Need some input on an office issue

Discussion in 'The Watercooler' started by hearts and roses, May 8, 2012.

  1. hearts and roses

    hearts and roses Mind Reader

    As some of you may recall, I work with my brother in law. My neice joined us about two years ago and a few months ago, she bought herself an adorable puppy - a cute little boston terrier. She brings her to work every day. Her office is like a playroom for dogs. And of course, my brother in law just loves this pup. I wouldn't care if I wasn't allergic to this dog. It's not bad yet, as she's only been here a few months and we have our office cleaned weekly. But I fear it's just a matter of time before her hair and dander begin to bother my allergies. I've dropped some fairly clear hints about my allergies and the dog's presence but nothing.

    Also, brother in law was always uptight about having meetings and everything being perfect (we even have to dress especially nice on those days) and having it catered. If I brought one of my dogs into the office, I'm sure he'd poop his pants over it...but for some reason, this little dog zipping around the office (and sometimes even peeing or pooping in the office) doesn't bother him. During one meeting, the room was full of about 14 men, pup wandered in. I called her out and brother in law said, "Oh, we could use a little comedy relief, it's okay" -

    So, I realize neice is his daughter and the pup is like a grandfurbaby, but this IS a place of business and I am allergic to this dog. I KNOW if I were to go to brother in law or neice and ask her not to bring in the pup due to my allergies, I would basically be shunned and/or made fun of by their entire family. So, what do I do??

    I was thinking about getting an air cleaner for my office just to at least keep the allergens down in there, since that's where I am most days. The dog has freedom throughout the office and in the afternoons, neice plays with her by throwing her toys down my end of the hall and the dog runs back and forth for about 20 minutes. So, she's kicking up dander and fur for sure. Neice even told me that pup has started to shed really bad at home. Ugh....that means she's shedding here also. What do I do??
  2. keista

    keista New Member

    Stop working with family? Kidding I know that's not an option.

    You can be passive aggressive and start calling in or going home because your allergies are acting up too much. However, before you did that, you really should approach them calmly and professionally letting them know that it's not professional and it is bugging your allergies.

    If you do get and air cleaner, don't bring it from home, expense it to the business. Check OSHA regulations - there might be something about this to back you up.
  3. witzend

    witzend Well-Known Member

    Honestly, I'd for the most part leave it be. You can't drop hints at them about what might happen. They know what you mean, and they are choosing to ignore you, which in turn is causing tension for all of you. Left un-dealt with it will only get worse. I would think that "allergies" might be a hard sell because he knows you have dogs of your own, even if it is a real issue.

    If you have a specific issue with the dog, wait until he is in a good mood - soon - and bring the issue up along with possible remedies. Niece not bringing in the dog is not going to be a remedy that works for them, I imagine. Perhaps limits to where the puppy can be at certain times, keeping it groomed and up to date on flea treatments, obedience lessons, etc.

    If you would enjoy bringing one of your dogs to the office, perhaps you might want to suggest a "bring your dog to work Fridays". husband interviewed for a job that had that, and it was a huge plus to interviewees. We were really disappointed that he didn't get that one.
  4. hearts and roses

    hearts and roses Mind Reader

    I just had the admin assist order me an air purifier specifically for pet dander among other things. If brother in law questions it, I'll simply tell him my allergies were beginning to act up and let him come to his own conclusions. Screw him sounds mean, but that's how I feel. It will cost $150 and the company can afford it.

    Witz, you're right, I can't broach the topic with brother in law - he just won't get it. My sister, his wife, also has horrible allergies yet chooses to have many cats, dogs, birds, etc. My dogs do not bother my allergies - they are two cairns and a yorkie (pretty much non-allergenic), but most people fail to realize that.
  5. donna723

    donna723 Well-Known Member

    I have no problem with dogs being in a workplace as long as they don't cause problems but it sounds like this one DOES. Even without the allergy thing, if a dog is going to be in the workplace, it should be well trained and well behaved and it doesn't sound like this one is! And they should be crated when it's not appropriate for them to be running around the office.

    As most of you know, I have my own little herd of three Bostons, that I absolutely adore. Then tend to be very active, hyper little dogs, the clowns of the dog world, and maybe a little much to have in an office every day. They also demand a lot of attention. I don't know how I would have ever gotten anything done if I had one of my dogs at work with me! And usually Bostons aren't too bad for people with allergies because they don't have that fuzzy undercoat that tends to float through the air. Each individual little hair, when it falls out, resembles an eyelash. And they don't ordinarily shed that much ... if they do, something is wrong and a trip to the vet may be in order. My bigger fuzzy mixed breed dog regularly goes in to a shedding frenzy twice a year and must be brushed and brushed but the Bostons don't do that. If the dog is stirring up a lot of dander, bathing it once a week in a medicated shampoo from the vet may be helpful because that's not normal for a Boston. With mine, I've found that the only time they really shed a lot of hair is when they become very excited or very stressed, like from a trip to the vet. The dog may not be as happy being at work as she thinks it is and is probably running on overload all the time - not hard for a hyper Boston. Bostons can very easily work themselves into a frenzy! If this dog is not crate trained, it should be. It could be crated in her office for when it's not appropriate for it to be running around, and the crate can be it's little hiding spot to get away from it all and to calm down and decompress a little.
  6. hearts and roses

    hearts and roses Mind Reader

    I hear you Donna. The sweet little thing has a cave under my neice's desk - she's usually under there. But there are times when she just runs through the office with bursts of energy. Which, I would not mind either if a) I wasn't allergic to her, b) she didn't poop or pee in the office and c) when we're not having a meeting with clients. Neice has a gate for the dog, but hardly ever uses it. And when neice goes to the bathroom or the dog can't see her for just a few moments, the dog freaks out and runs through the office crying - loudly - looking for neice. When neice has appts or can't possibly bring her with her, the dog is crated and seems to do fine. My brother in law told a coworker that she's too smart of a dog to be crated...wth? I've never heard that before. I know it's difficult to crate yorkies - they really freak out, but you can always and should always put limits on dogs, it's just a good idea from the time they are else can you train them? air purifier should be here by week's end and then I can let this worry go.

    Oh, one last thing. My easy child is the one who cleans the office weekly and she complains about all the chewed wood in neice's office - just bits and bits of tiny chewed sticks everywhere, they are difficult to get out of the carpet. And another time, she found dog poop in one of the other offices under the table! She called me to ask if she had to pick it up and I told her no. On Monday morning, in front of brother in law, I told her there was poop under the table. I'm sorry, I love dogs and other animals, but I just don't think this dog should be here every day. She's adorable and I love her, but she's not well behaved at all. Now she's become a beggar - everytime any one is in the kitchen, she comes in and begs. Grrrr.
  7. donna723

    donna723 Well-Known Member

    " ... there are times when she just runs through the office with bursts of energy"

    Ha! Boston owners refer to that as "having the zoomies" or "doing the BT 500"! And they all do that! My Trace will run at top speed from one end of the house to the other, with a huge grin on his face, until he's exhausted and panting! And of course I don't need to tell YOU this, but a dog that's not properly potty trained shouldn't have the run of the office! Does someone take her outside every couple of hours? They need lots of exercise to wear them out too, lots of walks. The upside is that after all this frantic activity, they will usually crash and sleep soundly (snoring!) for several hours. And it sounds like a lot of her bad bahavior could be cause by simple boredom! Does she have toys to play with and things to keep her occupied? A kong toy filled with peanut butter will keep them busy for hours! Bostons are extremely smart dogs and they get bored very easily. And if there is nothing to keep them busy and occupied, they will find something! My Katy will actually create her own little games to play, including hiding her toys down in a wadded up blanket so she can have the fun of digging around and finding it again! They are quite labor-intensive dogs and unless they are very well trained, may not be the best choice for an "office dog". I hope your air purifier gets there soon and that it helps a lot.
  8. hearts and roses

    hearts and roses Mind Reader

    She does have a lot of toys and she does get taken out around three times throughout the day. I wish I wasn't allergic to her because I just love her, she's too cute! Thank you for your input. My dogs do the zoomie run thing also. Especially if they get off their leash, they will zoom in big giant circles around the yard! I love it, the smiling face, etc. Adorable. I think eventually, her potty training will be complete and so that's why the biggest concern is the allergies after being here day in and day out, it's bound to get to me. And today, I overheard one of the guys at the meeting tell her he had allergies so he couldn't pet the dog.
  9. Jody

    Jody Active Member

    I work at a private association for Veterinarians. I am allowed to bring my Golden Broady with me to work. He is very well behaved and mild mannered. I take him 3 out of 5 days and truly enjoy my time with him at work. Everyone who comes in loves him and he loves almost everyone. He is a very good judge of character and there have been a few people he has not warmed up to. He doesn't bite he just doesn't engage with them. He has been coming to work with me since he has been 1 1/2 and he's 3 now. I brush him twice daily to keep the hair down, but Goldens shed terribly. I vacuum the office everyday before I leave and I pick up his dog bone and bowl before I leave for the day and place them under my desk in a box. He does not run around the office, he does go with me to other offices as I take the mail and different things need to be done. He is my shadow, and I love my dog dearly. I would not however, bring my dog if it did any of the things that you are describing, pooping, peeing, chewing up wood, zooming thru the office. Its not gone be pretty when someone falls and hurts themself because the dog tripped them. I just can't understand how your brother in law would allow this to go on. Is your brother in law a control freak, sounds like he likes being the boss and making his employees put up with stuff that would never go in any other office. Ugh, I wish you could find a different job. I would hate to work for "family". I am hoping the air purifier works for you.
  10. Star*

    Star* call 911

    I would also order a private trainer - and charge THAT to the office as well. A NANNY if you please. I would state that having poop and pee in an office is UNACCEPTABLE. HER CHEWING IS DANGEROUS - splinters could kill her.
    GROOMING SHOULD CIME AT least (how ever often it is necessary) for a boston - Once a month? DOn't know - ask Donna.
    And NOW office maid service will be required (also charged to the office) to clean up hair and dander.....Although I thought Bostons were one of the light shedders -so a vet check may be in order.

    Pootie - on the other hand can lay down on the rug after I've vacuumed - shiver -get up and it looks a dog outline. My Mom calls her affectionatelly - Harriet. None of the kids are allowed in my closet - I have to have ONE room in my life that has NO hair - Whether I walk down the hall and I'm like a hair magnet is besides the point - or have 23 of those roller hair pickeruppers - is besides the point - or if they do an autopsey on me and I'd loose 10 lbs - due to hair ingestion - besides the point - If I had a place where I could take one dog to work? I'd be in heaven. They calm you down - and don't mind office gossip at all -
  11. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    Here I sit, in my office, waiting for a meeting to start, two pups at my feet...
    <he he he>
    But... Office is part of House. So nobody else is bothered by the daily gallon of long dark dog hair.
  12. donna723

    donna723 Well-Known Member

    Star, Bostons don't usually need any regular grooming at all, just the occasional bath. No brushing needed, they're pretty much self-cleaning. But it's not normal for them to shed as much as this one is. They can be prone to allergies and skin infections and if the dog is shedding this much it needs to be checked by a vet. Food allergies can cause excessive shedding and dander, and they can get yeast infections on their skin that could cause them to shed more. A healthy Boston that's bathed regularly ordinarily doesn't shed enough or have enough dander to bother someone who is allergic to dogs unless their allergy is really severe.
  13. hearts and roses

    hearts and roses Mind Reader

    I don't know what it is about the hair. Some allergists claim it's the saliva on the fur, the animal's feces and urine, or their skin dander, texture of the fur, etc. It doesn't matter. All I know is that I am allergic to labs, boston terriers, shepards, collies, and a lot of other dogs (and all cats)...I am NOT allergic to bishons, cairns, yorkies, poodles, and many other little yappers. The boston terrier's fur may be thin like an eyelash, but for some reason, it makes me itch and sneeze. Because I can't help myself, I pet her cute little body and then immediately have to go wash my hands. Hives central if I don't. I don't get it...I don't even bother trying to figure out why I am allergic to some and not all. It took us a LONG time to find an animal that could become a housepet when difficult child was little and we discovered cairns. They are the perfect mix of rough and tumble in a small package, lol.
  14. donna723

    donna723 Well-Known Member

    Poodles are supposed to be very good for people with allergies. I'm not sure about Bishons or Cairns but I know that Poodles and maybe Yorkies too have a different kind of hair than other dogs. Poodle hair is almost like wool rather than the hair that other dogs have.

    My Bostons don't bother me at all but my bigger mixed breed, Freebie, can make me itch when she's shedding. She has a beautiful thick, reddish blond coat. She has medium length hair (longer on her tail) but she has a thick, fuzzy undercoat of fine hair that sheds massively twice a year. When she starts shedding I brush her every day for a week or so, filling up bags and bags with her hair, and every day more comes to the surface. I have to do it outside because that fuzzy hair floats around in the air and gets on everything, including me! Luckily she almost matches my carpeting. I can't really even tell that the hair is there until I vacuum and the whole canister is full of reddish blond dog hair!
  15. AnnieO

    AnnieO Shooting from the Hip


    I have a very mild allergy to cats... And I have had cats all my life. It's mild enough I can usually ignore it. BUT - whenever Possum noses me (and snots on me) - I get hives wherever his wet little nose touched. AND, most dogs do this to me too - especially when they lick me. Hives everywhere and I itch, within seconds.

    Now here's a neat thing... Bubbles no longer does this to me. He did at first... Now, not at all. At first I thought it was what he was eating... But it can't be, because other dogs that eat the same thing make me itch.

    I think it's the saliva, to be honest... I am just semi-immune to certain dogs.
  16. busywend

    busywend Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Jo, I agree with saying nothing. You have described brother in law in previous posts and it just does not seem like it would be a good idea to say anything. I hope the potty training goes quick!!