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9 Benefits of Taking Your Dog to Work

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There are lots of great reasons to participate in Take Your Dog to Work Day (mark your calendars! It's Friday, June 23). Taking down the "No Pets Allowed" sign and having an office where dogs are welcomed can benefit everyone. These nine reasons might just be enough to convince your boss.

1. EASY ICEBREAKERS

Coworkers, bosses, vendors, and clients in your office are not going to be able to resist saying hello to your canine co-worker, which means they will end up communicating with you too. Dogs help people loosen up, feel friendlier, and they create an easy way to initially interact with someone who might have been difficult to introduce yourself to otherwise.

2. STRESS REDUCTION

A study in the International Journal of Workplace Health Management found that workers who brought their pets to work had stress levels that decreased through the day, while workers without pets had stress levels that ratcheted up throughout the day. Stress relief created through wet kisses and furry hugs sounds like a much better option than trekking to the vending machine again.

3. BROWNIE POINTS FOR WORKING LONGER

Want to impress your boss? Bring your dog to work and you'll likely find you will (happily!) stay longer and work more, according to a survey by the American Pet Products Association. Because your pet is with you, you won't feel pressured to hurry home to walk or feed it, and you will feel happier and more content while you are at the office.

4. FLOWING CREATIVITY

Man in work attire sits on floor with a dog.
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According to the same survey, having your canine pal along makes people feel more creative at work. Presumably, having a friendly and supportive buddy nearby—one who has already lowered your stress levels so that you can fully concentrate—can help you focus and tap into your inner genius so you can come up with exactly the best solution or idea for the project at hand.

5. IMPROVED HEALTH

According to the Centers for Disease Control, pets help reduce cholesterol, triglycerides, and blood pressure in their owners. Taking your dog to work also means that you will absolutely have to get up and take more frequent walks throughout the day than you might have otherwise—and all those extra steps add up (even if you don't hit the fairly arbitrary 10,000-steps-a-day mark).

6. INCREASED PRODUCTIVITY

You might worry that your dog will keep you from concentrating or getting enough done at work, but the opposite is true. Because your dog forces you to take short walks and respond to periodic pleas for petting or attention throughout the day, you're getting mental and physical breaks at regular intervals. Frequent short breaks like these actually increase your productivity.

7. INCREASED COWORKER COOPERATION

Two women talking in office while a dog sits near a desk.
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Offices with dogs tend to have increased cooperation and better working relationships amongst employees. Whether it's that dogs increase morale, make everyone feel more positive, or simply give them a reason to talk more, offices with pets are more likely to maintain a friendly working rapport across the board.

8. LESS WORRYING

If you've got a very young, sick, misbehaving, or elderly dog, leaving it home alone for nine or more hours can begin to wear on you later in the day. You may worry about what the dog is destroying, or if it's lonely or feeling OK. But bringing your dog to work means you (and your coworkers) will have your eyes on your pup all day long and won’t have to imagine what might be happening at home. And, your dog will be happier after spending the day with you and around other people and pets too.

9. INCREASED OVERALL JOB SATISFACTION

Employees who bring their dogs to work have higher levels of job satisfaction overall, likely due to a combination of being near their pets, feeling the effects of lessened stress, and knowing their employers are adopting policies designed to make the office a happier environment. Sounds like a win-win-win situation all around!

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New Plankton Species Named After Sir David Attenborough Series Blue Planet
John Phillips, Getty Images for Tourism Australia
John Phillips, Getty Images for Tourism Australia

At least 19 creatures, both living and extinct, have been named after iconic British naturalist Sir David Attenborough. Now, for the first time, one of his documentary series will receive the same honor. As the BBC reports, a newly discovered phytoplankton shares its name with the award-winning BBC series Blue Planet.

The second half of the species' name, Syracosphaera azureaplaneta, is Latin for "blue planet," likely making it the first creature to derive its name from a television program. The single-cell organisms are just thousandths of a millimeter wide, thinner than a human hair, but their massive blooms on the ocean's surface can be seen from space. Called coccolithophores, the plankton serve as a food source for various marine life and are a vital marker scientists use to gauge the effects of climate change on the sea. The plankton's discovery, by researchers at University College London (UCL) and institutions in Spain and Japan, is detailed in a paper [PDF] published in the Journal of Nannoplankton Research.

"They are an essential element in the whole cycle of oxygen production and carbon dioxide and all the rest of it, and you mess about with this sort of thing, and the echoes and the reverberations and the consequences extend throughout the atmosphere," Attenborough said while accepting the honor at UCL.

The Blue Planet premiered in 2001 with eight episodes, each dedicated to a different part of the world's oceans. The series' success inspired a sequel series, Blue Planet II, that debuted on the BBC last year.

[h/t BBC]

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'Angry Badger' Terrorizes Scottish Castle, Forcing Closures 
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Portions of the 16th-century Craignethan Castle in Scotland were shut down last week after a less-than-friendly badger holed up there and refused to leave. Historic Environment Scotland, which manages the site in South Lanarkshire, sent out a tweet last Friday notifying visitors that the property's cellar tunnel would remain closed over the weekend “due to the presence of a very angry badger.” Staff tried to coax it out with cat food and honey, but the badger did what it wanted, and they were unable to move the mammal.

A spokesman for HES told the BBC, "The castle is surrounded by woodland and we believe the badger may have become lost. Staff first spotted some dug-out earth on Wednesday evening, and later spotted the badger on closer inspection."

On Saturday, staff used a GoPro camera to check out the tunnel from a safe distance and learned that the badger had left voluntarily, but not before making a mess. The critter dug through both soil and stonework, according to The Scotsman. The castle, an artillery fortification erected around 1530, is already partly in ruins.

Craignethan Castle in Scotland
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Badgers are not typically dangerous, but they can become aggressive if they feel cornered or threatened. They can be seen year-round in Scotland, especially during spring and summer. Earthworms, bird eggs, small mammals, fruit, and roots are among their favorite meals, and they can even be “tempted into your garden by leaving peanuts out—a tasty snack for our striped friends,” the Scottish Wildlife Trust says.

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