…And it caught me by surprise, actually. Who knew? I researched it a bit and found out that the day is used to “honor and recognize the hardest working people among us.” During these hottest days of summer, often called the “dog days” of summer, employers acknowledge and show their appreciation for people that “tend to display their inner grit and determination – characteristics often demonstrated by canines.” It does not honor workaholics who may be working, but not necessarily working hard. After all, a workaholic personality can ‘give a dog a bad name” and end up “in the dog house” at home.
People that work like dogs are different. It’s not that they work non-stop; they work in a much more focused manner. They dig in and seldom take a break until they have completed their work. They keep going and going until they have reached their goal. People that work like a dog have another common denominator – working hard gives both dogs and their human counterparts great pleasure.
And this is what captured my imagination. I think I was surprised because of this pleasure. I immediately thought of our Calo canines. They ALL work, and I suddenly wanted to celebrate them, along with herding dogs, rescue dogs, service dogs, the whole lot of dogs that have been man’s best friend for 30,000 years, and who probably understood why long before human scientists could do research and tease explanations out. We know that there are similarities in how human and canine brains use emotional intelligence, picking up on moods as well as accurately reading body language. At Calo, our canines are considered to be part of our staff because of how they help our students and their families tune in to the emotions they are experiencing. We call this Transferable Attachment. We see it working all the time. Our dogs work all the time, even when our humans might be getting a bit tired. They are focused on their “kids” and will stick with them through thick and thin, through every emotion they might have to experience to feel better about themselves and what life has dealt them. They help our students dig deep and find the strength to tackle what lies ahead. They model unconditional love, for our students, for their parents, for our staff. They are always there, and are happy to be there. Helping their humans IS their pleasure.
So, on National Work Like A Dog Day, I say look to the dogs and remember what Charles M. Schulz, the American cartoonist best known for the comic strip, Peanuts, said about his character, Charlie Brown: “All his life he tried to be a good person. Many times, however, he failed. For after all, he was only human. He wasn’t a dog.” And he certainly wasn’t a Calo Dog!