Lawrence and Douglas County

Lawrence and Douglas county

Working like a dog can be fun

Canine companions also serve as good co-workers for some

May 31, 2006


Digging holes is all in a day's work for Chigger, a rat terrier.

But while many dogs are busy burying bones in the backyard, Chigger gets to sit in the front seat of a bulldozer carving through three layers of asphalt and brick on Massachusetts Street.

Chigger's owner, Jim Heiman, is a foreman with Nowak Construction, and occasionally he takes his canine companion to work with him. For Heiman, operating heavy machinery is a cinch, even with a dog in his lap.

"He's like a human. He just sits in my lap - he don't do nothing," Heiman said, adding that for safety reasons, he keeps Chigger on a leash.

Though Heiman gets to bring Chigger to work pretty much whenever he wants, most dog owners don't have that luxury - after all, a cubicle in a quiet office isn't exactly the best place for dogs to spend the day. But a number of Lawrence residents have found ways to bring their pets into professional settings.

Like Heiman, Jon Blumb, a Lawrence photographer, enjoys the company of his animals at work. Though they may not increase business, his two beagles, Bunny and Buster, help out in the studio by entertaining clients between shots.

"They don't get to go every day because sometimes I have to go do a job somewhere or sometimes it's too hot for dogs to travel. : When I can, I take them along for fun. They're good companions," Blumb said.

"They're experienced in meeting people and traveling and walking across the street downtown," he said. "It's kind of entertaining for them."

Because Blumb is his own boss, bringing Bunny and Buster to work isn't an issue. It's the same for Dale Willey, owners of Dale Willey Automotive, 2840 Iowa, who tries to keep his golden retriever, Toby, in the office for most of the day.

On occasion, Toby breaks free and gets a little too friendly with customers. Just the other day, he leaped into the front seat of a female customer's SUV and "made himself at home in her car," Willey said.

Willey, who calls Toby "his 80-pound lapdog," said that having a dog in the workplace is more fun than hassle, which explains why Toby has tagged along with his owner nearly every day for more than three years. Willey doesn't know if Toby's charisma sells cars, but it does add excitement to the workplace.

"He just wants to have fun with everybody," Willey said. "That's what golden retrievers do."

Take Your Pet to Work Day

Pet Sitters International's eighth-annual Take Your Dog to Work Day is Friday, June 23. More than 10,000 companies are participating worldwide in an effort to encourage pet adoption and responsible pet care.


Marion Lynn 7 years, 10 months ago


Thank you!

His full name is Prinz Izzy Wolfgang Fredrich Erich Joseph Manfred y Alfonso Taffy von Tripps von Wolcott; von und zu Kiki und Spike.


He is the KIKISPIKE for which I have been dreaming for years!

He is but 11 weeks old and his ears are standing!

Weighed in this very morn at 12 1/2 lbs!

He may be a new breed as all of his direct ancestors are American Tundra Shepherds, German Shepherd Dogs, Huskies and those rather large wild and free-running Lupines!

The American Tundra Shepherd Dog:

His Mother, HRH Kiki The Dog; His sister, Elizabeth Borden Dog, paying homage at Her feet:

His Father, SMS Spike:

Needless to say, I am very proud of this little beast and am looking forward to his companionship!




OldEnuf2BYurDad 7 years, 10 months ago

"three layers of asphalt and brick"

Are those "Lawrence Kansas" bricks?


Marion Lynn 7 years, 10 months ago

Yes, one of my office dogs frequently assits me with my office chair by ensuring that the chair does not scoot around too much and cause me injury:




CanadianPassport 7 years, 10 months ago

You gotta love the miniature lion in Sunflower Outdoor


lamb 7 years, 10 months ago

That sounds wonderful! I think animals bring out the best in people. Whenever I go into a business that has a pet in it I am thrilled. Krings Interiors has their dog in the store and I love to see him.


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