June 21, 2012 -- Every morning before work we have the same routine. I rush around grabbing last-minute things -- my umbrella, my sneakers for the gym, a granola bar because I just know I didn't eat enough for breakfast.
My two dogs bounce around the apartment with me, tails wagging, waiting for the tell-tale crumple of the Cheerios bag that means I am just about ready to hand over their snack and hightail it out the door, always remembering to say "Be good! Love ya!"
But this Friday, pooches across the country will get the chance to forgo their morning routines and head to the office with their owners for "Take Your Dog to Work Day."
While pet owners get that annual reprieve from the pangs of guilt that come with knowing their furry friends are sitting at home, bored out of their minds and probably peeing on something in revenge -- or is that just me? -- there are some tips to remember for a successful "Take Your Dog to Work Day."
1.) Just like there is no "I" in "Team," there is no "Pee" in "Office." Let's keep it that way. Your co-workers may think Spot is oh-so-adorable, but just wait and see how the friendliness wears off when there's a wet spot or an odorous present under their desks. If you are bring your dog to work, remember to take care of its bathroom needs before you come in to work and at regular intervals during the day.
2.) Just because you love your four-legged fur-child, not everyone will feel the same way. A dog in the office will attract all the animal lovers within a 500-square foot radius. Let them come to you and do not force your dog on people who may be trying to work or would rather admire Fluffy from a distance.
3.) Check around with your immediate neighbors to see if they have an allergy to dogs. Some people have severe allergies to pet dander that can cause asthma symptoms, swelling of the face and severe itching or rashes. This doesn't mean Fido can't come with you -- but consider trading offices or desks with a co-worker to give your sneezing neighbor a break.
4.) Keep water and healthy treats on hand for your dog. Your dog will probably be thirsty from all the excitement of going to work with you. And rather than risk an upset tummy from lunch leftovers doled out by your well-meaning co-workers, keep a baggy with some favorite treats for those that want to dote on your dog.
5.) Make sure your workspace is a safe haven for your dog before your four-legged best friend comes for a visit. This means cleaning up any food (both on top of and under your desk,) finding a new home for the day for your plants and removing or organizing any loose wires.And if you've got a puppy, remember to bring some chew toys so he doesn't decide to find his own in your chair.
6.) Keep in tune with your dog. Some may bask in all the attention and revel in fast-paced office life. But others, including older dogs, may be overwhelmed by all the stimuli. If your dog begins acting anxious or panting excessively, give him a little break in your office or under your desk. Similarly, if you have a dog that you know ahead of time will react badly to office life, it's probably best to leave him at home and bring in a picture instead.
7.) Bring something comfy for her to lounge on. Eventually -- probably around the time of that big staff meeting nobody has prepared for -- the novelty of having a dog in the office will wear off for your co-workers. So bring a bed, a fluffy blanket or a crate to stash beside your chair or under your desk where Snookums can hang out and watch you work.
8.) Remember to do your work even if Mister Fuzz is giving you puppy eyes and licking your hand. Your boss was kind enough to allow your dog to join you for the day. Don't make him or her withdraw the offer next year.
9.) And finally – have fun! Bringing your dog to work with you has many benefits. According to a survey by the American Pet Products Association, nearly one in five companies allows their employees to bring their dogs with them to work on a regular basis.
Fifty million people surveyed by the APPA said they believe having pets in the workplace helps people get along better. And 55 million said they believe pets in the workplace leads to more creativity.
So will my two Italian Greyhounds be roaming the halls at ABC News on Friday? Sadly, no – they haven't yet been invited and I'm not sure I want to take the chance that they'd find a way to streak through Diane Sawyer's set while she's on air. And trust me, they'd find a way.