Monday, May 4, 2009

My canine co-worker

Those of you who read the paper regularly already know who this blog is about — our affable office canine, Norton.
Norton is a service dog, a beautiful yellow lab and golden retriever mix, who helps out Jerry Wolffe, our Voices of Disability columnist and West Oakland reporter.
I’m not sure how long it’s been, but it seems like Norton first came into the picture a few years ago.
It sure is nice to have a dog in the office.
At our morning news meetings, Norton reminds us all of us his presence — by no means intentional, though.
As he lays under the conference room table, he naps and, inevitably, begins dreaming. That’s probably when the noises begin, little grunts and stifled barks.
It’s nice to break from the serious news of the day and laugh at Norton’s rumblings.
One day, I walked into work early in the morning and only Jerry and a couple other people had arrived in the office. No one who sits in the row of desks before mine had arrived, and as I passed the empty aisle, something caught my eye.
“No, Norton, no!” I hollered, a knee-jerk reaction for me. “Bad dog! Drop it!”
The innocent-looking dog froze, staring at me while a staffer’s peanut butter sandwich was sticking half-way out of his mouth. A bit of napkin was hanging from his lip too.
Norton had quietly snuck away from Jerry, and of all the dogs I’ve met who are food motivated, Norton takes the cake.
While Jerry was rather upset at his dog’s antics, I couldn’t stop laughing.
It’s just not something I ever expected to do at work, and it’s a welcome bit of humor in my day.
I couldn’t be happier to have a canine co-worker!

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