Phone calls were tricky because of all the heavy breathing - Lesley Keating

Last Friday was Bring Your Dog to Work Day which, as a dog lover, is something I really like the idea of… in theory.But in practice, I’m not so sure.I’m currently working from home so Bring Your Dog to Work Day is every day, with my little Yorkie a constant companion, snoring on the sofa while I work on the laptop.However, when I used to work in the office, I did take her with me a few times.

Sunday, 23rd June 2019, 8:00 pm
Updated Sunday, 23rd June 2019, 10:40 pm
BOSS DOG: Look what can happen if you take your pet to work

The good thing with Milly is that she’s small.

This meant I could always pick her up and pop her on my lap or try to distract her with a treat before attempting to get on with e-mails and calls.

I say ‘attempting’ because phone calls were tricky, thanks to the heavy breathing and panting (Milly, not me).

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And things were likely to be unpredictable at times as sometimes she’d lie quietly but at other times she’d take off and belt around the office, planting herself, uninvited, under various colleagues’ desks, watching their every move most intently.

Friends who run a business told me they’ve had clients’ dogs in their offices on occasions.

However, one bulldog decided to try to eat a phone charger cable and another, a French bulldog, was like a small Exocet missile, launching itself at breakneck speed before finally needing a rugby tackle to bring him to heel.

Even small dogs like Milly are unpredictable at times because you never know when they’re going to stop being well-behaved.

Luckily, we never had any ‘caught short incidents’, although a designer friend took her spaniel with her to a site meeting and, well, let’s just say she wasn’t prepared with a little black bag.

Even little dogs can become vocal, so imagine taking in a huge dog with a matching enormous woof?

And in a strange environment, they sometimes ignore their usual commands.

I have first-hand experience of this after hissing a particularly loud and emphatic ‘sit!’ while waiting for my phone call to connect, only to hear the person at the other end say, ‘excuse me?’

Try explaining that one…

I’m still treated like a freak for daring to be a vegetarian

We were out the other night and had been given menus to choose from in advance. For ease, I’d ticked ‘vegetarian option’, which hadn’t been described.

When seated, I became the object of almost circus-like interest. ‘Are you the… vegetarian?’ asked an incredulous waitress, as I nodded. Another brought my starter, bellowing: ‘Sorry, but are you ‘the vegetarian?’ across the table. All eyes were on me.

I’ve no idea what I ate. It looked like a pile of lamb’s lettuce with tiny bits of shaved celeriac arranged like flower petals. I did ask, but the waitress had no idea. The main course was equally baffling, involving more lamb’s lettuce. Lucky I didn’t ask for a vegan option.

Buy local and ditch those pre-packed, limp sandwiches

We’re encouraged to support the high street so why go to a national chain for pre-packed, uninspiring sandwiches and bitter coffee when there are home-grown businesses like Southsea Coffee Co?

This Palmerston Road gem serves a great selection of brunch, lunchtime and sugar-free afternoon tea items. Recently I had an avocado, pesto and hummus sandwich on freshly-baked focaccia with hand-made vegetable crisps and coconut ‘bacon’. The vegan choices are outstanding and there are options for meat-eaters too. It’s always healthy and home-made.

We should back imaginative businesses like these, not the old tired options.