For Inspire team members in Atlanta, walking into work with a Dunkin’ coffee in one hand and their canine companion’s leash in the other is now a reality. Beginning this January, dog owners are invited to bring their four-legged friends into the workplace for Friday “Dog Days” at the Atlanta Global Support Center.
More than 20 pups headed into work that first Friday, making the workplace even more engaging and exciting – and certainly cuter. To help kick off this new work perk is Lucky, the Atlanta Global Support Center’s first office pup who may be new to the company but is no stranger to a day of work.
“Lucky is known as a ‘change of career’ dog,” says Hannah Lavin, Arby’s Senior Manager of Company Operations Finance and Lucky’s handler. “He was trained through Canine Companions’ service animal program to eventually be assigned to someone in need, but he was released to his ‘new job’ when trainers found out he was a little too talkative!”
Canine Companions is a non-profit organization that has trained and placed more than 7,000 service animals, including many resident hospital dogs in the Dunkin’ Joy in Childhood Foundation’s Dogs for Joy Program. As a long-time volunteer with Canine Companions, Hannah knew of Lucky’s training and was quickly alerted when it was time for him to find his next home. “When I learned he was available to adopt, I flew down to Orlando to meet him in person and immediately fell in love. I adopted him on January 10, and we drove back to Atlanta the next day. Now we’re in the office together five days a week.”
For Hannah, bringing her dog to work is a dream come true. “As someone who grew up with a childhood dog that changed my life, I’m ecstatic to work at a dog-friendly office. Dogs bring a happiness that I don’t think anything else can, and I’ve already had so many coworkers tell me that they smiled more on Lucky’s first day than they ever had in a workplace before. I look forward to the team getting to know him more, including the non-profit he came from – Canine Companions – and the great work they’re doing to change the lives of so many deserving individuals.”
Lucky now spends his days greeting guests and coworkers alike. “His busy afternoon schedule includes visiting different floors to say hello to team members throughout the building,” says Hannan. “A long day feels short when you get to say hi to Lucky.”