At Ride the Ducks, our love of animals doesn’t stop at our feathered friends! For the last 8 years, we’ve had two office dogs! From being a friendly-face at the top of the stairs to sharing our lunches, they’re a big part of our everyday lives and we thought it would be fun to share a bit about them.
Gabby: 8 years old, Basset Hound.
Gabby grew up at Ride the Ducks. The day after she was brought home, she found a second home and lots of love in the ticket booth. In 2004, if you were here to Ride the Ducks in the late afternoon, you’d often see her head poking out the ticket booth window in the sunshine, asking for an ear scratch or a head pat from our guests.
Gabby has two loves of her life: Rick, our old mailman, and Captain Rob R. Ducky. We’re not sure how she knew, but as soon as the mail truck pulled up behind the building, Gabby would wake up and race downstairs! We’re absolutely sure she’s never done anything as patiently as wait for those biscuits! The same thing happens when Captain Rob returns from his tour! How she tells the difference between his Duck and the other Ducks returning will forever be a mystery, but she does!
Although she naps for most of the day, Gabby gets up periodically to make the rounds (e.g. see who’s eating). Typically, rounds conveniently coincide with Captain breaks and we’re fairly certain that she has a secret alarm clock to know when Captain Rik O’Shay is on break. Sometimes we can hear him down the hall, “Half a cheeseburger for you, half a cheeseburger for me.”
Guinness: 7 years old, a mix of lab, hound and love
Truthfully, Guinness was never intended to be an office dog. When our GM adopted him, he was going to be a regular, everyday dog, the kind who stays home with the other animals to sleep and pretend to protect the house. That all changed on Day 1 when a severe case of separation anxiety left our GM with the door to the laundry room open, no more shoes, no more blinds and only one solution in sight! Two office dogs! The next day, Guinness happily reported to work and to this day, he and Gabby are lifelong friends.
Weighing in at about 60 pounds, Guinness is a fairly large dog, so when he makes himself at home on a desk, in a chair or in the middle of the hallway for a nap, it’s more than a slight inconvenience. We’re what “cat people” like to call “dog people” so if Guinness is napping, we’ll try to step over him. However, it’s in his nature to be helpful, so he’ll jump up at the exact moment that your body weight has shifted too far to step in a different direction. Instead of easily side-stepping him, you stumble into the wall, inevitably dropping whatever you were holding and more times than not, laughing with humble embarrassment.
Our favorite Guinness story is from Summer 2010. One of the customer service team members poked their head into the office and asked, “Did you know that Guinness is outside?” All three of us (yes, we have a small office team) turned to the windows. Outside in the parking lot, Guinness was happily bouncing from guest to guest, wagging his tail and literally, greeting guests! Apparently, he had been listening in on one of our leaders meetings!
While both dogs know tricks, Guinness is much more well-mannered than Gabby. If he wants your attention, he’ll sit up on his back legs to do a “pretty boy” or if he’s absolutely certain you’re not done scratching behind his ears, he’ll ever-so-gently put his paw on your leg to say, “Hi, I’m still here.” Most hilariously, he sits on your feet. Guinness is completely and blissfully unaware of what is or should be considered your space versus his. And, a warning to vendors coming to pitch us on new marketing opportunities: Most embarrassingly, he’ll stick his nose up in your business if you avoid petting him when he comes over to say hello.