsible for 100% of its care or expressed that expectation while trying to adopt a pet at the shelter where I used to work… it boggles the mind.

                  There was nothing we could do on the receiving end, but the adoption folks were always very good at shutting that down.

                2. DArcy*

                  My parents *nearly* gave up “my” dog because I wasn’t being 100% responsible for him. . . at age 11, when they admitted they *knew* I wasn’t quite old enough but were using dog ownership to try to make me grow up faster. Only time in my childhood I ever intentionally threw an actual screaming-and-crying temper tantrum, and I’m not ashamed of it because I succeeded in saving my dog.

            2. Gee Gee*

              The risk of toxo is highly exaggerated. Cats only shed the oocysts once in their lifetime, and the oocysts are only contagious after 24 hours. If you’re cleaning the litter more than once per day and thoroughly washing your hands with soap and hot water, you won’t have a problem.

              Being cautious isn’t a bad thing, but exaggeration does more harm than good.

              1. Delphine*

                You wouldn’t believe how this story spreads! My uncle forced my aunt to put her beloved cats up for adoption because he was certain she’d get toxo.

                1. Perse's Mom*

                  There are *doctors* that pressure their patients to do that. Though that’s assuming the people who gave up their pets to the shelter where I used to work were being honest and not just… not wanting to deal with cat(s) + baby.

              2. SimonTheGreyWarden*

                I still found it a convenient excuse to get my husband to clean the litter box, since the smell of doing so was one of the few things during my pregnancy that actively made me feel sick to my stomach.

                1. Perse's Mom*

                  My sister was positively gleeful that her husband did the poop-scooping during her pregnancies.

                2. Gee Gee*

                  What’s wrong with just saying the smell made you nauseated, and asking him to pitch in? This is the pet version of being “allergic” to a food you just don’t like.

              3. Call me St. Vincent*

                My aunt had a miscarriage due to toxo so….statistics are statistics, but if it happens to you, it’s one too many times.

          2. Allison*

            This is why I want to avoid roommates with pets, unless I’m willing to coparent the pet with the owner. I love cats and I love dogs, but I don’t want to get roped into taking care of someone else’s animal any more than I want to be the only one, say, laundering a futon cover or bath mat that someone else brought in and never washes.

            1. Anonymouse*

              They didn’t get the pet until AFTER we moved to our new place. (We all lived together somewhere else before this for 2 years.)

              Initially they were looking at getting a pug puppy.

              I’m more on board with a dog:
              Easier to train
              I can put it outside if it’s noisy/needs exercise/being naughty
              They don’t jump up/aren’t allowed on furniture or counters
              And won’t/can’t literally climb all over me when I’m sitting down in the lounge room.

              But I agree with the co-parenting thing. A pet isn’t like a baby where you can keep the responsibility to one or two people in the house – every person ends up involved in the pets life unless it’s a fish or bird or other smaller pet.

              The one that pushed to get it (OMG! SOOOOO cute!) wants to be the cats main parent but:
              Doesn’t spend time playing with the cat. Ever.
              Doesn’t feed it. His partner does both feeds.
              Only wants cuddles sometimes and shoos the cat away the rest of the time.
              Yells at the cat for discipline. A lot. Instead of going over and moving the cat/spraying it with a water bottle etc.

              I’m getting the feeling that everyone in the office will end up co-parenting the dog.

              Jane, can you watch smoochiekins while I handle this call? He won’t stop barking!

              Wakeen! Don’t yell at my dog! Oh, he was under your desk and trying to chew your cables? I guess that makes sense but don’t yell at him. Find some other way to stop him without touching him or raising your voice.

              Fergus, if he poops under your desk you need to clean it. It’s YOUR desk. What do you mean I should? If you didn’t want him to do that then you shouldn’t have let him under there, even if you WERE at the photocopier when he came over!

              1. Elizabeth West*

                I can see this happening.
                Also, I wish pets could sense people like your housemate and speak actual English to the seller/shelter staff and say, “No no no no no no not this one.”

          3. Perse's Mom*

            This letter combined with your comment reminds me of an old coworker who adopted a Newfie puppy but couldn’t be bothered to put in the effort to train him. She was never consistent with anything, so he became the sort of dog who would crap in the house, jump on furniture, jump on people, destroy things, chase the cat.

            Breed really doesn’t have anything to do with the OP’s argument and I would absolutely leave it out in favor of something like allergies!, but I think she’s using it in this case as a sort of shorthand for just how thoughtless this coworker is (to which I can relate, given my example above).

        2. Ramona Flowers*

          Hey OP. So how did your boss react to your objections when you brought it up, were they supportive?

          1. Grey*

            I’m wondering the same thing. That’s part was never mentioned.

            I’d be surprised if the boss was ok with this. Having a dog on the premises that could potentially injure a client or employee isn’t a liability risk they should want to take. If someone gets hurt, they’re not going to sue the dog owner, they’re going to sue the company for allowing the dog to be there.

          2. OP #1*

            Perse’s Mum, and to everyone being judgy about my mention of the breed. This was to provide context. I make no assumptions about the dog’s ability to be trained but there are key traits of this breed that are inherent and raise my anxiety about this dog becoming an office dog on top of my concerns about allergies. Also, let’s not forget this is a 12-week old puppy. Not a well-adjusted dog. We’ll have to deal with puberty, chewing, possible zoomies due to the space we have. I’d like to think my coworker will raise the dog by the book, but I am a tad worried just because this really isn’t a suitable space.

            Ramona Flowers, I spoke to my MD who took my side without issue; he never questioned my reasons and the conversation was less than 30 seconds. But, what prompted my letter, was hearing on the grapevine that Jane was bringing it in next week. Which means that MD hasn’t addressed this with her. I’ve now spoken to the associate director who said that really I could avoid the allergies (I’m not even going to get into that) and that she’d already got the dog since arrangements had been okayed (even though she knew both me and my partner weren’t okay with it). But I reiterated to the associate director that on both occasions where she asked me and then my partner directly and we both said no, because of the allergies, she had refused to take this as an answer. This prompted the conversation with my MD in the first place because I was forced to take it over her head. I didn’t much appreciate being made to feel like I’m causing a massive inconvenience, but really Jane should have been prepared to follow through with alternative arrangements, otherwise, what was the point in asking?

            1. Laura*

              I’m just guessing, but something like a Jack Russell would be a total office nightmare, forever. They need barns filled with rats.

        3. aebhel*

          OP, I can’t get over how completely inappropriate that was of your coworker. What a headache.

    3. Bagpuss*

      I think whether or not it is weird depends on the workplace.

      We are a relatively small office – Two of my colleagues have (separately) brought their dogs in, when the dogs were puppies, and one still occasionally comes in for a day, and in our office that’s fine and not weird at all. A former colleague (now retired) used to bring his dog in every day, and we still (nearly 10 years after he retired) get clients enquiring after the dog!

      BUT (and it is a big but) No one here is allergic, when the puppies came they each had their own ‘crate’ with a bed, toys and one of those pee-training pads, so they had a safe place to be and weren’t free to roam / chew wires etc. / pee in the office. When they were out of the crate they were under close supervision, and thy got walks and play time in breaks and lunch, so mostly, the rest of the time, they would be snoozing.

      Also, we are not open plan, so they were in the office of their owner, so it was possible to close the door and limit were they could go.

      It was nice – having a puppy to play with in your break is a great stress-buster!

      But it does need a responsible owner and the space to be able to make it work, and of course not appropriate where it’s going to cause medical issues for anyone. And even with those limits wouldn’t be right in every workplace.

      In this specific case, OP has a very good reason (allergies) for saying no, and I think they do need to respond directly to the owner, cc-ing their manager, to say a firm and unambiguous ‘no, this won’t be possible for medical reasons)

      I may be wrong, but I didn’t think that any breeds were totally ‘hypoallegenic’, just that some produce much lower amounts of the dander that causes problems than others, so how severe the allergy is relevant, and some people will react even to the low allergy breeds.

      1. Kate the B*

        It’s hard to be the person who says “I actually hate having a dog here” or “this dog is making me uncomfortable” in an environment like this, though.

    4. Arya Snark*

      I love dogs and would be cool with bringing some to work but not necessarily a puppy. My dog is a big, sweet and goofy mutt and would be great in an office. He’d visit people, hope foe snacks and try to find a comfy spot to nap, preferably under a sunny window. Him as a puppy would be a completely different story. Puppies are PITAs, and that’s putting it nicely. They can’t (shouldn’t) be left alone all day, which is probably the issue. Hubs and altered our work schedules (he went in earlier and I went in later than normal) when ours was young so he was never alone for more than 2-4 hours. Someone always came home during lunch and we used day care a day or two per week, especially in bad weather. Perhaps instead of bringing the pup to work, the owner could be offered a more flexible schedule to do something similar?

      1. Lily Rowan*

        Yeah, my massage therapist often has her dog in the office, and he is a big huge dog, who mostly just sits there. He’ll come over and say hello when I come in, and that is that.

        They ALSO sent out a message to all of their regulars in advance, letting us know and saying that they would leave the dog at home if anyone had any issue at all with there being a dog around.

        At any rate, in my (admittedly limited) experience with dogs, I would think a bigger adult dog would be more likely to be a good office dog than a small or young dog. They just want to nap! With the occasional skritch and snack.

        1. Laura*

          I had a gigantic sheepdog, ditto. They’ll say hi if you want but they do their own thing, and as long as they get enough exercise they’re utterly cool in this kind of situation.

    5. MrsCHX*

      I cannot get with the dogs at work thing. This is work, not the pet park. And being in HR, I can safely say NEVER. NEVER!!!!

      1. HeatherT*

        Completely agree! I really can’t believe that this has become an OK thing to do in so many offices. I’m fine with dogs in general life (but don’t really like them TBH and have a skin reaction to dogs saliva/mild allergy in general), but have never found an office where having dogs don’t hinder productivity.

        Plus, there is a real risk of what happens when the best candidate is allergic to dogs. Either you discriminate against the allergy or you make someone become the office villain from day one because the dogs have to go to accommodate the new guy. I’ve seen it happen and it sucks for everyone.

      2. Alleira*

        I think it is different in a family business. My family owns a small jewelry store (not a chain) and we’ve always had two dogs behind the counter. They are working dogs (hunting) and also family pets. To my knowledge, we have never had any issues. They are not allowed to mingle with the customers, and most people find them charming. So I do think it is situational.

        That said, I’m surprised we’re even discussing this. The coworker asked if it was okay. It is clearly not okay to the OP to have a dog in the workplace. Consequently, OP needs to send an email to coworker and boss and basically say, “Thank you for sending this email. I am not comfortable with a dog in the workplace for a variety of reasons, the most important of which is that I am allergic to dogs.” There doesn’t need to be a comment about liking or disliking, behavior management, or anything else. Once you say “no”, that’s the end … right?

      3. Rae*

        I don’t either. The only time I ever brought a dog in, the dog stay locked in her crate on a heated loading dock. I was traveling and had a half day and my boss ok’d it since my dog was calm and would just sleep. She didn’t get out of the crate for 4 hours for ANY reason.

        The only time I’ve seen a dog in the office was during bad weather when half the city was out of power. My co-worker had a brand new teeny puppy and typically worked from home. She came into the office to work and emailed everyone to ask for an exception for that day with the dog. Everyone was fine with it because it was an emergency.

        This whole “bring your dog” culture is bizarre and I have a dog and love them.

    6. Aeryn Sun*

      I like dogs just fine, but I’m very allergic – if someone tried to pull this I would not be happy. Even if the dog’s “hypoallergenic,” no dog is REALLY hypoallergenic.

      1. IgneousKing*

        Even dogs like poodles and shitzus? Because I’m severely allergic to most short-haired breeds, but I have three standard poodles with no issue.

        1. Kris*

          My husband and son are quite allergic to dogs, cats, and rabbits. We had a poodle/shi-tzu mix for many years, and they thought they felt fine. But when our dog passed away, they realized that they could breathe better than they had in several years. That made us realize that they had been allergic to our little dog all along, just not as badly as they are to other breeds of dogs.

    7. Serin*

      I’m not allergic to dogs, but I’m afraid of them.

      I would be horrified to be in OP#1’s position — the dog owner is doing everything she can to make it difficult for anyone to say, “No, I vote against you doing this” (while still maintaining the ability to say, “But I asked everybody if they objected, and they all said no!”).

      And adorable as this puppy may be, if I were engrossed in my work and my bare ankle suddenly got licked, I would jump out of my skin. Which means that if there were a dog in the office, I would be unable to get engrossed in my work.

    8. Green Goose*

      I really love dogs as well, but my office allows dogs and it has been a bit distracting. My org really wants the office to be a fun place to work, but the new initiatives are not thought out well. Instead of letting people work remotely, they are allowing more and more accommodations at the office but it is inadvertently making it worse and more distracting for others.

      OP, if your office starts allowing dogs, there should be a set of guidelines created that the dog owner needs to sign and then it needs to be enforced. At our office, they polled the coworkers about bringing dogs in and one person said he was very allergic and it was ignored. We also have a dog that comes in everyday and barks mercilessly, but no one in authority says anything or created a “three strikes” rule, so everyone else just has to deal with it. Dogs have gone to the bathroom on the carpets and chewed wires but that never deters the owners from bringing them in and no one in authority will tell them not to. It feels like I’m a scrooge/meanie if I say anything so I’ve kept quiet. And this is coming from someone who really loves dogs, but I also find it frustrating when I can’t concentrate at work.

  1. neverjaunty*

    OP #1, your colleague is behaving like an ass, and you should not feel guilty at all about pushing back with a no. I mean, really – lying about the dog being “hypoallergenic”? Confronting your partner? To hell with that.

    1. Princess Consuela Banana Hammock*

      Yeah, this is ridiculous (I say as a dog owner). I’m particularly peeved that your coworker thinks that calling a dog hypoallergenic somehow makes it so—she’s probably being defensive because she’s kind of sucking at being a dog owner and seems to not know what she’s talking about.

      Regardless, I don’t know if this particular breed is high-maintenance, but all puppies require greater attention than the coworker seems willing to provide or pay another person to provide. I think it’s ok to be a stick in the mud on this, OP. If it impacts your health, it impacts your health, and you’re right that it will likely be a distraction/danger as well. But lean on the health angle, because that’s harder for your coworker to rebut.

      1. Lora*

        Yeah, I have a fairly low-maintenance independent breed – as an adult. As a puppy, bye-bye furniture, accidents everywhere, ruined a very nice wool rug, and he had all kinds of attachment issues being a rescue. Even as an adult I wouldn’t want him in an office even though he is pretty chill: he sheds everywhere and barks like an idiot at random things, and when he wants attention, you get a size 12 paw in your lap. Or he pushes his head into your lap, whether you want it there or not. He’s tall enough to counter-surf like a goddam ninja and sugar packets from the break room are right up his alley, as are empty yogurt cups from the trash. In my house with a covered trash bin, everything set far back on the counters, a serious vacuum cleaner and furniture from Craigslist, he’s fine, but in an office not so much.

      2. Koko*

        It amazes me how much people underestimate the care that baby animals require. I adopted a kitten in college, so I was basically home all the time, and I had a slightly older cat already who “helped raise” the kitten in that they could entertain each other and the older one modeled appropriate behavior for the younger one. Cats are pretty low-maintenance but a KITTEN is ten times more work. And an adult dog is ten times more work than an adult cat. A puppy…that’s a full-time job. Baby animals are just smaller cuter versions of the adult animal, they are helpless, vulnerable, needy babies.

        1. SimonTheGreyWarden*

          That was part of why I got two kittens – they took care of the “racing around like maniacs at 2 am” for each other and it was honestly no more work to have to than it was to have one, though there is a bit more fur (one is a maine coon).

    2. Engineer Girl*

      This person wasn’t looking for permission or they wouldn’t have responded so badly when told no.
      But they did ask permission, which gives you the right to say no without having to give excuses.
      “I don’t want to risk my health” is utterly appropriate if you do want to give an excuse.
      “You asked and I said no” is also appropriate if they start haranguing you. Follow this with “you shouldn’t have asked if you weren’t willing to hear no.”

          1. OP #1*

            Thank you for all your words of support. I’m incredibly intimidated by this colleague and her partner anyway, so it’s been very hard to confront her. I’m also not looking for an argument and because of her standing, I think she’ll definitely moan about it behind my back to our co-workers. I’m really opening myself up to a world of b****ing

            1. ChickenSuperhero*

              So what are the options available to you that you are willing to try, if you don’t want to say no to the co-worker? It sounds like you tried a soft no and talking to your boss and boss isn’t supportive (just checking that you said ‘health issues’ and ‘severe allergy’ since here you led with open office plan and your severe dog allergy was easy to miss).

              Do you have an HR dept? Are you willing to start pulling people aside and asking for ‘advice’ that’s really getting them on your side preemptively? What are you considering?

            2. Danger: Gumption Ahead*

              Eh, that sucks, but that is part of working with people. Sometimes you need to deliver a firm no to someone who doesn’t take it well and ends up disliking you. As long as you can stay professional, you’ll come out of the bad mouthing and the pushback fine. Eventually people will get sick of hearing her complain or something else will happen that will be the new hot topic.

              1. Falling Diphthong*

                Yes, sometimes you need a hard ‘no.’ And give your other colleagues the opportunity to land on “Oppie is allergic to dogs, so that’s that” which I think a lot of them will if you don’t bog it down with wire chewing and open plans. Focus on the allergy, so it doesn’t seem like you are swapping in a bunch of different reasons to mask the real one.

                I am reminded of the latest Cap’n Awkward, from a guy who was getting soft no’s but just seeing the ambiguity rather than the no, so pushed until he had a hard no, at which point he retroactively realized that might have been creepy. If people treat your soft no as an opening to explain why your reasoning is wrong, go to the hard no.

            3. neverjaunty*

              I suspect that you are far from the only person who is unhappy about the co-worker and her “you guys will suck it up when I’m an irresponsible pet owner right?!” routine.

              And you don’t have to quietly endure her griping.

              “Oh, Friedhilda, are you still complaining about that? Geez. Anyway, about Sports Team….”

              “I’m sure you’ll manage, you’re very capable. So, hey, what did you guys think about Big Dramatic Reveal on Popular TV Show?”

            4. Antilles*

              Sad-but-true: There’s no way out of this that isn’t going to cause some kind of issues. Given your co-worker’s firm attitude, there isn’t really any easy out here. Basically, the options boil down to this:
              (1) Firmly say no now (possibly looping in boss, HR, a doctor’s note, or etc for added authority), deal with an argument and complaints right now, but keeping the puppy out.
              (2) Don’t say a firm no now, but then need to change your mind in the future after the dog triggers your allergies. This will get you far, far, *far* more arguments and complaints than saying no now, because co-worker will absolutely make a stink about how you changed her mind after the co-worker already passed on the chance to make alternate arrangements.
              (3) Accept the situation and deal with the puppy. This saves you the argument, but means you need to suffer through the puppy, possibly for the entire rest of your time at this job.

            5. Catalin*

              I don’t suppose she asked permission in a group email? If so, reply all and explain that unfortunately, you have a severe allergy to all dogs and bringing Fido in will make you very ill. Maybe drop a line about a local doggy day care. It is SO much harder to denounce someone for ‘daring to say no’ when everyone else in the group knows you have an allergy.

            6. Perse's Mom*

              So you might upset some people briefly that there’s no office puppy.

              The alternative is that you don’t push back on it, she brings him in, your allergies wreak havoc on you, and the puppy wreaks havoc on the office. That may give you a handy ‘I told you so,’ but it’s not worth your health.

              I’ll admit there’s a part of me that would want to defy her simply because of how she’s gone about trying to get her way – confronting your partner about their health immediately after being introduced?!

              1. tigerStripes*

                And there may be a number of people grateful that you said no to having a high energy breed puppy in the workplace!

            7. Engineer Girl*

              Moaning, whining, gossip are all classic boundary stomping tactics. They will escalate the more you say no.
              There is a cost for saying no to a stomper. There is also a huge benefit – freedom and getting released from their manipulative clutches.
              If they say the dog is hypoallergenic then insist on a note from the veterinarian stating that there is NO risk (not lessened risk). The vet won’t provide it because they can’t guarantee it.
              The stomper will also pull the “what am I supposed to do now?” card. At which point your response is “you shouldn’t have made plans involving me without consulting me first. I’m sorry, but I need to protect my health.”
              It is NOT your responsibility to fix a situation she caused with her poor planning.

            8. Not a Morning Person*

              Also, this may have been mentioned, but if coworker comes back with the “hypoallergenic” argument, that’s not a guarantee that no one ever will have a reaction. Hypoallergenic only means that most of the common allergens are not present. People can still have reactions to things that have been tested and categorized as hypoallergenic, including pets.

    3. Akcipitrokulo*

      I love dogs. I generally love meeting new dogs anywhere, and *personally* would go a bit gooey at big floppy puppy in office.

      It’s still a world of no. With inner child telling me I’m mean, it would be a no.

      1. AndersonDarling*

        I have the same feeling. I dog in the office would be so much fun…for one afternoon a month. A puppy 3x a week and an owner that is showing boundary issues, that is a nightmare.

  2. nnn*

    For #4, my first thought was that the boss is being formal in emails to keep up appearances – in case the emails get forwarded or are subject to an access to information request. Has the way he addresses you in person changed along with the way he does it in email?

    1. OP #4*

      Hi, OP here. He has changed how he refers to me (and all of the other employees!) in person, which does make it awkward when I’m trying to decide what to call him. And it’s not just my boss, but pretty much all of the administrators who have made the shift. I think it did stem from potential FOIA requests. I don’t know that I understand the rationale there… maybe an HR person could help me understand why the more formal titles would make any difference.

  3. all aboard the anon train*

    This isn’t a dog that makes a cute office pet, like a small breed or lap dog

    This might be beside the point, but in my experience small breeds or lap dogs are usually some of the worst types of dogs to bring to the office because they tend to yip, lunge, cause havoc, and bite versus some of the calmer, larger breeds that just lie about and sleep all day. Larger dogs does not automatically mean they’re more disruptive or destructive. There’s a reason large dogs are usually great therapy dogs, after all.

    That said, your coworker should have been okay when you said you had allergies and should be okay when you said no. I think dogs in the office can be great, but I’m more for offices that implement dog friendly spaces when they’re new rather than when they’re an established business.

    1. all aboard the anon train*

      Hit submit too quickly! Also, I think you have a case if you say you don’t want a puppy in the office Puppies are like newborns and require a lot of time, energy, and patience. There’s bound to be accidents that aren’t a puppy’s fault (they’re potty training and have weak bladders!) and you don’t want an employee distracted because they need to take a puppy out every two hours. Not to mention, it’s pretty rough on puppy training to take them to a new space that frequently when they’re learning certain commands and routines.

      1. Akcipitrokulo*

        And puppies CHEW. They destroy things. Not their fault, and when we got a puppy we accepted a bit of collateral damage to trainers when it happened as par for the course, but chewing puppy + wires on floor is not a good combination.

        1. Falling Diphthong*

          Puppies also have a weird affinity for expensive cables. Given a $5 extension cord leading to an $80 charging cable, they will go for the latter.

        2. Liz T*

          The first time my dad had a puppy, she chewed his DENTURES. He was still practicing law and had to go to court that day with only half his teeth.

          He worked from a home office and doted on her so it’s not like this pupper was neglected–you only have to turn your back for a minute and something important gets destroyed!

      2. OP #1*

        all aboard the anon train, as I’ve said in a couple of replies, I am a huge dog lover. I haven’t got an issue with office dogs too much. However, this breed is not what I’d consider ok or appropriate for our space. It’s way too large, energetic and hairy. I make no assumptions about my colleague’s ability to train the dog. That’s not my concern. It’s what can’t be controlled that’s the issue.
        She’s not suggesting she brings it in as just a puppy, she’ll want it in all the time (well, these 3 days a week she’s suggested) and my concern is that this breed, fully grown is going to be a big issue. Particularly for my partner’s severe allergies and anyone else who comes in and has an issue with dogs.
        I’ve never seen an office dog larger than knee height.

        1. all aboard the anon train*

          I guess I’ve just been lucky to visit offices where dogs where Newfies or Great Danes or dogs of all sizes. I’ve always tended to see medium to large dogs instead of small dogs in offices. For what it’s worth, the right breed with the right training can be a good office dog. Dogs can be trained not to be energetic in certain spaces. Most dogs, regardless of size, are hairy.

          I think you have to say no on account of the allergies and not wanting a dog friendly office. If you start getting into the weeds about the breed being the issue or the size or amount of hair, then it sounds like you’re cherry picking what breeds you think would make an appropriate office dog and people are going to get defensive. You probably don’t mean it that way, but it might come across that way, and that’s could cause an issue.

          1. Vegan Atheist Weirdo*

            Like I said elsewhere, I tend to like larger breeds for their temperament, which is usually more mellow. However, there’ve been a few big dogs in my extended family who would wreak havoc with a happy tail swish. Some also may tend to curiosity or clumsiness. Bottom line, there are legitimate potential issues with having any dog in the office, beyond even the allergies or comfort levels of the humans present.

      3. AndersonDarling*

        Ugh. And then they will need to find people to watch the puppy when they go to meetings or run to the bathroom. “I’m going into a 2 hour meeting with a client. You’ll watch the puppy. right? Bye!”

        1. Liz T*

          Oh god I hadn’t thought of that. The whole office will be on dogsitting duty.

          And god forbid you leave a change of shoes under your desk!

    2. Bob Vance, Vance Refridgeration*

      Yup! My tiny doggo would be a nightmare in an office environment. My 90-pound mutt is a sweet angel — I didn’t know dogs could be so well-behaved before I met her — and would probably love being the office dog for a few days a week. But, yes, this is besides the point if the allergies are going to be an issue or if the office environment is unsafe for a dog.

    3. Akcipitrokulo*

      That’s my experience. The only dog that ever seriously wanted to kill me was a miniature Yorkie. I kind of laughed at it and removed it from couch, but that thing was serious!

      (I love dogs! This one we were watching at my house, it decided it was the leader of the pack and I wasn’t allowed on the couch. Oh really? D’ye think so, Pal?)

        1. Perse's Mom*

          Can’t speak for Akcipitrokulo, but the one time I had to get an angry/scared chihuahua out of a police cruiser just required a reasonably sized blanket to cover and scoop.

        2. Akcipitrokulo*

          Managed to lift it up from corner of couch without being bitten, said “NO!” and put it on floor. Repeate a couple of times, and when it stopped threatenin to eat my face was nice to it.

          I think it was used to being the boss.

      1. Liz T*

        Oof yorkies. People get those little dogs not realizing they need to be RUN. I walked a tiny yorkie that lived in a tiny (but nice) studio apartment with no pet siblings–and for whatever reasons the nearby dog park was usually empty. He would’ve let me chase him around the coffee table for two hours I think.

        He was nippy and as much as I felt for him I did not miss him when my schedule changed.

      2. Red 5*

        The only dog I’ve been bitten by enough to require medical intervention (yay, ER visit) was a chihuahua. Darn thing bit me on the back of the knee because that’s the highest it could jump.

    4. hbc*

      I agree on the big dog issue, and it’s really important that OP only bring actual facts into this discussion. Age of the dog matters because of training and behavior (like chewing). Temperament of the dog matters for obvious reasons. Actual allergy level of the dog matters. The size of the dog only matters if there are space issues–Great Danes are lovely lazy dogs, but they can take up a normal aisle and then some.

      1. all aboard the anon train*

        The size issue is what’s really throwing me off about OP’s letter and comment. She seems to be insistent that only small dogs should be office dogs, and from the times I’ve had dogs in the office, small dogs are waaaaaay more of a distraction than big dogs.

        Like you said, if space is an issue, no big dogs, but otherwise, I don’t really think size should be that important?

        1. Make Tea Not War*

          I agree that size shouldn’t be an issue. Plus, Jack Russells and many other terrier breeds are small but would not be well-suited for an office environment due to their energy levels and general temperament.

    5. TL -*

      I have a theory that small breeds are just chronically under-exercised. :) We had a Chihuahua mix that kept up with our Australian Shepherd and was significantly better behaved than any other Chihuahua I’ve met. He wouldn’t be a good office dog but he didn’t yap, only barked at the approach of strangers (and only a few stranger! barks; never more than 5-10 seconds), nor did he run crazily around the house or get aggressive/territorial.
      (He was also rather obnoxious when we first got him and then calmed down after a week or two of spending all his days running after our other dog.)

      1. blackcat*

        I refer to this as tiny animal syndrome.

        Because some tiny dogs are tiny, people treat them as stuffed animals, rather than dogs that need training and to run around. My bff has a lap dog that is SO AWESOME. This dog also runs 6 miles every morning with my friend, and spends a days outside while my friend is at work (in CA, near the beach, so weather is amenable to this year round). She treats it like a dog! But so many people fail to do this, instead walking around with their tiny dogs in bags.

        Side note: I call this tiny animal syndrome rather than tiny dog syndrome because a version of the problem always seems to happen with miniature horses. People treat them like dogs because they are dog-sized, but they are horses. Almost all miniature horses I have met are little assholes, because someone decided to snuggle them rather than teach them appropriate horse-boundaries. Yeah, unlike a full sized horse, it can’t kill me if it kicks me, BUT IT STILL HAS HOOVES! WHICH HURT!

        All of that said, I believe that baby animals, of basically any variety or size (human, dog, cat, horse, etc) do not belong in the workplace because they don’t know how to behave yet. A tiny puppy or kitten (or human baby prior to crawling) is more easily confined, but they can still get into a lot of trouble.

        1. tigerStripes*

          Yeah, I know some people who have a couple of small dogs, but they’ve taken the trouble to train the dogs, and the dogs are fun to have around. Small dogs who aren’t well trained can be a menace.

      2. who?*

        A agree! I also think people just don’t put as much effort into training small dogs. A small dog won’t knock you over if it jumps on you, but that’s no reason not to train it to not jump. It’s still a bad behavior, but people don’t care as much.

    6. Red 5*

      I agree here. I get weird looks from people all the time when I explain that my dog phobia is pretty limited to small dogs and the kind that yip, but honestly the worst thing a big dog has ever done to me was when a friend’s pit bull basically sat on me to keep me from leaving her house because poor puppy obviously needed more petting.

      Meanwhile, I’ve been terrorized and bitten by multiple small dogs in my life, from my childhood on through a couple years ago. And every time their owners have thought it was adorable and funny.

      I recognize that it’s more breed specific than size specific (certain large breeds need to have a job, or they get stir crazy, as I understand it) but more large breeds are chill than small breeds.

      All that said, I’m allergic and my allergies can trigger migraines, so I prefer dog free workplaces across the board. With the exception of service animals, obviously.

      1. all aboard the anon train*

        I have so much annoyance for owners of small dogs who think they can’t be dangerous. Just because your dog can fit in a bag doesn’t mean it’s cute if it lunges and nips at people’s ankles or growls at anyone it passes. And don’t let your small dog antagonize other medium or large size dogs and then complain when the other dogs growl at the small dog.

        1. Tiger Snake*

          The person I know that has service dog once said that she likes people to regard him as a necessary evil. As in; Yes, no dogs would definitely be better at work or in a restaurant. But if we cannot eliminate them entirely then it is best that they are only the small selection of heavily trained service animals.

          (She does love her pooch very much. She’s just a pragmatic kind of person)

  4. Dan*


    The problem I have with the “must interview externally” rule in a case like this is that “John” *is* a known quantity, with *months* of experience and exposure to the company, and interviewing people who don’t have that familiarity is like comparing apples and oranges. It’s even more glaring when OP flat out states that if forced to hire externally, the department would actually seek to hire someone with more experience and thus more costly.

    OP raises a valid question, and I think sometimes the answer is “because sometimes companies misguidedly try to establish blanket rules that don’t allow for nuance.”

    FWIW, my company is a bit like the OP’s in some respects. Most of our external hires tend to have years of experience — it’s rare to get hired as a fresh college graduate unless you have interned with us.

    1. Anonymouse*

      I have no problem with the policy provided it’s done correctly unlike here.

      The way it’s supposed work is you have an internal person you want to fill a role but advertise it publicly in case there is someone better.

      No promises made, no disappointment internally or externally if someone from either side gets hired – there was never a guarantee either way.

      But you’ve made an offer and John has accepted. Your company doesn’t need to go through the motions. It’s a waste of their time and money and bad form for any candidates that find out/get interviewed plus makes them look stupid to employees like you.

      They should follow the spirit as well as letter of the law.

      1. Dan*

        So the question I have with this notion of “someone better” is on what basis do you make that determination? In this particular case, OP indicates that an external hire would have more experience… and cost more money. Which is a position that *wouldn’t* be filled because the budget isn’t there.

        Let’s be real — fresh out of school, applicants have very little history and/or accomplishments on which to be evaluated. If I have the budget for a junior employee with no experience, and my choices are the people who interned for me and are thus a known quantity, what am I really expecting to find by interviewing other people who only have experience (at most) as an intern? As a practical matter, if I’ve been able to evaluate someone for three months, I just don’t expect to be able to find someone “better” who only has the experience of an intern that I didn’t observe.

        1. Anonymouse*

          I agree wholeheartedly – as I said the only point in opening it externally when you have a preferred internal candidate is to see if there is someone better BEFORE an offer is made.

          In this case the company following the policy makes them look bad to everyone – current employees, incoming candidates and John.

        2. hbc*

          Because often people are 100% sure that there can be no better applicant, and they find one (or several.) I’m not doubting the OP, but we’ve done a couple of internal promotions where someone sold themselves on “known factor” and when we looked later, there were other candidates who were probably a better choice, or at least worth an interview.

          Maybe there’s someone out there who interned for three summers and focused on an area that your team would love to move into. You never know.

          1. Dan*

            At the entry level, I don’t think it matters much. Six months more of internships isn’t that huge of a deal. Theres also a cost to reaching out externally. At the higher levels, broader searches where you can get more distinguished candidates makes a huge difference.

        3. Mike C.*

          Outside of ensuring that the applicant pool for your internship program isn’t biased in some important way, I think this is a pretty strong argument.

        4. AndersonDarling*

          I’m thinking of a nightmare scenario where a fantastic applicant does apply. They get the required phone screen and they nail the questions and they are a perfect match for the requirements, but since it was a faux job posting, they get no follow up. The applicant was a foreigner with a common name and the accent was apparent during the phone screen. It’s a discrimination lawsuit waiting to happen.

    2. OP 2*

      OP 2 here

      Another thing worth mentioning is that John has already graduated and was doing an internship after graduating. So he’s available to start right away this fall, while with other recent grad applicants, we’d have to wait until May or June when they graduate next year.

      But the main thing is that this person is 100% coming back and has a verbal offer and I know they wouldn’t hire another applicant.

      1. Karen D*

        Yep. That is just a silly policy.

        I do feel your pain, though – our company has the same policy. Any opening has to go on the intranet site where it’s visible to our hundreds of other locations. We’re a high-performing branch in a well-known tourist destination, so any vacancy draws significant interest.

        The last full-time vacancy we had, the powers that be knew they would be moving a promising, high-achieving part-timer into that slot (in fact, she was hired with exactly that transition in mind and oh yeah, is PURE MOLTEN AWESOME). My boss “forgot” to post the position on the intranet site. Spared a lot of scrambling to submit resumes and dashed hopes.

  5. InfiniteBother*

    I actually like the idea of dogs at work, when feasible and non-disruptive, but the employer needs an across the board policy on dogs at work. You can’t allow one employee to bring a dog without anticipating the policy you would need if you were to allow dogs and every employee brought one (or more).

    1. OP #1*

      As mentioned in another reply, I am a huge dog lover. I haven’t got an issue with office dogs too much. However, this breed is not what I’d consider ok or appropriate for our space. It’s way too large, energetic and hairy. I make no assumptions about my colleague’s ability to train the dog. That’s not my concern. It’s what can’t be controlled that’s the issue.

    2. Indoor Cat*

      See, this makes sense to me. There are way too many subjective, gray areas when it comes to questions like, “Is this dog well behaved?” and “Will this dog interfere with people’s work?”

      Most dog owners I know would answer “yes” and “no,” respectively, whether or not that’s accurate or just wishful thinking. So, as a manager, I’d probably just say no pets allowed to prevent any long, drawn-out arguments.

    3. Kate the B*

      Why are we so insistent on “opening Pandora’s crate” on this issue?

      NO DOGS
      NO DOGS
      NO DOGS

  6. Ramona Flowers*

    #5 This may just be a personal preference but I wouldn’t ask them to keep you in mind. Like I say, this is just a personal preference, but every time anyone has asked me this, I’ve actually found it a bit irritating and presumptuous, especially if it’s right at the start of the conversation – I’d rather just hear that you’re interested and decide for myself about whether to keep you in mind. Maybe I am the only person who has that reaction, maybe it’s unreasonable that I do, but I wanted to mention the possibility. (I don’t hire, but have in the past been in the position to recommend people.)

    1. Ramona Flowers*

      To explain a bit further, and at risk of sounding like a right old sourpuss: if I already work in the teapots field, I probably know lots of other people in that field. I don’t have any particular reason to keep an unknown, untested person in mind ahead of all the other, more known quantities. Which is why it grates on me when someone says something like that.

      Happy to be asked for advice or a heads up on openings but not in a way that implies you expect to be considered first just because you asked. Again, this may just be me. But I’m willing to bet it’s not.

      1. Naomi*

        I think you’re getting too hung up on your interpretation of the phrase. If someone said “keep me in mind” in regard to a job, I’d read it as “add me to your candidate pool” rather than “jump me to the front of the line.”

      2. Specialk9*

        Is it different if one has a rare but required niche speciality and one approaches a general operations manager? (Obv now I’ve switched to talking about myself – I’m never sure if cold-messaging someone is a good call.)

      3. George Willard*

        “I don’t have any particular reason to keep an unknown, untested person in mind ahead of all the other, more known quantities.”

        Fortunately, people don’t usually say “keep me in mind ahead of everyone else.” They usually just want you to keep them in mind!

        1. Ramona Flowers*

          You’d be surprised. When I was freelancing as a journalist a lot of random people seemed to expect me to pass on work to them.

      4. over educated*

        I would consider “keep me in mind” to mean “please give me a heads up on openings,” not “consider me first”!

  7. Ramona Flowers*

    #3 Not a designer but used to write about careers for a design industry magazine.

    Lots of people successfully start creative collectives or freelance work right out of college. But they generally have some connections to start them off, like from internships or end-of-year shows.

    I noticed a few things in your letter that feel a bit like all or nothing thinking. You wanted to get hired into a big agency right out of college but that didn’t work out. Did you try smaller agencies? Did you apply for jobs or just send portfolios? When? In the UK lots of people cold contact art directors at the same time in June because their design colleges make them (do not get me started) and get lost in the shuffle as a result.

    You say you’ve been looking for a month and a half in your home town, but what sort of jobs are you applying for – are you looking for junior designer positions which would be an appropriate place to start? Do you have a good online portfolio? Also, you ask if doing your agency will appeal to creative managers – but that’s not one thing as it depends what you actually do.

    Some tips:
    -Start reading some of the big design magazines and blogs. Look for articles on things like how to become a junior designer, what makes a good portfolio and what art directors want when they hire freelancers. There are lots of recent articles quoting real people working in these areas.
    -Put together a good online portfolio and a good website for your collective. This is one of the few fields in which having a ‘personal brand’ is actually a thing. You might also consider posting projects on sites like Behance.
    -Brush up on your tech skills and see if there’s anything you could learn to make you more employable/marketable, like coding.
    -Be aware that working as a creative requires a lot of persistence and can be really disheartening at times!

    1. esra*

      This is good advice, #3!

      A lot of young designers do start out freelancing, but you really have to hustle. If you have on your resume that you’ve been freelancing for 1-3 years, then you need some solid items in your portfolio to back that up.

      I’d also recommend sites like Jobspresso, where you can find some remote work. That might be a good way to build experience if you don’t want to head back to a bigger city. In general it’s harder to find graphic design/marketing work when you are outside of major centres.

      For reference, I found my first job (shortly after the ’08 crash, no less) out of design school in 3 months, and that was considered pretty good/fast.

      1. Working Mom*

        Also, if you’re working at a coffee shop, restaurant, etc while you are applying for jobs – consider that you’re gaining valuable customer service skills while you’re there! I’m not kidding – you can actually learn a LOT about building relationships, working with all different people, communication, and customer service being a barista or server. If you tune into that part of the job while you’re searching, when you land an interview you’ll have some great real-world experience to speak to!

        Good luck!!

        1. tigerStripes*

          Agreed. I mentioned experience in a fast food place when I was interviewing for a technical job, and that went over quite well, because it was clear that I had dealt with difficult people.

    2. jebly*

      This is good advice. I live in a city with a really competitive agency network. There is some insane design talent here and those entry-level positions are hard to grab. I’d say, fresh out of college, start looking for smaller agencies in other cities than NYC. Big name clients with big budgets contract work from agencies all over the country! I’d also suggest looking for internships. In this field, people will intern for a year or two after school before grabbing a junior role, especially in some of the bigger agencies.

      Keep hustling on the side! Freelance in addition to whatever you’re doing to make rent because that’s the work that will land you in-house jobs.

      Being a creative means you are constantly hustling. Stay at the coffee shop if you need, but your free time has to be dedicated to work if you want to get a job at an agency down the road. You’re competing against some crazy talent.

      It took me 1.5 yrs to get an agency job. I took classes, attended workshops, and kept pushing my skillset. The job I got isn’t even 100% design – it’s partially project management. But I have my foot in the door! In addition to this, keep up on design trends! Agencies want to see that you’re aware of what the market wants! Keep tabs on sites like Dribbble and Behance where top designers show their work. Check out design podcasts to hear who is influencing the industry. Join your local AIGA chapter and attend networking events. Brand yourself and create a sweet website. *hustle hustle hustle*

    3. nonymous*

      I see a lot of people in creative arts donate their work to get publicity. For example, OP#3 might partner with a local animal shelter to gain real-world experience and extend their portfolio. Not suggesting that OP#3 work for free forever, but would doing marketing/design for a specific event be reasonable?

    4. Biscuit!*

      This is fantastic advice. I’ve been in your shoes, #3 (as a photographer, not a designer). It took me about 2.5 years to get where I am, working as a photo editor for an agency. I had to work a few jobs that were photography adjacent, but it gave me the portfolio and connections I needed to be appealing to an agency. With creative jobs, your portfolio will be the most important thing. So freelancing works, but you’ve really got to hustle and crank out lots and lots of work. It’s super frustrating, but a few months is no time at all when it comes to applying. Everyone from art school that I know that works in the field struggled and pulled side work for at least 2 years to get a foot in an agency or department door. The difficulty, I would say, with the barista job is that you run the risk of becoming complacent.

    5. designbot*

      Yes to this! For design, having an online portfolio is key. Whether it’s on Behance, Coroflot, or your own personal website, this is something that is absolutely necessary. Also there is SO MUCH MORE to design than “one of the top ad agencies in New York.” There are design consultancies that have nothing to do with advertising. There are adjacent fields like product design or architecture where it’s common to have a few graphic designers in-house. There are tech companies that just eat up design talent like Facebook and Pinterest, and probably hundreds more we haven’t heard of yet. There are in-house positions at most companies that make any sort of product. And then there’s your whole marketing minor, I could see you doing a position at a small firm that’s labeled marketing but requires extensive design skills…
      Spend some time browsing what’s available at AIGA, Coroflot, Behance, CreativeHotList. In addition to looking for specific jobs that interest you, just read to make yourself aware of the broad spectrum of options available. A month and a half is nothing in a job hunt in this industry, and it’s really rare to land the perfect job right away anyway, so think about what will set you up for the perfect job 2 or 3 jobs from now.

    6. Airedale*

      An agency might also like to see that you have office experience. So instead of being a barista, you may consider working as a temp in an office, for example.

      Personally, though, I know how much you’d learn about customer service from being a barista. Plus you have an interest in coffee. Clearly there are a lot of options for you that have been brought up, and I wish you the best with your decision : )

  8. Artemesia*

    I know several people who tried to get into entry level tracks after doing something else for a couple of years. One was an outdoor educator, one just traveled a lot — but they were out of synch with big organizations that hired a ‘class’ each fall of new grads and there was no good entry level process for someone who was out of school for awhile but not experienced. Working in a coffee shop will just weaken the resume although as noted it is fine to do while also pursuing that first job.

    If you don’t want this big hairy, undisciplined beast in the office then when asked ‘permission’ you need to say ‘no’ clearly.

  9. Mr Terrific*

    #2 – this actually happened with me when I started my job. I took an IT job that was filled to the end of the year because the previous guy had to leave in an emergency just after July. As it was coming to a close, my boss was pretty clear that they wanted me to stay on and I was more than happy to. They were still required by head office to advertise the job, however. I spent the next few days assuring my coworkers I wasn’t leaving, I just had to reapply for the job.

    While fixing a problem for our office admin, I did actually spy an email in their inbox from a guy who had worked here previously reapplying for the job (he was only here a very brief time and didn’t seem to leave much of an impression on anyone).

    1. Mr Terrific*

      Just to clarify – the email I saw was from someone who was here before the guy I actually replaced. He never actually got an interview because they just approved my re-employment as soon as the applications closed.

  10. Agatha31*

    Even if the dog is a “hypoallergenic” breed, that doesn’t mean what so many people seem to assume it means, i.e. “no allergies ever with anyone yay!”

    Having said that I agree that, since she’s already trying to renegotiate your “no” by shooting down a perfectly reasonable concern, I’d just stick with “you asked and I’m telling you no, I’m not okay with that.”

    1. Your Weird Uncle*

      I get the feeling that OP’s coworker doesn’t think allergies are a legitimate excuse. I have had allergies my whole life, and they can (especially during a severe attack) seriously affect every aspect of my day. But I think a lot of people who have never had allergies can be dismissive, because it’s simply difficult to really understand what allergy sufferers put up with. (My husband, who is the most empathetic person I’ve met, never truly understood how difficult it is to have allergies until we moved in together and he saw in real terms how much I suffer from them.)

      Best of luck to OP!

      1. Allergy*

        It’s true! I’m empathetic to a fault, and yet thought allergies were just kinda the sniffles and itchy eyes – which I’ve had and dealt with. I wasn’t hugely sympathetic to my husband as a result. (He tends to get Ebola – oops I mean a cold.) Then I got a ceaseless sinus infection for 2 weeks and was so miserable, and asked him, symptom by symptom, if this was how he felt all the time. Yup and yup and yup. I felt like such a putz. I thought it was just dripping, not pain and sleeplessness and brain fog etc!

        1. Samata*

          I was kinda the same. I didn’t get it until I realized almost every time we visited friends with animals partner would get an upper respiratory infection. “You mean this is because of your allergies?” “yup” “ooohhhhhhhhh….

      2. Agatha31*

        Oh, absolutely agree with you on that. That’s one of the reasons I posted that link – people throw that phrase around like candy when they believe their *choice* to own a pet trumps other people’s *need* for health (let alone other people’s right not to have to worry about a damn dog in their life when *they* never decided to get one, allergic or not). Heck, even speaking of health in general I know a lot of people with medical issues that are the kind that you can just *see* the people they mention it to almost dying trying to keep from rolling their eyes and it’s like… dude, really? Why not just believe what they tell you? How on earth does that hurt? And in the days of internet, I don’t really understand why people don’t just go look up the condition and find out more about it instead of deciding “never heard of it, don’t have it myself, DGAF”. But I digress. The dog thing really annoys me because I see it come up so often and, as I said, owning a dog is a *choice*. And if someone wants to make that choice, that’s great, but so often they seem offended at the idea that *they* need to make the changes in *their* life to make that happen – not other people. And definitely not *after* they’ve bought the dog. That makes them a jerk, and also a bad pet owner (which is actually just another way of saying ‘jerk’, but I digress again, so I’ll stop, because I could go on ALL DAY about people who get pets without really wanting pets).

    2. Mary Queen of Scoffs*

      My friend falls into that category. She bought a ‘hypoallergenic’ dog recently and was super hyped for me to meet her. When I visited her and had an allergic reaction, she kept saying “but it’s hypoallergenic!” as though that would stop my reaction somehow.

      So yes, I can definitely say even if it’s meant to be allergy friendly, that’s not always the case.

      1. LCL*

        There’s really no such thing as a hypoallergenic dog. Allergies are caused by a reaction to proteins that are mostly on the animal’s skin. When hair is shed, so is dander, which causes the reaction. So called hypoallergenic dogs are dogs that have a curly coat, so the shed hair and dander tends to stay in the coat. Then the animal is groomed, because you have to groom curly coated dogs, and all of the dander is washed away.

        Also, many allergic animal lovers are familiar with the phenomenon of being allergic to another animal, but not their own. When you live with an animal, your body adjusts somehow (I’m sure there is a medical explanation but don’t know the facts). I can have my dog sleep next to me and I’m fine. When I go to a house with a strange dog, I have minor allergy symptoms.

  11. Zip Silver*

    #3 – Super bad idea to plan on working at a coffee shop for a few years. I understand the need to work full time while job searching (been there, done that), but you should be planning on turning in your two weeks as soon as you find a job in your field, and should be searching in earnest, otherwise you’re selling yourself up for heartache in a couple of years (I’ve seen my friends do it).

    Now, if the freelance thing starts producing enough for you to live while doing that full time without a side job to get bills paid, then congrats on successfully starting a small business!

    1. SpiderLadyCEO*

      I have to disagree with you, Zip Silver.

      The job market in a lot of places is still HIDEOUS. Now, if OP has stopped searching entirely, just to focus on baristaing, I agree, that’s a bit silly. But getting a job you can get while you look? That makes a lot of sense, and for most people is totally understandable. I worked as an extended day provider for a bit after college, I know another girl who nannies.

      OP, it might take a little while to find work, and you probably won’t end up with your dream job at your dream company. But apply for as many positions in your field as you can – my last job search took me 8 months before I had a viable offer. You’re also right out of college, so consider taking on internships (there are paid internships for those right out of school, as well as unpaid) because those will get you in the door, help you sharpen your skills, and make connections. Something else that worked for me was piecing together part time jobs. If you can do this, you get to develop a patch work of skills and a variety of connections an experiences. Good luck!

      1. Zip Silver*

        You pretty much restated what I said. We agree with each other, work whatever you can while she look in her field.

        In the letter, it seems like OP is planning on not earnestly looking in her field in favor of the coffeehouse job for at least a few years, however.

      2. SophieChotek*

        I have mixed feelings about this as I did the same thing after I graduated and I ended up working at a coffee shop for almost 5 years. (Well technically I still do).

        I really tried to find jobs/free-lance/volunteer work in my field the entire time (and did managed to do a fair amount of volunteer/short contract work/free-lance work in my field) while relying on the coffee shop job (FT) for benefits and enough money to pay some bills. (But not student loans.)

        In the end, the coffee shop job is a bit odd on my resume…and like Alison said…it can be really hard to get back into your field. I’m not saying the job itself (coffee shop) but, yeah, I’ve pretty much resigned myself to not being able to work in my field.

        In retrospect, I wish I had tried to find something else, even if to pay the bills. (Having been there—and still sort of there–not having found a job in my field, I get it — any job to pay bills is something.) But once I had the job, it was hard for me to even think of moving on/learning a new job/starting over again — just to do another job I wasn’t planning on staying at, until I found the “real job” I wanted…

  12. Finally Got Around to Posting After Lurking*

    OP 2 – its standard at my workplace that any positions over 12 months need to be advertised, even if someone has been acting in that position for some time. After a succession of 6 month casual contracts, a permanent position came up in my team – despite me acting in the role for nearly 18 months I needed to formally apply for the position. Most people know that if a position is advertised for a week, and for internal applicants only, that there is already someone earmarked for that role, however, there is always the potential for for someone else to apply. In my case, another person did apply, and an interview panel needed to be convened to go through the full process. At that point, while I still went into the interview as the preferred candidate, there was no guarantee that I would still get the position, it was rather a stressful time.

  13. persimmon*

    OP isn’t making excuses because no one asked her “Do you have an airtight justification for why having this dog in the office is objectively wrong?” The dog-owner asked if it was okay with her, and the answer is no, it bothers her for a bunch of reasons.

  14. London_Engineer*

    I’m a little confused about letter 1- is the OP actually allergic or just her partner? Because that changes whether this is a disability issue. I don’t think the dog should be there anyway but still….

    1. Violet Fox*

      Depending on how allergic the partner is, her coming home covered in dog hair could be a problem. That being said, there do not have to be legal/accommodation issues for people who work in offices to not want to have pets around, especially puppies.

      1. London_Engineer*

        Oh I agree the dog shouldn’t be there. But if the rest of the office is in yay! Puppy! mode then I think OP will get a lot more sympathy if it’s her own allergy. Because hopefully people should be able to admit that breathing is a necessary precondition for work.

      2. Danger: Gumption Ahead*

        But if OP1 is the only one who doesn’t want the dog there, she could ask for accommodation for her allergies, but could not for her partner’s allergies.

    2. all star*

      “I did bring up with them that my partner was highly allergic, as I can be too,” – she says she “can be” allergic. I’m assuming that means her allergy is less severe and won’t automatically be triggered by the presence of the dog, but it isn’t too clear.

      1. OP #1*

        all star, you are correct, I can have allergic reactions to long haired dogs (though not always, but it’s always worse right about now as animals are shedding) and pretty much all cats (all cat hair irritates my eyes and nose). It’s not as severe as my partner’s allergies though. He REALLY suffers (to the point where I have to make sure my hands are fully washed and my clothes hair-free after touching a dog or cat) and it’s not okay for me to go to work and come home covered in long dog hairs which are a nightmare to remove from clothing and the home once, for lack of a better word, contaminated. My fear is that other people coming into the office might also suffer, especially during the winter and summer months when animals shed their coats.

        1. Ramona Flowers*

          You might want to make it clear at work that you are always allergic to some dogs, rather than sometimes allergic.

          1. Danger: Gumption Ahead*

            ^This. And don’t mention your partner’s allergies at all unless they work there. Bosses need to accommodate staff, but not non-employees

            1. Trout 'Waver*

              Imo, a good boss will take that kind of thing into consideration. People work to support their families. Helping people support their families in this way is both easy and impactful.

              I’d put this in the same category as giving people time off to get a TDAP or pneumonia vaccine because they have a vulnerable family member.

            2. Falling Diphthong*

              But this isn’t a medical accommodation for an employee yet–it’s a question as to whether anyone would have an objection to doing something new in the office. If that’s getting an office cat, or having Tuesday be the festival of dancing in peanut shells, it can matter that someone has a family member who will be severely allergic to the residue they bring home on their skin and clothes.

              The allergan isn’t essential to work–it’s not like wanting the restaurant kitchen you work in to get rid of nuts, but suggesting that your normal old office not show employee appreciation by sprinkling nut dust over everyone.

              1. Hannah Spanna*

                Lol, I so want to start this as a tradition now. Congratulations, let’s all throw our confetti nuts over you!

          2. Allergy*

            I agree. I initially read it as “I’m not really allergic but sorta kinda sometimes” but then re-read. Be super clear that you have dog allergies and some dogs especially set you off.

            1. fposte*

              I think the OP is making the tactical mistake of listing a bunch of different reasons at a lesser weight rather than picking one and giving it full emphasis. “No, I am allergic even to hypoallergenic dogs. I don’t want to a dog in the office. Thank you for asking.”

  15. cncx*

    My brother is allergic to cats, but not all cats. Still, he won’t go hang out at someone’s house with a cat, because it isn’t a lesson he wants to learn the hard way. So i think i get it when OP1 says that while their partner is the allergic one, they can also have issues, because that is exactly my brother. It depends on the cat.

    I feel for OP1, i have a feeling this coworker is going to cause a stink about this. I work in a very dog friendly office, but we made accomodations for people who had pet allergies (i.e. the person with the allergy didn’t have to work in the open space). In an open space this just isn’t possible.

    i’m sorry OP 1. what a crap situation.

    1. OP #1*

      Thank you for your support on this. I’m really worried about confronting my coworker directly because of she’s leading the hype train and it seems everyone’s on board.

      1. eplawyer*

        It’s highly possible others are uncomfortable with the idea but just don’t want to say no to Jane for all the reasons you mentioned. They might feel they are the only one who doesn’t like the idea and so are going along to get along.

        If you stand up, others might too. A simple no is all that is required. If you get pushback, just repeat as necessary.

      2. neverjaunty*

        Keep in mind that she is the one causing the problem here, not you. It is not on you to explain why she SHOULDN’T do whatever she wants and you have to prove why she can’t.

      3. nonymous*

        I would recommend that you stop addressing this as a confrontation. Think about a scenario where you might come across a random dog in an interior space (say when going to a drugstore or homedepot). What happens then? My guess is that you give the pet and owner wide berth and practice whatever grooming necessary to eliminate allergens.

        My suspicion is that if you go into this with the attitude “Darn dander-generators!grumblegrumble”, you won’t get too much traction. Mostly this is because pets are considered family, so negative responses can be perceived as a threat to identity. Keep the discussion simple: OP#3 needs to limit contact to dog saliva, hair/fur, and skin in order to prevent a negative health outcome. How can the office be arranged so that OP#3 is not forced to have frequent contact? I will point out that if your coworkers have pets they are likely coming in to work covered in dander of all kinds which already gets spread around – you’re already past that zero-tolerance policy that is your ideal.

        One solution would be if you had your own office. Alternatively, designating a dog-free zone could be an option. Someone up thread mentioned that dog days be work-from-home days for the dog-free (I’d recommend that the dog day be right before the cleaning crew comes through), and a variant on that could be on dog days you work from a conference room designated to be allergen-free.

        If this blows up and you end up not getting any accommodations, consider changing your work schedule so that you can stop by the gym to exercise right after work, since in that case, it sounds like BSL3 decontamination is needed.

    2. Falling Diphthong*

      We found a bichon frise in the woods–supposedly a hypoallergenic dog–and even though I have no breathing problems with my own dogs, the little thing made me sniffly for the 24 hours we had him.

      1. Bookworm*

        There is no such thing as a fully hypoallergenic dog. It’s more marketing than anything else.

    3. That Would Be a Good Band Name*

      I have this issue with cats as well. I have wondered if it’s something the cats get into while outside instead of the cats themselves. I’m not good on identifying breeds, so I can’t say if it’s a specific breed or not.

  16. Jacquelyn*

    I would hate the idea of a coworker bringing their dog to work, but wouldn’t know how to push back against such a request since my only reason is a general discomfort around dogs. Also, I have encountered way too many bad dog owners who don’t take responsibility for his/her pet, and the potential of having to pet sit while at work would stress me out!

    Your other co-workers may feel similarly but aren’t taking a hard stance because there can be negative reactions towards someone saying they are simply not a fan of dogs. At any rate, I definutely think it is worth it to stand your ground on this one!

    1. Top Secret Name*

      Same here. I’m generally uncomfortable around them, don’t like them jumping on me or licking my hand/leg, and find them distracting. Plus, as you said, some owners are really lousy at dealing with dogs that aggressively stick their noses in your crotch (and say/do nothing) or slobber everywhere and don’t clean up properly after “accidents” or bathroom time.
      I’ve never understood bringing pets to work. I don’t even understand dog friendly offices…but at least you know what you’re getting into when you interview.
      I also agree with your 2nd point. Sometimes it feels like people take “I don’t want dogs around at work etc” as “I KICK PUPPIES” which makes it that much harder to speak up. I like pictures of dogs, funny dog videos, and I think they should only be treated well…But there’s a time and place for everything.

    2. MK*

      I have seen this so many times, and not only with pet owners but dog lovers in general about all animals. I have been chastised by complete straners for trying to (gently) shoo away stray dogs and cats that want to jump at me.

      1. OP #1*

        Don’t get me wrong, I love dogs. My issue is that this isn’t an appropriate ‘office dog’ (small, short haired breed). I’m making no assumptions about my co-worker’s ability to train the dog. My main concern is the allergy/ hair shedding and the sheer size of the breed. We can’t assume that everyone who comes into our office is going to be okay with dogs, for whatever reason and unfortunately it can’t be put anywhere. Not to mention my poor partner and the length;s I’d have to go to to avoid carrying home pet hair.

        1. TL -*

          For what it’s worth, size does not correlate to appropriateness of dog breed in office. (nor does short-haired, honestly, though I understand why you want a short-haired one.)
          I’ve known great office dogs of multiple breeds, including border collies, and many small short-haired dogs that would be terrible office dogs.
          Our 12 lb Chihuahua cross ran a few miles almost every day and still wanted to follow us everywhere, be fairly active all day AND barked at strangers. Terrible office dog. My brother’s mastiff cross is over 100 lbs but would be a great office dog (assuming you have space) because all he wants to do is have a long walk a few times a day and then sleep around his people. Doesn’t bark. Calmest, most-well behaved dog.

          I’m also curious about the breed, if you want to share, but that’s just curiosity. :)

            1. anonymous_psyduck*

              I know this is sort of out of left field….but big, notoriously difficult to train, territorial, high energy requirements, hair not fur, nd novel enough that it trumps norms f not bringing dogs into offices…

              I’m wondering if it is an Afghan Hound. Or maybe a Portuguese Water Dog.

              1. SimonTheGreyWarden*

                My mind immediately went to a family friend’s monstrous Bernese mountain dog. Beautiful creature. Emphatic DO NOT WANT on my part.

            2. Lora*

              See, I was thinking Husky. Those things need a LOT of exercise. And they are giant hair-monsters. They are lovable goofballs with a ton of personality, but oh boy I know distance runners who take them running for 10 miles/day and the dog is still raring to go afterwards. And when they blow their coat in spring it’s like a whole other dog’s worth of fur.

          1. blackcat*

            Yes, I have known two office/store greyhounds, one massive (150lbs) great dane, and quite a few older labs. They lay in beds. Wag their tails if someone approaches and pets them. Basically, they can be complete couch potatoes. Many large breeds make excellent lower maintenance dogs once they are 2+ years old.

            Size does not have much to do with office-appropriateness of the dog, unless space is so cramped a large dog can’t have a bed or place to retreat. Age, however, has a lot to do with it! For most breeds, I wouldn’t want to deal with a dog under 18 months old when I was trying to work (I’d prefer to not deal with them at all, since I am allergic).

          2. Jayn*

            My though with large breed + puppy is that the animal can quickly become a more difficult issue compared to a smaller breed. My friends have a golden lab that took years to start settling out of “must jump on everyone” mode. Being fairly small this made him a bit intimidating to me, because he’s close to my size. I have a small dog now that can be just as eager to play, but I don’t have to worry he’s going to knock me down trying, and I can easily hold him back or even pick him up with one hand.

            1. TL -*

              I mean, yes, it’s easier to deal with an untrained smaller dog than a larger one (though biting is a concern no matter the size) but larger ones are generally (broadly) calmer and easier to train.

              Honestly, though, if you’re depending on force to control your animal, you’re not using great methods. There are good methods don’t depend on you being able to overpower the animal.

          3. JHS*

            My partner’s sibling has the same dynamic with their dogs: tiny French bulldog is hyper and crazy (there are reasons though) and giant French mastiff is really easygoing and relaxed (and yet people generally approach the mad little thing and are afraid of the gentle giant!). However, giant French mastiff was still really excitable up to about age 4, and would never have been suitable in an office.

            Also, there really isn’t enough stimulation for a dog in an office. Presumably the coworker is planning to actually do work, so the puppy’s going to get ignored and go a bit wild (understandably). Hiring a dog walker would be a better option, because the puppy will get to socialize with other dogs, and get worn out by a nice long walk and hopefully sleep most of the day until the coworker gets home. Trying to bring it into work instead strikes me as being much more for the coworker’s benefit than for the dog’s.

            1. Annonymouse*

              One of my bosses has a French bull dog and French mastif and he brings them to our work sometimes when he has to (loud road construction on their street upsetting them or storm damage to his house)

              But they are in the area downstairs at the back near/in the carpark, well secured, watched and with adequate distractions with food, toys and bones.

              I have a sinking feeling that OPs coworker isn’t going to make the same effort for their dog and EVERYONE ELSE in the office is going to have to step up and train/watch the dog whether they want to or not.

              A simple “my partner and I both have dog allergies so it’s not possible.” Should be enough.

              If the office isn’t known or advertised as dog friendly then it’s not unreasonable to expect it to be dog free.

              It was mentioned in my interview that dogs come in sometimes so I could select out if the hiring process if it was an issue or deal breaker for me.

              It wasn’t a dog free office that suddenly became dog friendly.

          4. Falling Diphthong*

            Seconding that size is not relevant to desirability of office dog–a big, calm, four-on-the-floor dog is often the best match.

            Wanting to just nap near its people for hours is the real key.

          5. That Would Be a Good Band Name*

            I can’t imagine a border collie in an office. Mine would just run around trying to herd everyone. LOL

            1. TL -*

              Trailer was amazingly well behaved! He used to sneak to the back door sometimes but other than that he spent the day lying down in the office. (He didn’t come in every day, though.) I’d actually have to go looking for him to see if he was there that day.

            2. Another person*

              My parents’ border collie would lie down where you told him to all day (especially if it was at your feet) but probably not until he was two. He would stare at you very intensely all day, though, because he likes to watch things. But he is the best dog ever and even so, he would be much happier being left at home on the acre my parents have to run around and stare at the chickens.

          6. Elizabeth West*

            My friend has mastiffs and they are big love bugs. But not everyone is comfortable around a dog that big who also drools copiously. I mean, a LOT of drool.

        2. Danger: Gumption Ahead*

          In my experience, large dogs are the best office dogs, especially retrievers. Hence why they are so popular as service dogs.

          1. AvonLady Barksdale*

            Mine too. My bud was a great office dog because he’s 65 pounds and likes to laze around all day. He would sit on sofas during meetings, and he only made noise when he had a doggy dream. My former co-workers’ chihuahua mix was an ok office dog, but he was skittish and kind of mean, so he required a little more attention. My dude only got annoying at the end of the day when he was SO DONE and ready to go home (a great excuse to leave a few minutes early…).

            That said, my current boss sometimes brings his dog in and she’s teeeeeeny– but she’s also old and lazy and shy with strangers, so she spends her whole day in his office. Which makes her nice to have around but not a great Office Dog, because the perfect Office Dog strolls around occasionally and makes himself available for rubs.

        3. Episkey*

          I don’t know, you keep saying you know a ton about dogs, but you also keep belaboring the point about “good” office dogs being small & short haired. Small dogs are NOTORIOUSLY little jerks, especially terriers. I would think someone who claims to know a ton about dogs would realize some of the best office/service dogs are larger breeds like Labradors/Golden Retrievers. Frankly, I think you need to drop this line of protest (dog’s breed/size/hairiness) and stick with the issues surrounding allergies/open floor plan/containment issues.

          1. Perse's Mom*

            Service dogs don’t enter into this particular equation.

            While I agree the dog’s breed really has nothing to do with this, I’m guessing the OP is focused on smaller, short haired dogs as more appropriate to an office because they’re less likely to be destructive at all levels (some small dogs may manage to get onto desks, but like counter surfing in homes, this is usually more of a large dog thing) and while they still shed, there’s less mass and therefore less overall hair TO shed? I mean, during certain times of the year, you could practically build a daily dachshund out of hair groomed off of a shepherd or lab.

        4. Not a Morning Person*

          Your only issue needs to be that you are allergic to dogs. It’s the most powerful argument and has the most likelihood of being accepted as reasonable for denying the coworker her request. Don’t bring up the other stuff about the size and hair type of the dog. You are allergic and that should be the end of the issue. If coworker complains you can be sympathetic to her frustration by agreeing with her that it is sad that she can’t bring her puppy to work and restating that your allergy is a pain to deal with and you appreciate her concern for your health and well being… with as much sincerity as you can manage.

    3. Naomi*

      Oh, yeah–if I worked in OP’s office, I would have such a hard time pushing back. I’m not allergic but I get freaked out by dogs jumping on me; I could maybe learn to cope with a well-trained dog that kept to itself, but not a bouncy puppy. And if the dog owner in this case is trying to steamroll over objections on medical grounds, I’m not optimistic about her reaction if someone said no on the grounds that they just don’t like dogs.

    4. saturnine*

      Same here. I am just not comfortable around dogs…like at all. But regardless of one’s reasons, it’s totally valid to say no to a dog in an office.

  17. GlamNonprofitSquirrel*

    One of the (many) reasons why I accepted the offer with CurrentJob was the dog-friendly environment. (I work in an enclosed office suite inside another office building. We have our own entrance/exit which makes walkies/potty breaks quite convenient.) That said, my dog is 5+ years old and 98% of the time likes to impersonate a rug. I wouldn’t bring in a puppy (other than once or twice as “show and tell”, much like one brings in a new baby to be admired by colleagues) or if the animal is in training for therapy or other service.

    That being said, I would never EVER presume that it would be OK to bring a dog into a workplace that wasn’t previously established as “dog friendly”. Puppies need an extraordinary amount of time, energy and training in order to become happy, healthy dogs. There’s no such thing as a hypoallergenic dog and for colleagues with allergies, it’s a nightmare.

    I feel for the OP, that’s for sure. We really do need pet parent licenses, not pet licenses. :)

    1. Sam*

      Yep, puppies are like (human) babies – it’s cool if a coworker pops in with a new puppy so people can coo over it, but they should not be there all day. They’re cute but they’re also needy and distracting. Having one in an open-plan office would almost certainly impact productivity. I think this is actually where the coworker’s lack of experience with dogs is most apparent and potentially problematic.

      (OP, you’ve said multiple times that you don’t think this particular kind of dog is a good fit for your coworker. I don’t think you want your coworker to pick up on that sentiment, because it’s really none of your business what kind of pet they want to get and I suspect they’d be likely to bristle at your criticism. The dog’s impact on your working environment and physical well-being IS your concern, so focus on that.)

    2. MechanicalPencil*

      Bahaha. One of my dogs is also a rug — a shag rug that snores. The other is a tiny, impractical lap blanket. I love these description ideas, thank you.

    3. kittymommy*

      Maybe it’s just me but I find it weirdly random for someone to just suddenly want and ask to bring a dog to work in an office that doesn’t seem to have a dog-friendly history. I have a friend who works in an office that’s dog friendly (3 big dogs and one little one) but it’s been that way for years, But if a colleague of mine out if the blue started asking to bring hers pet on it would seem so random.

      1. Myrin*

        It’s not just you, I agree completely.

        It sounds like this person went from “talking about her getting a young dog” straight to “asking everyone if it’s okay for the dog to come in to the office three times a week” which, as a coworker, would make me go seriously “WTF where did that come from??”; maybe it’s because this whole dog-in-the-office thingy doesn’t seem to be a thing in my country (at least not AFAIK, I might just be completely oblivious to it), but this situation never would’ve crossed my mind upon hearing a coworker’s decision to adopt a dog.

        Like, if the only way you can appropriately and to-you-liking-y care for you dog is to bring it with you to your place of work, maybe it’s the wrong time to be getting a dog.

        I touched on this in another comment above but I’m getting a strong feeling of this coworker trying to make this a done deal that no one can refuse. Like “Oops, I already bought the puppy and he will be so sad and alone and not-adequately cared for if I leave him and look at this picture of how cute he is and now I have him and can’t just leave him at home right?!”, where the coworkers are supposed to feel bad like it’s somehow their responsibility now that there won’t be anyone to look after the animal.

      2. tigerStripes*

        Where I work, there have been occasions when someone has had a dog at work, but they’ve been very rare, and the dog has been quiet and well behaved and confined to an office or a cubicle, and it was never a problem.

        A puppy could be a whole different thing.

    4. Specialk9*

      “Walkies”? Please tell me you’re Aussie, Kiwi, or never ever say that term at work. I have such a strong aversion to baby talk – other than to babies – that I’d have a hard time not cringing hard.

      1. Liz T*

        …uh, GlamNonprofitSquirrel is not talking to you at work. Even if they were, “never ever” is an awfully extreme dictum for a common, tongue-in-cheek, completely unoffensive word.

        1. Lily Rowan*

          I’m now cracking up inside imagining how to maintain the highest level of professional interaction in a dog-friendly office. “I’m not available to meet at 10; I will be out of pocket as my officemate Mr. Wiggles has some personal business to attend to, and I will need to accompany and supervise him closely.”

          1. Ramona Flowers*

            My favourite was the poster (whose name I forget) who once mentioned how doggos at their dog-friendly workplace have their own workplace ID badges.

      2. Perse's Mom*

        Pretty sure there’s something in the commenting guidelines about not nit-picking language/word choice (particularly when it’s harmless). If you can’t abide it, skip the comment.

    5. Kate the B*

      Your CurrentJob is my personal hell.

      Don’t mind me, I have lots of feelings about this issue.

  18. OP #1*

    GlamNonprofitSquirrel, as mentioned in a previous reply, I am a huge dog lover. I haven’t got an issue with office dogs too much. However, this breed is not what I’d consider ok or appropriate for our space. It’s way too large, energetic and hairy. I make no assumptions about my colleague’s ability to train the dog. That’s not my concern. It’s what can’t be controlled that’s the issue.

    1. Augusta Sugarbean*

      If you are worried about pushing back against this coworker, try pulling some of your other coworkers aside and asking if they have reservations. Judging from the comments here, I’d be willing to bet that you aren’t the only one. But this might also be a time when you have to start learning how to stick up for yourself. You said you were incredibly intimidated by this person and her partner. First, her partner doesn’t work for your company and doesn’t get a say. Period. Second, think about why you are intimidated. What power does this person actually have over you? Being snotty? Well that will end up harming her more than you in the long run. (This is where surveying some of your colleagues can help – if more than a few people are on the side of no dogs, she’ll run into more bad feeling if she continues to be jerky.)

      Stick t0 your guns. Stay calm, firm, factual. The calmer you are, the worse she’s going to look if she gets agitated. Remember Jack Donaghy – Say no. Talk low. Let her go. And remember Miss Manners – “I’m sorry. It’s just no possible.” Good luck.

    2. Nerdling*

      Ignore that part of it. It’s honestly not anywhere near as relevant or strong an argument as “I’m allergic to dogs.” Focus on that, and leave your personal feelings about the coworker’s ability to handle the dog out of it.

    3. Rachel Green*

      My advice would be to leave the breed out of it. It’s irrelevent. Focus on how having a dog (any dog, especially a puppy) in the office will affect you/your partner’s allergies and how it will affect your ability to work (distraction, noises, smells, etc.).

  19. Bagpuss*

    OP#4 – It sounds as though you have a pretty good relationship with your Boss – can you simply ask him whether you should be calling him ‘Mr’ and if so,whether this is across the board or only in specific situations (e.g. in e-mails / memos / in front of clients)?

    As Alison says, I think you’ d also be OK to let him know that you are happy to be addressed by your forename, and to follow his lead in signing of your e-mails etc that way.

  20. Naruto*

    #1, all the stuff you’re imagining may not come to pass. For instance, the dog being territorial — generally that’s actually older dog behavior and puppies are not territorial.

    I understand that you think this is a bad idea and it’s stressing you out, but stick with what you know and what relates to you. “The idea of this dog coming in is stressing me out because I’m allergic (even to “hypo-allergenic” dogs) and my partner is even more highly allergic.” You might also say that you think it will be distracting to you, but I wouldn’t say it will be a problem for the office. If it turns out to be bad for the whole office, people will see that quickly. However, you could suggest something like “if coworker does bring their dog in, can it at least be on a trial basis?”

  21. Jamey*

    OP 1, if you’re getting pushback about the dog behind hypoallergenic and it’s a lie, can’t you show your boss some documentation about how the breed is not, in fact, hypoallergenic?

    1. Trillian*

      I’d be inclined to make the coworker do the work to produce credible evidence that the dog is hypoallergenic, other than wishful thinking, but that notwithstanding, the office is not puppy-safe and is not an appropriate environment for an untrained young animal.

      1. TL -*

        There are long-haired hypoallergenic dogs, according to the AKC (and I think I figured out the dog breed, lol) but no dog is completely unallergenic so people can still have allergic responses.

        I think the OP can just say they’re not comfortable with it and leave it at that. She asked, after all! I would tell the boss you’re allergic, but don’t get her much to fight back against; just say that you’re not comfortable with a puppy in the office and you would prefer she didn’t bring the puppy in.

        1. zora*

          Labradoodles were bread for basically exactly this reason: supposedly hypoallergenic. But Portuguese Water Dogs are also super popular right now for this exact reason. It could be either or a more rare breed.

    2. neverjaunty*

      No, because that creates a dynamic where OP is the bad guy who has to prove Co-worker is wrong, otherwise co-worker gets to do as she pleases.

      All OP needs to say is that she and her partner still have a reaction to that breed of dog, or that all dogs trigger her and her partner’s allergies.

  22. Loopy*

    I would love to have my dog at work but is definitely NOT suited to be an office dog. Not only would we have issues with my coworkers, it would hugely affect my productivity.

    I am surprised the entire office aside from OP was so accepting of having a dog around. And that no one higher up at least only agreed to a trial period at the very least!! They can be huge distractions even when there aren’t as many issues with being untrained.

    I love dogs and love my dog but I hugely sympathize with the OP.

  23. Argh!*

    #2 : sham interviews for jobs that someone has in the bag are the worst! I always feel badly for the hopeful candidate who brings a fabulous resume and makes an excellent impression but has zero chance of being hired. I have to go through with the act and it makes me sick to my stomach.

    1. K.*

      My brother once interviewed for a job and the interviewer accidentally said something like “The person we’re hiring …” My brother thanked him for his time and left. To the company’s credit, he got an apology email from HR afterward.

  24. Rachel B*

    There is no such thing as a non-allergenic dog. Hypoallergenic dog breeds (single-coated or hairless) will still produce allergens, but because of their coat type will typically produce less than others. People with severe allergies and asthma can still be affected by a hypoallergenic dog.

    I have single-coated breed dog (A Portuguese Water Dog puppy – 24 weeks old) who will be about 50 lbs as an adult dog. I can empathize with new puppy parents. It is a struggle to find puppy care. Many qualified puppy day care centers require vaccinations and proof of socialization that isn’t feasible with very young dogs. Relying on a dog walker is expensive and can be difficult with house training. Plus, some puppies are more vocal/disruptive to your neighbors than others.

    However, I would absolutely stand firm on no puppies in the office if there are allergies or an unwillingness to deal with puppy antics. I’m fortunate that I work from home where my puppy sleeps “most” of the day. But in the handful of hours that he’s awake, he can be a real jerk. And new, challenging behavior crops up all the day as puppies develop. Two weeks ago, he discovered chewing on the base boards. This week, he keeps trying to nap on my dining room table.

    1. Kyrielle*

      Hee hee hee oh man the baseboards. My parents had a dog that did that. And later ate the bottom center of the steering wheel, during a cross-country drive, during the *short* walk for the other dog at a rest stop.

  25. Zip Zap*

    #1 – I’m curious about what breed it is! Could you talk to your boss about coming up with an official office policy on dogs so that everyone is treated fairly? What’s going on is really not fair. The needs of people with allergies or who just don’t want to work around a puppy should come before the “cute puppy!” popularity contest thing that’s going on.

    People I’ve known who got a puppy while working in an office job negotiated to take longer lunch breaks so they could go home and take care of the puppy.

    #3 – I don’t think this is a bad thing at all. Being employed full time while starting your own business shows a lot of initiative and responsibility.

    What do you want to do in the long run? Do you want to run an agency or work at a big firm? If the former, yes, work at a coffee shop, but be sure to spend your free time growing your business. Be ready to work 80 or more hours a week. Ask the coffee shop owner if you can help with anything. They might really appreciate a new website, logo, whatever your specialty is. The more you have in your portfolio the better.

    I agree with other commenters that it would be good to be ready to leave the coffee shop if something else comes up. But if you’re really interested in the business, it could become part of your specialty. You could run an agency with a lot of coffee industry clients. In that case, working as a barista could open up opportunities to network, and give you some insights into how the business works.

    In my experience, some service industry employers are supportive of their employees’ other pursuits whereas some can be almost… resentful? At times, there’s a jealous boss / “know your place” sort of dynamic. Be prepared to work around that if it develops. That means go out and make industry contacts on your own and don’t talk to Jealous Boss about the business you’re starting.

    And definitely keep looking at job postings in your field. You might find something that looks like a good fit and wouldn’t hold you back from having your own agency.

    But congrats on deciding to start your own business. If you work hard to make it successful, you’ll be better off than if you worked at someone else’s company.

  26. Gee Gee*

    Puppy parent lost the moral high ground as soon as she wanted to bring the dog to the office for financial reasons (as the OP stated). If you can’t afford all aspects of care, you don’t adopt the animal in the first place.

    1. Zip Zap*


      She could have adopted a dog from a shelter, saved at least $1,000, and used that money to send it to day care.

  27. Champagne_Dreams*

    Q2: Alison it’s not always about internal (pointless) policy — federal subcontractors subject to affirmative action guidelines are required to advertise for a minimum number of days and to justify every single applicant rejection as to why they weren’t chosen. While the business units are busy sniping at me about what they see as my HR department’s stupid policy designed to make their lives hard, in fact it’s a government requirement.

    1. (Different) Rebecca*

      Government requirement or not, I’d be hard pressed not to justify rejections with some variant of “we already found the most qualified applicant, and x is not that person.” But that’s why they don’t put me in authority positions…

    2. Sue Wilson*

      If that’s the case, they you 100% should be making sure they’re not promising people jobs, and there is someone doing review on the applicants to make sure you guys didn’t pass someone up in a way that looks discriminatory.

  28. GarlicMicrowaver*

    Thread 1 inspired me to ask something I was always wondering… If you have a registered therapy dog and a note that warrants you to bring it wherever you want, whenever you want, can you do so if someone in the office objects? Say, if Objector has an allergy? Or what if it’s a fear of dogs? Or what if the rest of the crew just doesn’t want an animal in teh office? Who wins in this situation? Where is the line drawn? How is stuff like this decided? I could see it turning into an ugly, moral battle of “reasonable accommodation.”

    1. aebhel*

      I think that is something that would fall under ‘reasonable accommodations’ and be up to the boss to negotiate.

    2. TL -*

      Service dogs have to be accommodated, so fear of dogs (unless it’s an extremely strong phobia) and “just don’t wanna” wouldn’t matter. Dog allergy would require some workarounds but could probably be accommodated in a larger company; in a very small one it might get interesting.

    3. fposte*

      There isn’t a category of “registered therapy dog,” not in the way you mean, and legally there’s no such thing as a note that warrants you to bring it wherever you want (I mean, you could write one yourself, but the law doesn’t care). There are service dogs, which are permitted in public spaces under the ADA, and emotional support animals, which are covered by the Fair Housing Act and the Air Carrier Access Act but not the ADA. Somebody with an ADA-qualifying disability could request either be allowed in the workplace as part of accommodation. State law is a further complication, and case law in certain districts will affect the legality as well (looks like the 11th Circuit made an interesting call, for instance).

      In short, you really need to have an experienced lawyer in your area guide you if you’re thinking of saying no to a request for an accommodation in general, but especially if that accommodation is an animal. And while employers are not required to accommodate an animal in the office it’s an undue hardship or a direct threat, “not wanting an animal in the office” isn’t an undue hardship. And it’s not a winner-take-all thing with one disability or another–it’s up to the workplace to see if both can be accommodated, and it’s often not that difficult.

    4. Episkey*

      My dog is a registered therapy dog, but I am not able to bring her everywhere. I think you might be thinking of emotional support dogs. My dog is registered through Pet Partners to perform “therapy work” — ie for other people, not really for myself. So, for instance, we volunteer at the local hospital and we can visit with patients if they would like to see a dog, or we have gone to an elementary school and the kids read to her. Same with nursing homes, etc. She has a badge and calling cards — she even has a hospital badge (with her photo, it’s hilarious) — but it does not mean I am able to take her into Starbucks with me.

      1. Hibiscus*

        My sister and her cat are a registered therapy combo. They visit hospice and dementia patients, have gone to the local college stress relief fair during finals, and hang out at Petsmart a lot.

        1. fposte*

          Yeah, I should have been more specific–there is a category called “therapy dog,” but it’s not one that people will need to bring to their jobs, and it has no legally recognized registration–that’s all a useful convention, not a requirement.

    5. Teapots Project Manager*

      fposte covers the legal aspects very well.

      One thing they didn’t point out: a big working dog who is properly trained to go into an office environment with the owner is a completely different situation than bringing your large lively untrained puppy to work.

      A properly trained service dog responds to commands and is trained to be relatively quiet in public. They have the attention span to chill under their owner’s desk at or a conference room table for an hour or so, so work can be done undisrupted. They stay in their harness while moving around the office with the owner – and thus close to the owner and away from people who might have issues with wandering dogs.

      “Do not want an animal” is not a reason to exclude a service dog because the need of the person with a disability trumps the preference. Allergies and phobias would be handled on a case-by-case basis to get to a reasonable accommodation for both parties (perhaps the employee with the allergy/phobia and the dog handler could have alternating wfh schedules, or there is a “no go” zone for the dog around the other employee’s desk to allow them to work).

  29. Allison*

    1) I pretty much never believe people who insist their dog is hypo-allergenic, especially if it’s because they want to bring the dog to work. Maybe there are dogs I wouldn’t have a reaction to, but I wouldn’t commit to spending many hours a day around the dog unless I could find out for sure it wouldn’t be a problem.

    Also, I have to wonder if the employee planned to bring the dog to work before they bought the dog, or whether they assumed it was a strong possibility, and they *could* find a workaround if needed but hadn’t planned that far, because dogs in the office seems like such a common thing to them nowadays. Whereas if I were to get a dog, I would wait until I could coparent it with a partner, and he and I could take turns working from home until we can either leave the dog home alone or put it in daycare.

    Never, ever bring a living thing into your life until you know how you’ll care for it, and whatever arrangement you have in your head is actually approved by those involved.

    5) I actually do know someone who worked at a coffee chain for many years after college, even worked his way up to management, before leaving for a better job, but he had to take a coding bootcamp first and even then he had a little trouble getting a job after. He took that path because he was having a hard time getting a job out of college and someone convinced him moving to a city and working in a coffee shop was way better than living at home and job hunting. So it may not actually be the end of the world if you take the coffee shop route, even long term, but I wouldn’t opt for it right now, wait at least six months, maybe even a year, and know that the longer you work there, the more likely it’ll be that you’ll need to learn a whole new skillset to get out of there and get a 9-5 office job.

    1. Allison*

      Oh fork, I meant #3, not #5, sorry #5! I don’t have networking advice, because I also stink at networking.

      1. CM*

        For #1, I don’t get how this is acceptable — to me it’s exactly the same as having a baby and insisting on bringing your baby to the office because you don’t want to get outside childcare. I agree with the OP that having a puppy around is different than an older, trained dog. Regardless of the breed, the puppy is going to need a lot of attention and probably isn’t going to be easy to deal with in an office environment.

        And for #5, if she’s being a barista to earn steady money while active pursing freelancing, that seems fine to me. But it seems like she sees the barista-ing as the main gig, which only works if she’s willing to let her original field go and see where life takes her.

        1. Mads*

          Hi, thanks for the response to my design/barista question. For my last 2 years of college, I was constantly fighting with myself on whether or not I actually wanted to do graphic design. Now, a few months after graduating, I still don’t know. I’m starting an agency because it will be similar to freelance, but I’ll be able to collaborate on everything with someone else. I also want to hold on to what I studied, at least a little bit. You’re right, I didn’t choose the barista job just to make extra cash, although that’s obviously important. I could have gotten any retail job to do that. I have loved these coffee shops and the service industry and have wanted to learn the craft for a while. I guess I would hope I could do something in the coffee industry, and I figured this could get a foot in the door. Still not sure if it’s a bad idea to forget everything I studied in school. I’ll also be out $250,000…

          1. CM*

            There’s nothing wrong with wanting to do something different. College degrees are required for lots of jobs, so you’re not really out $250K. I think if your goal is to have financial stability or a prestigious job, you’re not necessarily on the path to that… but if your goal is to figure out what you really care about and pursue that, it sounds like that’s what you’re doing.

  30. Graphic Designer*

    #3 I also graduated with a design degree in the NYC area and it took me a year after graduating to find a job. During that time I freelanced and worked in a local supermarket, but I was actively job searching the whole time. It’s not a bad idea to have a side job, or two or three when you’re just starting out, but it will definitely look weird if you don’t have any relevant experience in two years. When I was applying to jobs I left the supermarket position off, and was able to get enough freelance work so I didn’t have a gap in my resume. I know job hunting is stressful, but the only way it works is to keep applying. Good luck!

  31. Web Marketer*

    #3 – whether employers are impressed by your freelance agency is entirely dependent on how much work you actually do, and how good that work is. When I see junior designer resumes that shows they’ve been freelancing for a few years, my first move is to try to validate the experience. Some of them are really crushing it, getting a steady stream of paying clients and building their skills. That is absolutely impressive. Others made a logo for their dad’s cousin and some business cards for a buddy over the course of a year, and that’s it. Huge difference. That second group probably isn’t being lazy or less worthy – they are probably exhausted from working in food service or retail, or don’t have enough business experience to network their way into good freelance gigs.

    At the end of a shift, are you going to want to work another five, six, seven hours building your side business? Do you still want to work for an agency, or do you want to be an entrepreneur? If being a professional designer is your goal, I really think you should keep chasing it, while being a barista pays the bills. You don’t want to fall behind while fresh grads take up the junior openings as your skills get stale. Six weeks is such a dramatically short time. Keep looking. Keep hustling. Good luck!

    1. nonymous*

      This is a really good point. OP#3 needs to be incredibly transparent when documenting her portfolio regarding her design activities.

      For example, coming up with a new logo for Dad’s cousin may involve multiple consultations and revisions that are far more in depth than would happen than if the company had a mature media presence. It may involve end-to-end services (e.g. establishing and pushing social media) in addition to the design work. It may require preparing presentation info that educates at a greater level than for a well-established customer. But it could also be “here’s the logo, take it or leave it!”.

      1. Web Marketer*

        Yeah, freelancing is such a wide spectrum that it’s hard to say how valuable it’ll be to employers. And former designers like me have a finely tuned ear to freelance exaggeration!

  32. DCer*

    Dogs don’t belong in offices. Ever.

    And it’s really a failure of management when they’re allowed. I’m allergic. I speak up and complain. But frankly, I know there are people in the office who are allergic and don’t speak up – because they don’t want to be the one who says no to a dog. Allowing dogs in the office puts those people in a terrible, terrible position and managements should stop doing that.

    Offices are for people. All people. Even ones with allergies. Dogs are for your house. Where your coworker with allergies doesn’t have to go.

    If you want your dog with you while you work, work from home.

    Okay, rant over.

    1. FDCA In Canada*

      Unless, of course, that dog is a service dog, in which case the dog belongs in the office just as much as the person belongs in the office. And there are certainly plenty of offices that do allow dogs and have no issues with it.

      If someone has an issue with a dog in the workplace where dogs are otherwise allowed, then it is their responsibility to say something. Problems left unaddressed cannot be corrected.

      1. DCer*

        I should have said, “Except for service dogs.”

        But otherwise, on I entirely disagree with you. It’s not the responsibility of the person to object. It’s the responsibility of management not to thrust health problems on people and assume that everyone will be willing to say, “No, puppies are awful make them go away.” There are plenty of offices that allow dogs and no one objects because they don’t want to be “that person.” That doesn’t mean there aren’t any problems with it.

        Pets do not belong in the office. (Service dogs aren’t pets.) People belong in the office. Pets are not people. And the needs of the people not the pets should be the management’s primary concern.

  33. AnotherAlison*

    #3 – Maybe I’m reading too much into this, but I get a sense of the OP wanting to chill in her college town for a while and not actually wanting to get that professional job yet. My alma mater is in a college town about 30 miles from the bigger regional city, and there are a lot of degreed 40-year old people working in coffee shops who probably started off like the OP. . .One day your working in the coffee shop, serving coffee to your peers. . .next thing you know they’ve all moved on and you’re still stuck in the coffee shop. OP, think long term! What do you want life to look like in 10, 20 years?

    1. Mads*

      Hi, thanks for your response to my question! I think you’re kind of right with me wanting to stick in my college town. By staying here, it’s making it harder for me to see an actual future for myself. I’m constantly doubting if I actually want to pursue a career in graphic design. I’ve always had this “obsession” with coffee shops, so I was pretty excited to land a barista jobs at one of my favorite cafés. A possible long-term goal of mine is to open up my own coffee shop. Again, I’m still confused on what I want to do and what I’m passionate about, so that’s probably a big reason in me just wanting to be a barista for a while.

      1. tigerStripes*

        Trying to decide if you want a career in graphic design – you might want to try to get informational interviews with people who do this for a living so you can ask more about what the day to day job is like.

        It might be impossible to know if you want to do this as a career until you’ve had a job or maybe a few jobs in that field too.

  34. Amber Rose*

    #1: Allergies are an ADA thing right? That should be an automatic “no you can’t bring your dog” then, since it isn’t a service animal. It shouldn’t be on you to say no to the coworker either, there should be a manager or HR or something explaining this.

    #3: I worked as a janitor for just under a year after I graduated, then a hardware store for a little longer. It’s pretty common I think. Those types of jobs are used to high turnover. And it’s good to have some work experience.

  35. Sara M*

    I have dog allergies. Dogs are cute, but I get sick when I interact with them.

    Just say no. You have the right.

  36. Scarlott*

    but but… puppy. Is it professional? no. Would it boost moral? Maybe. Would it be a distraction? Most definitely.

    1. Amber Rose*

      One of my coworkers breeds dogs as a side thing. He brought a tiny puppy to work one day. Nothing got done for ages while we chased it around the stock room and then everyone wanted to hold it.

      It did make an otherwise crappy day a lot better for me, but productivity definitely suffered.

  37. Jana*

    OP #2: Unfortunately this is a pretty common practice. I’ve heard from friends who do hiring that their organizations almost never post a vacancy without already knowing who they plan to hire and will often write the vacancy announcement to “match” that person’s background/skills. They’ll sometimes still interview a handful of other candidates, but will still go forward with the person they planned to hire from the start. I’m sure that all organizations don’t operate this way, but the practice isn’t uncommon.

  38. animaniactoo*

    OP #1, I would stick with “I understand that you have a breed who is described as being hypo-allergenic. However, I have a lot more experience with what that actually means and it’s not a guarantee and it is not a risk I am willing to take.”

  39. Employment Lawyer*

    1. My coworker wants to bring her large, hairy puppy to work
    Push back, but it’s not your office, so remember you may lose. Your boss can consider your wishes but is not required to follow them unless it turns into some sort of ADA issue, etc.

    As a dog lover I’ve been trying to figure out large/hairy/purportedly-hypoallergenic/territorial. Without resorting to Googling, I’m guessing Bouvier….?

    This thread hits home; I’m about to get a puppy and I plan to bring it to work, but then again I own my own office. And I’m getting a PWD, so smaller/friendlier. And I don’t delude myself into thinking that it still won’t occasionally shed, chew, bark, etc. And I’m an experienced dog owner.

    But I agree, based on your description things seem like they could go worse.

  40. Dankar*

    When I first read the headline, I thought this was going to be a situation like my best friend was in. Her coworker volunteered for a rescue organization and took on about 5 orphaned puppies that hadn’t been weaned. Because they needed to be fed every two hours, she brought them to work to bottle-feed them. But a) she had an office and could close her door; b) the puppies basically just ate and slept all day since they were so young their eyes were still closed; and c) she kept them in a cardboard box under her desk.

    That’s about the only time puppies could reasonably be acceptable at work. Other than that, you’re really asking for trouble. I do think, OP#1, that you should limit your argument to how this would affect you, rather than your coworker’s ability to care for the dog. It sounds like she’s taken on more than she can manage and that the dog will probably suffer for it, but it’s not an effective way to build your case to your boss.

    (If you really sense that the dog is being neglected, though, you can always file a report with animal services. It’s a last-resort response if things are truly dire, but one that is available.)

    1. Perse's Mom*

      I used to do that all the time with itty bitty kitties! Caveat being I worked at a humane society, so I wasn’t the only one and it was generally my boss who gave me the litter to begin with.

  41. I'd Rather not Say*

    OP 1, if you’re not having any success saying, no, would it be possible to suggest that the dog be allowed in on a probationary basis? (a month, or maybe 1 day a week, whatever you think you can manage) If what you believe is true happens, the issue may resolve itself with the boss and other employees agreeing that the puppy is too disruptive, or perhaps a client will complain. As far as your health concerns, maybe accommodations could be made for you to work remotely, or in a closed part of the office during this time. This is not meant to be dismissive of your concerns, but this may give you more weight to be able to say you tried to compromise, and it’s not working to have the puppy there.

    1. Hannah Spanna*

      I agree. I think that, if you have a good relationship with your boss, saying I don’t think alowing dogs in the office due to a b c which will cause the work problems x y z, should be enough. Then if/when the dog does cause these problems, your boss can tell the employee it’s not working. Or if unlikely it turns out it’s not as you suspected, then everyone wins.
      This only relates to concerns about behaviour, which seem to be the ones OP1 is commenting about more. Allergy concerns need to be treated differently.

      1. Hannah Spanna*

        As to allergy concerns, I would have a chat with boss, not mentioning puppy behaviour at all. (If you bring in behaviour I fear it will sound like your health concerns aren’t significant enough to halt this, which is not the impression that you want to give.)
        Being calm, saying you have allergies to some dogs, and you are concerned about the impact on your work, cost of treating/preventing the allergy symptoms, and accommodations that may have to be made (such as remote working for allergy sufferers such as yourself) if this office policy was changed to allow dogs or other pets. I would aim to sound quite perplexed that this was even suggested.
        (But then, I’m British, and have never heard of dogs being brought into the office several times a week. In the the US you have a whole chain of dog friendly restaurants!)

  42. Layla*

    Signing off with first name may not mean everyone is free to call one by first name.
    In my environment , doctors do sign off with their first name , but only their peers & above call them by their first names. Mere mortals like us have to prefix with Dr.

  43. Too, a Creative*

    Number 3
    I am a self-employed graphic designer, brand developer and digital marketer/social media strategist etc etc etc. I do not have a degree in this field, but I started an agency on my own too and created the job that I wanted. Not that this is doable for everyone, but it could become your career. I have consistently, every year since I did this, brought in a nice salary that has only grown. Digital media/social media is vast and large and every company uses it in some form or fashion (and if they’re not, they need to, and [we] can help them figure that out!) so honestly the jobs are endless if you put the work in. That may not have been your initial goal and your friends and family might think you’re crazy to pursue your passion by creating your own business, but where do the rules say you must earn your income by being someone’s employee. Now of course, that may be your ultimate goal as well, but if it isn’t and your business does well you might become the employer one day (I am just getting ready to begin hiring my own employees now) and be very happy doing it.

    So do what feels right to you. There are no rules on what success looks like. Each person defines their own. Remember, every business that you wish to employed with started somewhere so you just might join those ranks if you’re crazy enough to believe it.

    My one suggestion would definitely be make sure the business you started with your friend has a solid online presence. Make sure your social is consistent, that your web page is responsive and updated regularly. Do case studies on any clients you get. That will become your digital resume/portfolio for prospective employers (or clients!) while you job search.

    Good luck!! and enjoy the coffee ;-)

    1. Too, a Creative*

      I meant to add also that I live in a (large) college town, next to another (small) college town, about 30 minutes away from “the” large city in my region (which is seeing a huge creative boom and resurgence as of late) but most of my clients that pay my bills are other small businesses. Lots of businesses need design and marketing help. Small ones often try to juggle it themselves while trying to focus on actually running their business so if you can come in and solve that problem for them and show them how paying you will actually allow them to make more money, then you are their savior. So you don’t always have to focus on the big name brands when you first start. If you can get a few local small businesses (or remote small businesses) on retainer every month and do one-off projects too, you can have a guaranteed income that is secure. You have to stay on your toes always, of course, but if you shift your focus away from the glamorous big names and maybe focus on small/mid size businesses you will find an endless amount of potential clients and income.

  44. Rachel Green*

    OP #1: I think you’re right to be concerned about a coworker bringing a puppy into the office. Any puppy, no matter the breed, should not be brought into an office. A puppy isn’t potty trained, will likely chew on anything and everything, may bark or make other loud noises. If I were you I would push back hard on that.

    However, I would hold off on judging whether this coworker is capable of owning and taking care of a dog. When I adopted a puppy a few years ago, I got a lot of unsolicited comments/feedback from coworkers, friends and family doubting whether I could handle a puppy. The shelter almost didn’t even let me adopt him. 6 years later, my dog is happy and healthy, I’ve read several books about dog behavior, I love my dog and don’t regret adopting him AT ALL; despite all the naysayers. The first year or two are difficult for any first-time dog owner. Try not to judge as your coworker is learning.

  45. HJ*

    #3: I moved to NYC to work in a creative and highly competitive field right after I graduated, and it took me a year to find a job in that field. A month and a half is barely even looking (hell– it can take over a month and a half to go from application to interview to rejection!) and you should really consider giving yourself more time. I spent my year between graduation and my first job interning, working retail, cobbling together catering gigs, and only really started getting bites on my job applications after six months in the city. Obviously NYC is painfully expensive, but especially in a field like graphic design you can freelance as well to help with the rent (in a not-great apartment in a boring neighborhood). It’s not the glam, easy-breezy postgrad NYC you see on TV, but it’s a living, and will keep you a more competitive applicant.

    1. HJ*

      Obviously I don’t know your financial situation– and there are plenty of reasons to leave NYC other than “didn’t try that hard to get a job”– but if you can swing it, you should really try to.

  46. Product Person*

    #5: AAM has good advice, and I’m writing to further stress out the importance of checking the “careers” section of the website of any company you’ll be reaching out to via your network.

    I get the type of vague message you were planning on sending all the time, and often realize *there is* an opening that would be a fit for the person that they failed to mention. This is annoying and makes me less likely to help than if they had written to say, “Hi, Product Person, I’m starting to look for my next opportunity, and saw an opening for a product manager job at your company: [ link ]. I sent my application and would be grateful if you could help me connect with the hiring manager.” (I helped many people in my network get an interview that they wouldn’t otherwise–because the job had received too many applications–by putting a good word with the hiring manager.)

    Also, of course you need to mention if you’re trying to take a different role! How will people be able to help otherwise? Be very explicit: “Even though in my current job I’m doing project management, I realized that my strengths and interests are a better fit for business analysis, and if you think I might be a fit for any of the BA roles your company needs to fill, I’d love to talk with you or someone else there.”

  47. Elizabeth West*


    I feel bad for applicants who will spend time tailoring their resumes and cover letters and applying for this job, when I know it’s not a real opening.

    Well from a job seeker’s perspective, the time spent doing that isn’t a guarantee of employment whether a listing is legitimate or not. I can’t assume that I’ll get any position to which I apply even if I’m 100% qualified for it.

  48. nonymous*

    My husband used to work in a place with a fairly open floor plan (no walls or cubicle, just desks pointed at each other in islands of 3). The common practice with puppies was to have a crate under the desk with bed/toys/water and it was expected that any time the dog wasn’t directly being supervised by owner, it was in the crate. If the puppy was away from the immediate desk vicinity it was expected to be on leash or in arms. While people were actively engaged in work activities at their desk, depending on the puppy’s personality, the crate door might be left open. Peeing on piddle pads was not acceptable (although they might have been okay with actual dog diapers). And at all times all dogs were to be under physical or verbal control of owner or their designee. My understanding from friends working in dog friendly environments is that this is the norm, and it really doesn’t matter what breed the dog is (because issues of training and exercise are really up to the owner to address).

    I would encourage OP to focus on advocating for a dog-free zone for herself, because ultimately it is her health that is at issue. Perhaps the office could be arranged so that OP is sitting at the dog free end and dog owners are at the opposite end. There should definitely be some spaces that the dogs aren’t allowed in, such as an indoor dining area.

  49. LNZ*

    Oh god is the dog a husky? I just read an article about how GoT has made husky’s super popular but because people buy them for looking like direwolves they aren’t prepared for how difficult of a breed they are to own and their theirs been an uptick in huskies showing up in shelters.

    1. I'd Rather not Say*

      I doubt it. I’ve never seen Huskies referred to as hypoallergenic, they’re generally not territorial, and I wouldn’t consider them large either (the breed standard for males is 60 pounds).

      1. LNZ*

        but the dog isn’t actually hypoallergenic, Jane either lied or was misinformed about that when trying to argue OP out of her boundaries.

        1. I'd Rather not Say*

          I read it that OP was saying, even hypoallergenic dogs aren’t truly hypoallergenic.

          1. DArcy*

            Yeah, OP was pointing out that “hypoallergenic” dogs are generally actually just *less* allergenic enough to not visibly trigger people with mild allergies.

  50. or maybe*

    A Malamute would meet most of these requirements (not hypoallergenic) and is bigger.

    Could it be some sort of doodle?

      1. Zip Zap*

        Or maybe an Akita? They’re cute, but they always seem to be controversial for some reason.

    1. TL -*

      I’m fairly sure it’s an Afghan Hound, based on the OP’s description. High energy, long hair, hypoallergenic, difficult to train :)

  51. Red 5*

    OP#1 – Here’s a thing to bring up with HR and with your coworker: allergies are not limited to the dander or hair of an animal, and in the case of dogs specifically people are frequently allergic to the saliva of the animal and not to the dander or fur.

    It doesn’t matter one iota if the dog is hypoallergenic (which is a misnomer in the first place, as you know) because all dogs have spit. All dogs lick their own fur, and then the allergens can spread from there.

    I’m allergic to dogs, and no allergist ever told me about the fact that the allergy could be to saliva instead of dander, and my reactions never quite made sense to me until I found out about this. But yeah, it doesn’t matter what breed of dog it is, it doesn’t matter what type of fur they have, I would not be able to comfortably work with a dog on a regular basis unless that dog was a service animal, and it would be a medical accommodation at that point.

    I did try to suck it up and work at a place where the boss brought their dogs in all the time. It was a nightmare, not just for my health, I felt sick the entire time, but also because this dog owner sounds about as responsible and respectful of others as my old boss, which is to say not at all. It was a retail store, and they didn’t stop the dogs from going to the bathroom on the sales floor and then expected the lowest level employees to clean it up for them. The dogs barked and growled at customers all the time, and the boss and assistant boss both just laughed and thought it was adorable.

    I will come to the defense of service animals in the workplace every day of the week and twice on Mondays, but pets don’t belong in the office 90% of the time.

  52. BTW*

    #1 – Definitely well within your rights to say no. When I was working in HR a few years back, my boss brought his dog to work every day. Since I smoked at the time, I ended up taking him for his bathroom breaks and walks as I liked him and was going to be out anyways. At other times, it really infringed on my work and personal time. I remember one time my boss was doing interviews and the dog was acting weird. He then took a big poop in the middle of the floor and everyone looked at me as if I was my mess to clean up and had the nerve to tell me that maybe he needed to be taken outside. Sorry, cleaning up the dogs crap is not in my job description nor was walking him. I was super busy that day. At one point, a coworker got a new puppy and couldn’t (or more didn’t want to) leave him alone for the first little bit. So up to the office it came. It was a small, annoying dog and I got so frustrated. Of course everyone thought he was my responsibility as well. Hell. No. I spoke to my store manager and told her the dog wasn’t my problem and I wasn’t looking after it.

    I’m not sure why people think this is okay. Every single person in an office could be a dog lover and I still don’t think it’s okay to bring them to work. I mean honestly, people would look at me like I was a nut job if I asked to bring my cats to work, why is a dog any different.

    That said, the “arrogance” of the LW doesn’t bother me in the least because I’ve been that person. Rarely ever do people get dogs that actually fit their lifestyle and instead just get what they want and the animals suffers for it. Far too many people are bad pet owners, and you don’t have to be abusive to be a bad pet owner. Having a pet is a privilege, not a right and far too many animals are given up, abandoned or euthanized because of irresponsible pet owners who didn’t realize what they were getting into and/or weren’t willing to make a lifelong commitment. I have a friend who got a puppy which will be a fairly large dog. She is in no financial position to pay for emergency care if something were to happen (she even borrowed the money to buy the dog) and she has a bunch of medical problems that leave her immobile a lot of the time. So the dog is never walked but instead just taken outside to go to the bathroom and put on a line. It’s sad. Okay, to jump back from personal opinions, the dog is the owners problem and I don’t think it’s fair that other people should have to deal with it.

    1. BTW*

      I should also add that I too, am allergic to certain breeds of dogs so I completely understand where the LW is coming from. I also believe “hypoallergenic” is a crock.

  53. Out of the box thinker.*

    If the dog is a laberdoodle, (standard sized poodle mixed with a lab) I can promise you that the OP is not over reacting at their concern. Of the 4 I directly met, only one learned to be housebroken despite very good trainers working with them them. All were super hyper, couldnt stay focused and tended to splatter water all over the place. They are sweet, and loyal but short on smarts. they get huge no matter which of the variants they are and would not be proper for work office environment. they can be considered hypo allergenic because the fur curls so there isnt the immediate short hair shedding but they still shed and in fact tend to collect more dirt due to the fur type.

  54. Out of the box thinker.*

    *Note please that I am not saying that laber-doodles are safe for people who are allergic. I am just saying why people say they are ‘hypoallergetic’

    We have an office dog, he is officially an employee. However, the handler has spent lots of hours working with trainers to get the dog to where he is well behaved and required the office following rules. The dog is kept away from the areas where the people who are slightly allergic are located and he is a shorter haired breed who is kept well combed to prevent any issues. (Also he was adopted from a shelter)

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