Some Days, Our Office Goes to the Dogs

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If you follow Austin & Williams on social media or browse our talent gallery, you’ll notice we’re a pro-pooch office.
Throughout the years of having our four-legged friends roaming our halls, we’ve found they not only bring a smile to our faces, but also draw us out of our offices and help us engage in fun, spontaneous chatter that makes us a more creative agency.

When I came to A&W a year and a half ago, the chance to bring my English bulldog, Chester (far left), to the office told me a lot about the people I’d be working with. Getting to know my coworkers’ dogs has helped me get to know them and fostered a stronger sense of camaraderie.

And the dogs love it—because they know who has a stash of treats in their desk drawers!

Our commitment to our dogs is more than just having them wander the halls looking for belly rubs. A&W President Eva LaMere is a member of the board of directors at Canine Companions for Independence (CCI), which raises and trains assistance dogs for people with disabilities. We also work closely with Pet Peeves, a nonprofit that raises funds and awareness for Long Island’s struggling animal shelters and rescue groups.

Our pups also provide some comic relief—like Suki, a 65-pound pit bull rescue (middle, bottom).

“I had left Suki in my office and closed the door while I attended a meeting in the conference room,” says our CEO Rick Chiorando. “Minutes later, someone texts me a photo of Suki on top of my desk, eating my tuna sandwich!”

Heading to the office provides some fringe benefits for the dogs, says Barbara Esposito, VP of Communications Strategy. “Just saying the word ‘work’ gets her tail wagging furiously.” Sadie, her black lab mix rescue (middle, top), frequently makes the rounds. “She loves lunch—she’ll manage to find a few crumbs in the kitchen before she takes a walk, usually with someone other than me.”

Helping our Administrative Assistant Kathy Spilker greet visitors at the front desk is her dog, Millie (second from left). “Having my Shih Poo, Millie, at work with me makes my day more enjoyable. Watching clients smile when they come in and see her is a great way to start a conversation.”

Our dogs also have a special impact on the people in the office who don’t have a pet at home, like Juan Tejada, Paid Search Strategist.

“I’ll pass by Barbara’s car in the parking lot in the morning specifically to look for Sadie’s white blanket laid out on the back seat,” admits Juan.“When Sadie visits, you know it’s going to be a good day. Millie, however, made me work to win her over—it took a lot of bacon treats! Now, we have our regular 15-minute chats in the supply area next to Kathy’s desk on the days she’s in.”

Do you—or your business—share our love of dogs? We’d like to know!

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