Meet Some Canine CEO’s and Puppy Presidents
If you have a pet, you know how stressful it is to have to rush home on your lunch break to feed the dog or leave work early to make sure there’s no puddle on the kitchen floor. Wouldn’t it be easier to just bring the pup to work? Thanks to Pet Sitters International you can bring your best friend to work on June 23, 2006 to help thousands of people across the United States celebrate the 8th Annual Take Your Dog To Work Day.
Taking your dog to work will strengthen the bond between you and your pup while also showing others in the office how great it is to have a canine companion. PSI hopes to help decrease the number of dogs in shelters by convincing pet-less coworkers to go get a dog of their own.. To help promote this cause, Pets 911 has joined forces with PSI to help people locate shelters from the Take Your Dog To Work Day website.
Of course, you must first ask your boss whether such a visit is acceptable. But to support your furry friend, it may help to mention how studies have shown that having pets in the workplace actually help increase productivity and raise morale! If steps are taken to make the office pet-friendly, everyone can enjoy Take Your Dog to Work Day whether they have a dog or not. Decide as an office what rules you will make for your pets – keep the dog on a leash at all times or have the dog stay in its owner’s office – whatever it takes to let your dog have its day! And if your boss still doesn’t like the idea, you can celebrate this day by simply bringing in a picture of your pup.
Over 10,000 businesses have participated in this event in the past, and this year PSI plans on making it even bigger! If you’re a proud dog owner and want to help others find the special bond that you have with your pooch, show your co-workers your loving relationship by bringing your dog to work. In the meantime, check out the dog-owners that Animal Fair found who bring their puppy pals to work. Once you read these accounts, every day may turn into Take Your Dog To Work Day!
For more information visit: www.petsit.com
Hair Stylist To The Stars Mark Garrison And His Three Short Haired Dogs Keep His Salon Pet-Friendly
Hair stylist Mark Garrison and his posh New York City Upper East Side salon is simply a cut above the rest! For over twenty years, Garrison has been a revered beauty expert, styling hair for such celebrities as Sandra Bullock, Courtney Love, and many others. His expertise is featured in top beauty and fashion publications, including Vogue, In Style, and Harper’s Bazaar. When entering Garrison’s salon his clientele are often greeted by his three small, short haired, adorable adopted mutts: Balla, Tito and Sting! These pampered pooches have their very own Nanny named Argentina. She picks them up from home, which they share with four cats and two birds, and brings them in to the salon every afternoon.
Animal Fair visited Mark Garrison at his salon to find out the long and short about styling hair with his pets by his side.
AF: Have your dogs inspired any new hair trends at your salon?
MG: Yes, especially color highlights. Tito and Sting inspired amber on dark, and some clients request Balla’s blonde.
AF: How do your dogs greet your clients when they enter the salon?
MG: Together they all get out of their beds and say hello to certain clients in mass. Balla is the salon extrovert and very affectionate. Tito is more reserved and will only take an occasional lap. Sting is a skittish street dog, but once he warms up he’s the biggest lover – he’s part Dachshund.
AF: Where did you get your three charming dogs?
MG: I adopted all three dogs at different times over the past eight years. I got Balla from a janitor who worked at a school across the street from where I live. I rescued Tito from the shelter Aarf and Sting from Claws.
AF: How have your dogs ultimately helped your business?
MG: They bring a homey effect to the salon and create a calming energy and relaxed environment. It’s a nice distraction for my clients; they play and pet my dogs, and often bring in treats. Sometimes I’ll bring out treats and show clients their tricks, like sit, lay down, rollover. The two males Tito and Sting rollover to one side while Balla the female of the three, rolls over to the opposite side!
Yvonne Conza & Dog Pomo: Keeping The WOOF Patrol Pack On Track
Miami Beach was a messy city until Yvonne Conza came along. Yes, there were things to do and people to see, but there was dog waste all over the place — on neighbors’ lawns, along jogging trails, and outside of schools and public buildings. Then, in November 2005, Conza and the Polite Poop Control Program created WOOF Patrol, which is now helping to clean the city up.
Conza and the Responsible Dog Owners of Miami Beach first approached City Hall after hearing that dogs were banned from the beach walk. City administration told them the ban was in effect because the doggie-do was a health problem. Conza helped attack the problem with Sergeant David de La Espriella’s idea of having the RDO volunteers wear shirts that display their mission: “Pick Up & Leash Up / Keep Our Beach Bow-Wow Clean and Safe.” While Conza has gotten close with many dogs, her favorite will always be her Shih-Tzu Pomo, who has helped Conza with the Woof Patrol program every step of the way.
AF: Was Pomo the inspiration for the “Woof Patrol”?
YC: Pomo was definitely my inspiration for Woof Patrol. Miami Beach dog owners were on the verge of having their pets banned from the beach walk. Pomo loves the beach walk – he meets up with pals like Ruben and Winston, also Shih Tzu’s. I didn’t know what to do. I saw his feet marching and WOOF Patrol (www.woofpatrol.com) was born.
AF: Did Pomo rally the other undignified canines in South Beach against the dog ban and how does he participate?
YC: Pomo is a pack leader in community service. He’s always been a go-to Shih Tzu. In December of 2005, Pomo passed a four-week course and became an official therapy dog at St. Vincent’s hospital in New York. He also passed his Canine Good Citizen test. It was on his beach walk strolls where he met up with Ruben and Winston, Penny, a Norwich Terrier; Bogie, a SAG card holding Maltese; Peanut, a rescued Chihuahua; Kobe, an energetic Jack Russell and numerous other four-legged buddies from all around the country. It was on their behalf that I presented their side of the story to City Hall.
AF: Since the Shih-Tzu breed is highly respected as spiritual and royal in ancient Asian cultures, is this how your volunteers thought of their name “The Dog-Ghandi”?
DG: Shih-Tzu is an ancient Tibetan breed, often referenced with the connotation: “Lion Heart”. They were known as the Royal dog and perfect companion. Pomo continues the tradition, expanding his kingdom to include the Miami Beach walkway. That’s WOOF Patrol … the pet-protectors of the Miami Beach walkway.
AF: How has Pomo ultimately helped your business on a daily basis?
DG: Pomo is our business. So is Ruben, Winston, Peanut, Bogie, Penny, Kobe and so many more. Our business is our dogs. And when they ‘do business’, we pick up after them.
Constance Schwartz And Her Yorkie Zoe Work As A Team To Manage Entertainment’s Biggest Dogs
Constance Schwartz joined The Firm in 2001 as Vice President of Strategic Marketing, where she shares an office with her Yorkshire Terrier, Zoe. Prior to this position, Schwartz was VP of Strategic Marketing at Arista Records and also worked for the NFL, where she managed a myriad of Super Bowl/Pro Bowl related programs. Though Schwartz’s responsibilities at The Firm originally were limited to securing partnerships and sponsorships for their talent, she and Zoe have also gotten their paws wet as client manager for Snoop Dogg, David Banner, and Fiction Plane.
The Firm is the largest entertainment brand management company, represents music and film celebrities including Kelly Clarkson, Weezer, Cameron Diaz, and Vin Diesel. Since the company’s creation in 1997, they are currently the home to over twenty multi-platinum, platinum, and god artists. They have also ventured into the world of content creation, pursuing such endeavors as Firm Films, Firm Television, Tours, Flip Records, Book Publishing and other intellectual property creation.
While the dynamic duo is quite busy at The Firm, we got the opportunity to sit down with Schwartz and her canine co-worker. Lucky us – these top dogs told us all about life on the job and even filled us in on some secrets of the stars!
AF: How has Zoe helped you to train some of your clients since there are so many dogs and sharks in the entertainment industry?!
CS: Zoe is a very good judge of character. She knows how to sniff out the “bad dogs” and “snakes.” I bring her along to all of my meetings, and we have a secret system to let me know when someone is full of *&$%.
AF: Who is a bigger dog to deal with at the office, Snoop or Zoe?
CS: Definitely Zoe.
AF: Animal Fair noticed that Zoe’s name is the largest on the company’s front door logo – how did she become president?
CS: Zoe has signed some great new talent and puts a lot of hard work into the company. I think David Banner ultimately chose The Firm because of Zoe!
AF: Does Zoe bark out tips on how to manage some of your major canine clients?
CS: Zoe and Snoop Dogg have their own language and they won’t clue me in. Zoe’s the only one who understands all of the “-izzles.” She also talks to Cocoa and Cindy (Snoop’s family dogs) quite often.
AF: What music does Zoe listen to?
CS: Zoe likes R&B and of course Hip-hop. Her guilty pleasure is Dave Matthews. Whenever he’s in town, she has to go to his show. She knows all the words!
AF: How has Zoe ultimately helped your business?
CS: Zoe knows how to keep the stress level at a minimum, which is critical in this business. She’s always willing to lend a helping paw.
Desiree Gruber And Her Dogs, Sam & Mookie, Are Taking Care Of Business
Everyday, Desiree Gruber comes into the office and spends the day working alongside her puppy partners, Sam and Mookie. Gruber, who founded Full Picture in 1999, continues to expand the company as a public relations, marketing and management professional. For the past seven years, Full Picture has focused on PR, management, and production to develop top names in New York and Los Angeles, with their long list of clients including Victoria’s Secret, Miramax, Frederic Fekkai, and Playboy Beauty.
In addition to handling brand planning and publicity for major companies, Gruber also deals with several big celebrities. First and foremost is her husband, actor Kyle MacLachlan. She has also represented high-profile personalities like Arnold Schwarzenegger and Heidi Klum, whom she works with as producer of the hit TV hit-show Project Runway.
Animal Fair had the pleasure of sitting down with Full Picture’s main hounds. Sam and Mookie shared with us some tricks while Gruber told some exciting stories about her and her canine kids, who are at the office just as much as she is!
AF: What are the funniest things that ever happened with the dogs with clients here?
DG: One day, we were meeting with the people from Vitamin Water to try and get new business and Mookie came in and was hanging out in the room. I was talking about how fabulous the picture was going to be for the piece they needed, and Mookie started vomiting on the floor. Fortunately, we still got the client. We just got some napkins and cleaned it up.
AF: What are your favorite places to take your dogs in New York City? Do you take them to restaurants and shops?
DG: Mookie likes to go to Central Park and I let her run around a little bit. Park Avalon lets us sneak her in and sit on the outside terrace. She also likes to go to Dos Caminos in SoHo and Dascovano. I mean, really she goes everywhere.
AF: If you were going to call Sam and Mookie one of the Victoria’s Secret fashion models, which ones would they be?
DG: Sam would be like Heidi, because he’s very fun and charming, and he’ll chat with anybody. He goes up to people and is just like “Hey! What’s going on? How you doing? What’s up?” Mookie is much more reserved. She might talk to you, she might not. She’d be like a French model. Mookie’s very snobby. She’s very particular and only likes certain people.
For more information about Mookie and Sam visit: www.mookieandsam.com.
Mary Brosnahan Is A Hound Dog When
Helping The Homeless
Mary Brosnahan joined New York City’s Coalition for the Homeless in 1989 and became Director two years later. After coming to New York, Brosnahan was stunned by how many people were living on the streets and resolved to solve this tragic problem.
The Coalition for the Homeless (www.coalitionforthehomeless.org) provides services for over 3,500 New Yorkers each day. They assist the homeless in creating a better life for themselves through programs such as permanent housing, a mobile soup kitchen, a summer camp for children, and job placement. Mary has helped expand these services to include legal services for the disadvantaged and crisis intervention assistance.
Animal Fair got to speak with Mary Brosnahan and hear about her work and her dog, Jake. Take a look at how close Brosnahan is to her canine coworker!
AF: Will you tell us a little about your dog?
MB: Jake’s a Jack Russell. I got her before Jack Russell’s got popular. I had been wanting one for a while, and my boyfriend at the time knew someone up in Danbury, Connecticut who happened to have a litter. I love Jack Russells, because they’re like big dogs in a small dog’s body – loveable but fierce. She’s been coming into the office with me ever since she was a baby.
AF: Are there other dogs at the office?
MB: Some other people bring their dogs in. There’s another Jack Russell and a chihuahua – a few dogs come in, but Jake definitely comes in the most. Most of the others just come in for a day here and there. All of the dogs stay in their owners’ offices though, so they don’t really get to interact with one another. That’s probably a good thing since Jake doesn’t really get along with too many other dogs.
AF: Do you take Jake with you around the city and when you travel?
MB: It’s hard around the city, because she sees other dogs and wants to start a fight with them. Jack Russells have a Napoleon complex – she’ll bark at Rotweillers! She’s also getting old and has had some very serious health issues. That makes it hard to travel with her, but she absolutely loves the Catskills. We’ll drive up there and she’ll chase chipmunks and run around our neighbors’ houses.
AF: Does your concern for the homeless include homeless pets?
MB: Homeless people used to show up with their pets, so I tried to get some of the shelters at churches and synagogues to take in pets too. The idea was to have a dog cage next to the beds. But it never worked out. The homeless get really attached to their pets, because it’s their sole companion who will be there for them no matter what. It’s hard to then have to give up your pet when you get to a shelter.
Martin Snow Owns A Boxing Gym, But His Real Knock-outs Are His Two Akitas
Forget channeling your inner animal to make a gym workout more effective; at one New York City boxing club, you can train with the dogs! When owner and professional coach Martin Snow takes his two ten-year-old Akitas to the Trinity Boxing Club, the ring really heats up. The club, described by Snow as a “neighborhood gym,” is a place where curious people who want to learn the art of boxing without getting hurt can become fit and empowered.
It is his unique philosophy that has made Snow a favorite among New Yorkers and is what eventually garnered the attention of newspapers, magazines, and even the hit series America’s Next Top Model. There is yet another unique aspect of Snow’s gym: his beloved Akitas, Brando and Cheyenne. We spoke with Snow to find out how his furry friends pack a punch.
AF: How do Brando and Cheyenne interact with gym members? Do they ever enter the ring and help train?
MS: No, but they’re great in the gym and people love them. These dogs are pussycats, they’re not rough dogs at all. They look tough but they’re not. I don’t really need tough dogs. Sometimes I think they’re part cat or part chicken. They’re very playful; they’re 10 years old, but they act like puppies.
AF: How do members react when they spot Brando and Cheyenne hanging out around the gym?
MS: I think people, at first, are a little wary because they are big dogs…Akitas get a bad rap. People might be taken aback at first, but once they know them, I think [the dogs] reflect the whole atmosphere of the gym: cool, laid back, and very friendly. I think the dogs really help with the neighborhood atmosphere. You can sit down, have a protein drink and pet the dog; I think this is very calming to people … and that’s what they come in for, to relieve stress. The dogs are a big part of the atmosphere.
AF: Do Brando and Cheyenne encourage the clientele while they’re in the ring?
MS: Well, they just lie on the floor, so if anything, they probably would do the opposite. People probably don’t want to be like lazy dogs, so they work even harder. They’re spectators, not participants.
AF: How have Brando and Cheyenne ultimately improved your business?
MS: A boxing gym can be an intimidating place, and a large percentage of our clients are women. Having dogs at the gym gives it kind of a homey feel. People feel more comfortable when they see a dog taking a nap next to a heavy bag. They’ll be between weight lifting sets and come over and pet them. The dogs humanize the whole place so people are not so intimidated by the thought of boxing. For me, it is always very calming to have the dogs around. They make the gym feel like home.
Senator Ted Kennedy’s Canine Running Mate Helps This Politician Make A Big Splash!
Ted Kennedy has served as a U.S. Senator for over four decades. He is a well-known presence in Washington D.C. Over the past six years another face has become well known, only this one comes equipped with long floppy ears, a wet nose and shaggy brown hair: his Portuguese Water Dog, Splash! Splash has become quite the political pup through a variety of projects with Senator Kennedy. Splash even helped Senator Kennedy pen his new children’s book, My Senator and Me: A Dogs-Eye View of Washington, D.C.
Whether he is out for a stroll with his canine pal or an important press conference, wherever Senator Kennedy goes you can usually find Splash trotting at his heels.
Senator Kennedy and his pup Splash, are working hard to help America. Animal Fair spoke to the lady who paws down knows best what a help Splash is around the office, Senator Kennedy’s press agent Gannet Tseggai.
AF: How does Splash help Senator Kennedy through political situations?
GT: Splash accompanies Senator Kennedy throughout his day at work – to meetings, press conferences, conference committee meetings and bill signings. So many times, Splash has made a difference in the outcome of those meetings. The book describes one time that Splash started barking when discussions became tense. His barking made everyone laugh, temperatures cooled, and decisions were reached.
AF: How does Splash help Senator Kennedy handle the pressure of political office?
GT: Splash is very cool under pressure! Maybe it’s those games of fetch after meetings, maybe it’s the treats after a press conference, or maybe it’s his ability to squeeze a power nap into the day.
AF: Who are some famous politicians Splash has rubbed noses with while on the job? Does he know their dogs?
GT: Splash accompanied Senator Kennedy to the White House for the bill signing ceremony for the No Child Left Behind Act. He met President Bush’s dog, Barney. At the conclusion of the ceremony everyone who attended received a Presidential pen, but Splash received a bone, signed by Barney.
AF: What do Senator Kennedy and Splash hope to teach children through their new book?
GT: Senator Kennedy introduces young readers to Washington and takes them through the process by which a bill becomes a law. It’s a fun book and it’s educational. It lets young children understand not only how the government works, but also how that work affects their lives.