#270 Dogs with jobs

Dogs are lazy.

There, I said it. And you know it’s true. Look who’s sleeping on the couch, look who’s drooling on my socks, look who’s wandering around in circles. Dogs, my friend. Dogs, dogs, dogs.

And sure, maybe the dog economy has dried up a bit and it’s not as easy to give a dog a bone. But before this old man comes rolling home let’s take a moment to say thanks to the K9s actually earning their kibble:

• Seeing eye dogs. I feel bad for blind people of three hundred years ago. We hadn’t invented glasses yet and Seeing Eye dogs weren’t around. People like me probably walked around aimlessly till we fell in sewer holes or tried to pet a bear. Lucky for us, now glasses and seeing-eye dogs come through in the clutch – leading us out of harm’s way and letting us live another day.

• Junk yard dogs. Who else is going to guard all the spare tires, rusty chains, and piles of gravel around here? Braving rainstorms, mud puddles, and barbed wire makes junk yard dogging a tough life … but an honest life.

• The dalmation on the fire squad. Apparently firefighters took dalmations with them in the early days to be a sort of barking siren. Their aggressive nature and loud barks helped clear the streets for fire trucks to get to the blaze. It helped that they had a ton of energy and got along great with horses. Thanks, Spots.

•Bomb sniffing dogs. These four-footed beacons of courage are keeping our skies safe. I mean, would you enjoy inspecting suspicious duct-taped packages making ticking sounds? I didn’t think so. So make sure you give these weekend warriors a grateful head nod next time you walk past.

• Hunting dogs. Remember when you weren’t clay shooting back in Duck Hunt there was that friendly neighborhood hunting dog scaring the ducks out of the bushes so you could pop them? These guys are close cousins of the bloodhounds who help detectives find clues in the forest. They follow a work hard, play hard philosophy.

• Sheep dogs. Herding sheep over grassy hills is no walk in the park. While his friends are pissing on trees outside the pizza place the sheep dog runs around barking for hours. Fierce determination and a tireless work ethic are hallmarks of the role.

Yes, dogs with jobs keep the rusty gears of our economy creaking as they dedicate their noble lives to service. Dogs with jobs help our world go round.

Dogs with jobs are


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Classification: UNCLASSIFIED

Mr. Pasricha, I am in the army and my Colonel suggested watching your video about the 3 A’s of awesome. I found a picture online long ago that I showed to him and he laughed and thought it would be cool to send it to you. So attached is the picture. Also, here is a photo of me when I was promoted to SFC. It was an AWESOME day. Thanks,

Sergeant First Class Wayne Gray

Photos from: here, here, and here

86 thoughts on “#270 Dogs with jobs

  1. YES. I love this blog in general – and I also happen to train service dogs. They are the most amazing, intelligent, loving animals. They are absolutely without a doubt AWESOME!

    @Laura – don’t worry, they get plenty of time to be real dogs too :-)

  2. If a junkyard dog counts as a job, then does dogs playing sports and acting in movies count as work? I mean, lets not discriminate against the pretty dogs that make all the cool movies like air bud and such because they are also AWESOME!

  3. We rescued our girl from the local shelter 7 years ago and she has sheltered us from harm ever since.
    They told us her mother was Shepard/Collie, her father a Coyote.
    She’s gorgeous. We named her Nikko.
    Her first trip with us was to Whistler, where she sure surprised us at only 8 weeks when she dove into a planter and came up with a mouse…protecting the village people, she was.
    She’ll run any threatening thing off our property and has refused to return to any “Wild Thing” with a “Don’t Come Around Here No More” Attitude!Yes, she’s extremely loyal, young at heart as ever; devoted and gentle as can be to everyone who deserves her love.
    Nikko works so hard around here, when she hears “truck ride”, near or far, she’s like… “I’m in!”
    And as soon as she sees a harmonica, she starts to sing her favorite song since she was a wee thing, “You are my sunshine.”
    Yes, she is our faithful gaurd and companion…
    Nikko…she is our sunshine!

  4. My dog has no job whatsoever, she actually strives to be a bit of a lazy coward (I say with love)! However it was her alone that alerted all of us that my grandma had gotten up in the middle of the night, fallen, and was unconscious on the floor, badly injured. She just barked and barked and refused to listen to any calls of “be quiet” from the household, until someone finally got up to see what was wrong. AND she spent quite some time trying to wake my grandma up, before refusing to leave her side. Now, I know we all have “slept” in the living room before, but she was smart enough to realize something was wrong. And how awesome is that?

    So here also to regular dogs who take on BIG jobs when they have too!

      1. This was a few years ago, but thanks to her we got her to the hospital in time and she was back at home in a week :)

    1. no worries. i just went sniffing about and it’s only been a few days…he/she’ll probably return soon with his/her tail behind him/her.

  5. It’s our dog’s ‘birthday’ today. When I say birthday I actually mean it’s been a year to the day we rescued her from the centre.
    She has a job too; to cheer us up when we’re down, a reason to actually get out the house and someone to warm your toes in the winter.
    It’s only been a year since we’ve had her but it feels at this moment in time that I couldn’t imagine life without her. THAT’S what a dog’s job is, any dog; to leave pawprints on our hearts for when they’re gone. And she’s certainly done that already :)

    1. Very well said!
      Just so’s not misunderstood, that’s our Nikko too…a princess really-
      she just came by the “gaurding us loyalty”, much like her parents:
      The Littlest Hobo, Lassie, Clanning Coyote- family…naturally:)

  6. “People like me probably walked around aimlessly till we fell in sewer holes or tried to pet a bear.” Haa, nice visual!

    1. I liked that one too :) I could almost hear the cartoony slide-whistle sound as Neil plummeted helplessly into the sewer.

  7. How about mascot dogs? Like Blue the Butler Bulldog or Uga the Georgia Bulldog ? They are there to pick-up the team when they are down and provide a rallying point for all of the fans to get behind.

  8. Returning from a company trip last year, there was a service/security beagle at the airport in New Jersye on our return trip from Europe. Beagles are nose dogs, so I figured it was sniffing for drugs or explosives. While we waited for our luggage to be spit out on the return carousel, this unassuming beagle sat down next to my co-worker’s wife’s carry-on bag. (Uh oh! Perhaps a souvenir from Amsterdam?) The officer handling the dog asked politely “Mam, do you have any fruit in your bag? An apple or a banana maybe?” Well, wouldn’t you know she had an apple from the hotel in Europe and was going to eat it on the plane, but never got around to it. I am guessing by the way the dog sat or gave some other signal, the officer knew exactly what the woman had. We were all very impressed. Apparently we don’t allow foreign fruit into the country due to fear of bad bugs and things that would hurt our own farms. High Paw to the awesome beagle!

    1. Wow…I knew there were laws about carrying produce internationally for that reason, but never knew how they did it. Awesome!

    2. When I was in Chile, they confiscated my beef jerkey, citing some BS rule about the difference between smoked meat and cooked meat. I think they just wanted my beef jerkey :(

    3. Once while driving into US from Canada, the only questions we were asked were: “Citizenship?” and “Got any fruit in the car?”.

      (Another time, after a night out on the town on the US side of the border, too many of us were crammed into a tiny car for the return trip to Canadia. The border officer asked the driver, “Bringing anything back?”
      Driver, proudly: “Three Chicks!”. We were waved on through.)

      1. Ha ha! I like that last one. Yeah the fruit thing is a big deal. My friend got arrested while crossing the Georgia border for bringing a truckload of tomatoes from Florida to sell at a farmer’s market. He knew it was illegal though. I just think it’s hilarious to spend the night in jail for smuggling tomatoes. It sounds like a euphemism for something way worse.

  9. Yay! I get to post my favourite you-tube ever! Extreme LED Sheep Herding! Boo-yah! (or is that “Ba-a-a-a-a-yah”)

    1. This is now my favorite video ever! How often does one get to see a crazy awesome vid of extreme shepherding?! This not only made my day, it made my personal list of awesome! It makes me want to travel there just to meet these guys. THANKS!

    2. I’d seen it before but it was so great to see it again!

      Thank ewe for posting!

      Argh.. I know, that was pretty baa-aa-aad..

      I will try to have better wool-power in the future to avoid these puns..

      I bet you wish I was a bit more sheepish at this point and wouldn’t continue..

    3. Wow! I didn’t even know that was possible. I wonder how confused those sheep were…or maybe they are used to those guys having them do random stuff.

  10. I’d also like to add sled dogs. We’ve had a couple of retired sled dogs and, like some people, they just want to keep working long after they’ve retired. When we take out the harness, there’s an excitement in their eyes that is just awesome, even if they can’t run with the young guys anymore.

  11. A quick shout out for SFC Gray for that awesome dog poster, as well as for all he’s doing in serving his country. You’re truly AWESOME!

  12. @SFC Gray, THANK YOU FOR YOUR SERVICE and thanks for the hilarious awesome dog picture. That is now my screensaver in honor of my own lab who is getting along in years but still just as awesome!

  13. …search and rescue dogs! But yeah, you can’t get them all in, or it would be the never-ending post. That awesome dog poster is fantastic!

  14. some dogs, i guess like some people, have the most phenomenal sense of duty and participation in society. they know they have a talent and a sense of obligation to provide that talent/service to the world. they work without complaint. they almost seem happy to work and pitch in. i have learned from service dogs that there is no situation too tense and no person so emotionally wrought that a little bit of patience and sincere love and desire to heal can’t do just that… heal. good dog :)

    1. well said!
      If I understood correctly… I can’t believe I left this beautiful character trait out- unconditional loving compassion!!!
      I once read on a bumper sticker:
      “Dear God, PLEASE help me to be the person my dog thinks I am.”
      I should remember this every day! Thanks for the reminder.

  15. Many days I wish I had my dog’s job. Watch the house, chase the balls and keep the squirrels out of the yard. ahhhhh

    love the post!


  16. All dogs want a job. If you don’t give them one they will find one themselves. My dog’s job is to act as my alarm clock. He wakes me up every morning to take us both for a walk. Then he lets me make him breakfast so he has the energy for a long nap. But, he makes me laugh everyday and that is awesome!!!!

  17. My dog is a golden retriever, but she doesn’t fulfill this job description. Whenever we tried to play fetch (before we gave up) she would run and grab the stick/ball/frizbee and then either pretend she was coming back then dart out of the way at the last second or just sit down and start eating it.

    Come to think of it, she doesn’t even live up to the “golden” part of her name because she’s usually covered in mud.

  18. I love the post, its all true, and I sympathize with Jenn, I being a fellow Golden retriever owner too. Neil, you’ve got a really engaging writing style, have you ever considered writing a fiction book?

  19. My favorite is definetly the ski patrol dog, and they love what they do, although I don’t know how the dogs feel about riding ski lifts!

  20. There are two disabled kids at my school who have a pretty hard time getting around by themselves, so just recently, they got dogs to help them. The doggies pull them around in their wheelchairs, get things for them, hold stuff, turn off lights (they jump up and hit the switch), and of course, look cute. It’s seriously awesome.

  21. We can’t forget Search and Rescue dogs! A friend of mine has two: a cadaver dog and a regular air-scent dog, and they’re both really cool. :)

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