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One of the wonderful results of publishing your e-mail address on a Web site, as we at The News do, is that people anywhere in the world can find it and send us stuff. I get all kinds of news releases from people I've never met, promoting products, services, events and ideas I could never dream up by myself.
For example, I had heard of Take Your Daughter to Work Day, and just like you, had kept quiet about its inherent constitutional issues. But I wasn't aware until Monday that someone had come up with Take Your Dog To Work Day, which happens Friday.
It's not a good idea in the usual sense, but in the "I want to be there with a video camera when someone tries this" category, it's an awesome! idea. If America's Funniest is still paying first-round winners $10,000, I highly encourage you to Take Your Dog To Work.
And call me.
Sent by a public-relations firm, the e-mail says the idea is advocated by a guy in (drum roll, please ..........) California. Specifically, he's from the home of Malibu Barbie, so you know he's legit. His name is Robert Cabral, and his Web site, www.blackbeltdogtraining.com, explains that he "uses the Zen of the martial arts to rescue and rehabilitate troubled dogs."
Imagining how that might translate into action conjures up some interesting mental images.
First, the rescue: BANG! OOF! THWAP!
Then the rehab: SPLAT! SWOOSH! KERPOW!
Then everybody bows to each other, and all is calm. And rehabilitated.
For those of us who have heard the word Zen a million times, but never looked it up, it actually has nothing to do with motorcycle repair. Webster says it's "a Japanese sect of a Mahayana Buddhism that aims at enlightenment by direct intuition through meditation."
Enlightened on that point, we break our navel gaze and move on.
In the news release, Cabral shares his 10 tips to a successful and fun Take Your Dog to Work Day. With very little modification, it could read as a list of Top 10 Reasons Not to Take Your Dog to Work. Abbreviated, they urge safety and comfort for your animal, caution in approaching other people's pets and concern for other people's health and ability to do their jobs.
With biting and stepping-in-stuff dangers avoided, Cabral feels that work places can be greatly improved if people can take their dogs every day.
Cabral didn't come up with the idea for Take Your Dog to Work Day. According to the release, the credit goes to Pet Sitters International, who started it in 1999 "to celebrate the great companions dogs make and to encourage their adoption from humane societies, animal shelters and breed rescue clubs."
I love dogs and heartily support all of those goals.
And with my video-camera battery all charged up, I fully support the concept of taking your dog to work.