Shop Dogs

In the last year, I have visited a couple of shops at which I was not the only special guest at the time. At each place, the owner’s pet dogs were also “visiting.

Columns From: 11/2/2006 Modern Machine Shop, ,

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Mark Albert

Mark has been writing his Mark: My Word column every month since January, 1981.

In the last year, I have visited a couple of shops at which I was not the only special guest at the time. At each place, the owner’s pet dogs were also “visiting.” Evans Machining Service is the most recent example (see the article that starts on page 80.) Peaches and Cocoa, lucky dogs, get to spend most of their days at this shop. The photo below shows Peaches with Allen Evans and Cocoa with Allen’s son, Dan. (The smaller dog is actually brother Tom’s pet, but they belong to everyone in the shop.)

Of course, this is the Evans’ shop so allowing pets inside is up to them. The shop is orderly and tidy. The space under a workbench where Peaches and Cocoa have their beds is neat and clean, too. These sociable, well-behaved pooches get watchful supervision and, naturally, they have to stay out of areas where hazards are a concern.

Allen says that the dogs are a calming influence. Peaches and Cocoa don’t take anything too seriously except for dog things such as eating, sniffing, napping and going on business trips to the back lot. So they buffer some of the tensions that arise when shop activity gets hectic. Dan explains that taking “a dog break” now and then during the day helps him clear his mind and stay focused. He spends a few minutes tossing a Frisbee with each one. “Some big firms have day care centers on site and the parents who visit are more relaxed and productive,” he tells me. “Cocoa and Peaches provide us with a similar outlet.”

It was obvious that both pets get all of the care and attention they need in return. In fact, from what I could see, all the important things get care and attention at this shop. The pets simply reflected the overall good management of the place.

I’m not recommending that shops adopt a pet just to boost morale, but I’ll guess that shop dogs such as Peaches and Cocoa are far from rare. I’d like to hear about yours—drop me a line at the e-mail address below.

Now, for a friendly reminder: Please don’t make us hound you. If the front cover of your November issue of the magazine has a subscription renewal card with your name on it, then please fill it out and send it in now. Otherwise, we’ll be tracking you down later with second and third requests.

My circulation manager tells me that about 7,000 subscribers a year never get around to renewing and are dropped from our list. That’s a doggone shame.

You won’t want to miss any of next year’s issues. We have a great line-up planned, with several special issues in the mix. So please send in the postpaid card today or go to www.mmsonline/subscribe to renew online.

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