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Pets We Dig
Lauren Heartsill Dowdle | February 7, 2013

Friendly obedience

Said to be man’s best friend, dogs like this black British Labrador Retriever can ease spirits and bring a smile to your employees and clients.

Jeff Schwartz, president of Ashton Manor Environmental (formerly Greenskeeper Environmental) in Ashton, Maryland, adopted Ovie as a puppy from a Labrador rescue organization to add to his growing family. But Ovie, named after the Washington Capitals’ left winger Alex Ovechkin, quickly earned a spot as part of Schwartz’s work crew.

“He adds spontaneity and is a positive distraction from the stress of business for the staff,” Schwartz says. “He can be found playing soccer with the employees or sometimes wandering around to visit office staff. On jobsites, he can entertain inspectors and provide a few moments of ‘social’ conversation with prospective clients.”

If you’re considering adding a dog to your staff, Schwartz suggests taking it to obedience school. “Having a well-trained, controlled dog on a jobsite gives the impression of confidence, strength and being easy going,” he says. “An out-of-control animal could be disastrous for the dog and customer.” He says Ovie, now 2 years old, is calm and relaxed, which is especially important when around “dog anxious” people.

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