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Working Remotely with a Pawtner

This is a guest post by Shirley Shanahan, Student Services Assistant.

Working with Lulu

While there are many pros and cons to working from home, one of the biggest pros is working with my little friend Lulu.

Lulu is a little terrier/chihuahua mix who I rescued from a Chicago shelter via Chicagoland dog rescue (chicagolanddogrescue.org). She was the smallest dog in there and she was terrified. When I first held her, she was shaking uncontrollably. The first night I brought her home, she hid under the bed. Around day 2, she decided to come out and check me out. She was quickly bribed with doggy treats and decided to give me a chance. This was shortly before the pandemic hit and she would wait patiently every day for me to come home at lunch time and play with her.

Then everything changed and I rarely, if ever, left the house. At first she was puzzled by what appeared to be a very long vacation, but we soon settled into a groove. First, we go through emails. Her little bed was already in the room but after I started working from home, she pushed her bed over to my feet. There, she diligently stays quiet while I make a few calls (unless the doorbell rings, then all bets are off).

We now have lunch together every day followed by a nice long walk. On very cold days I have tried to shorten them, but she knows the route and is not having it. Once the sun starts setting, she senses that the end of our work day is approaching. This is accompanied by jumping on my lap to see who I’m speaking to in that black box and covering me with kisses, so it’s difficult to talk.

Studies have shown that interacting with pets at work reduces stress and nurtures productivity; I am happy to say I have found this to be true.

Shirley Shanahan is the Student Services Assistant for the Community Education department and has helped to enroll students for over fifteen years at Harper College. In her spare time, Shirley enjoys cooking and is an avid reader.


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