Like many Americans, Rochelle Andonian has been working from home ever since COVID-19 forced much of the country indoors. And like many Americans, she’s also learned that her two golden retrievers, Salty and Bling, don’t always makes the best co-workers.
“Now that I’m at home, they are constantly coming into my office and putting tennis balls on my lap or laying their head on my chair to be petted,” Andonian told The Dodo. The energetic dogs clearly love having their mom at home, but they don’t understand that it’s not always playtime.
Nor does the playful duo bother keeping their voices down when Mom’s on the phone with important clients or colleagues, so much so that co-workers have started betting on how long the dogs can maintain their composure.
“Every time I’m on a call with my team, they take bets how soon my dogs would start barking at something,” Andonian said. The ruckus only grows whenever a postman approaches the house, which is pretty often these days, considering all of the office deliveries being redirected to the house.
The growing din finally inspired Andonian to host a homeschool session for her wayward co-workers, who clearly needed some help practicing the ABCs of basic office decorum. “Mom on Phone = No bark!,” the dog-mom-turned teacher wrote on a colorful sign, which also included a visual depiction of herself trying to work with unhelpfully barking coworkers.
Indeed, the adorable dogs did actually seem to take the message to heart. Pictures show Salty and Bling (who adorably dressed up for the occasion in their best bandanas) carefully watching their dog mom deliver this lesson with the help of a pointer and easel.
Andonian’s colleagues are also impressed by the dogs’ new office manners, although obviously no one is certain how long this good behavior will last. “On Monday, before we started our first call, I sent my team the photo and said, ‘Problem solved!’” Andonian told the Dodo. “They loved it.”
And while Salty and Bling do occasionally revert back to their old ways, Andonian has also realized they can provide a welcome distraction.
“They actually keep me smiling even during some tough online meetings,” she told The Dodo. “I miss the face-to-face with my clients, but I sure do enjoy spending additional time with my dogs. I can tell they love it, too.”
J. Swanson is a writer, traveler, and animal-enthusiast based in Seattle, an appropriately pet-crazed city where dog or cat ownership even outweighs the number of kids. When the weather permits, she likes to get outside and explore the rest of the Pacific Northwest, always with a coffee in hand.