2005-06-30 / Front Page

Houghton Lake K-9s working full time

By Thomas Reznich

June 24 was “Take Your Dog To Work Day,” a day set aside to help promote the companionship and stress relief dog ownership can provide as well as to spur interest in pet adoption, but for many dogs in the Houghton Lake area, the trip to and from work is a daily experience.

One working canine with a full time job is Casey, an eight-year-old English pointer who accompanies owner Ron Lennox of Valley Sales to work every day. Lennox, whose business includes boat, snowmobile and small engine repair and sales, said one of Casey’s jobs is to let the staff know when a customer is around.

She helps keep the squirrel and chipmunk population in the yard at bay, but he said her main talent is entertaining children who come to his shop and to the Shady Valley Resort across the street.

Ginger and Dolly, a pair of hard-working Lhasa Apsos, accompany Carolyn Penney of Penney’s Lumber to work every day. Penney said the two dogs, now four and six years old respectively, have been coming with her to work since they were each nine weeks old because of the company and entertainment they provide.

The lumber yard was no stranger to K-9 employees, however, having been serviced by Duke the yard dog for 18 years before Ginger and Dolly came on the scene. Duke, a black and white spotted Lab mix, was well liked by both staff and customers and had the habit of pushing around a rock which weighed at least 20 pounds in an effort to get someone to throw it for him.

Duke passed away in 2001 and is buried with his rock in the yard.

In a recent article in the Boston Globe, John Long of Pet Sitters International said “Having dogs in the workplace has been shown to reduce stress and improve employee morale. Employees are more willing to work longer hours.” He said a pet-friendly office policy is also a good recruiting tool for companies.

The Houghton Lake Resorter also has four of its own canine regulars. They include Publisher Tom Hamp’s Lab mix Augie, Pressman Bryan Hamp’s Boxer mix Scrappy II, Photographer Thomas Reznich’s English setter Jan and Marketing/Promotions Director Sandy Rayl’s chocolate Lab Sampson.

“Take Your Dog to Work Day” is promoted by Pet Sitters International. The group expected more than 10,000 companies across the country to have some event celebrating the day.

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