We watched George, a roly-poly, baby English bulldog, and the adopted son of our friend Elissa, stumble haphazardly across rocks during our walk up Rivington a few weeks ago, when she said “he’s just like his mum, I’m really clumsy too.” It begged the question…have our dogs, despite not sharing even 1% of our DNA, become like us? It’s not the classic nature/nurture debate, but watching a hyperactive staffy bound over to it’s equally animated owner, you have to wonder if we have some of the same characteristics. I have a pug that struggles in the heat and looked like she needed a rest after 20 minutes, so read into that what you will. If you’re following Fresh Perspective’s journey, you will no doubt have seen countless pictures of our fur babies by now. Their selfie skills may rival Kim Kardashian’s, but beyond the poses lie four very diverse personalities. Here’s a little introduction to the four-legged team, their quirks and traits that make them the perfect (and sometimes imperfect) office companions.

Alfie

As the oldest member of the canine team at Fresh Perspective, Alfie has experience and wisdom on his side. His human comparison would probably be one of the aging directors that sits in board meetings, daydreaming about their fast approaching retirement. Not exactly renowned for their work ethic; people have a fondness for them anyway, even though they mentally checked out a while ago.

Be like Alfie: Calm and cool under pressure (and by pressure, I mean Jenny), he isn’t easily fazed, but he knows when to stand his ground when he needs to. He’s consistent and dependable, giving him the kind of stability that isn’t as well matched by his younger counterparts.

Don’t be like Alfie: Whatever was in that bin we walked past was much more interesting than listening to two grown women shrieking ‘Alfie’ from 100 yards away. Alfie has developed selective hearing, something that can be infuriating in the workplace, or indeed, the walk-place. Be open to ideas; listen to and learn from your colleagues- because even if you think Martin from two desks down is a complete tosspot, everyone deserves the chance to be heard.

Jenny

Adopted from the Pug Rescue two years ago, you wouldn’t know that Jenny is outnumbered 3:1 by the men in the family. Don’t be deceived by her miniature packaging; she’s a feisty, female, furball who knows what she wants and won’t let anyone stand in her way. Think back to your own workplace, she’d be the ambitious career woman who wouldn’t stop until she got to the top. Martin from two desks down would refer to her as a ‘ballbreaker’ after she got the promotion he wanted.

Be like Jenny: Direct. She knows her own mind, she knows what she wants and operates on a ‘don’t ask, don’t get’ basis. Her approach needs some serious fine-tuning, I am not suggesting for a second that you go into work and bark in your boss’s face until you get a pay rise, but it doesn’t hurt to raise the subject in a less aggressive way. Everyone knows a bit of healthy competition is a positive thing, and this is what Jenny thrives on. The only thing more competitive than Jenny is the parent’s race at a school sports day, or perhaps the under 6’s football team dads on a match day. Don’t fear competition, it can bring out the best in you.

Don’t be like Jenny: The football dad thing…great that they’re encouraging their children to do their best, and everyone loves winning- but no one likes a sore loser. In a race to the biscuit, if Jenny doesn’t come out victorious, the prize-winner will likely be subject to a bite on the ear. If you don’t get the promotion you’re after, be gracious, don’t sulk, and certainly don’t bite them on the ear.

Louie

This pint-sized charmer also joined Laura’s grumble from the Pug Rescue a year ago, and just goes to prove that big things come in small packages. Nicknamed ‘King Louie’ by his humans, he’s the sense of humour that you need to get you through your Monday to Friday. Often forgetting he’s already been adopted, Louie loves to follow new families on every walk. Unfortunately, this does mean that he can’t be left to his own devices for very long, he’s put back on the lead before he sets up home with his new-found friends. His workplace equivalent is the charismatic, popular bloke: men want to be him and women send messages in the group chat about him with the aubergine emoticon. We’ve all done it, ladies, there’s no point denying it.

Be like Louie: Be confident in who you are. There’s something magnetic about confidence, it’s attractive to employers. Not to be confused with arrogance, a person with self-confidence doesn’t need to convince others they are great. When you thought of the charmer at work, did you stop to consider what makes them charming (aside from the aubergine mystery)? This person is always genuinely glad to meet people, whether you’re the director of the company, or the new kid on the block. Give people a smile, it goes a long way.

Don’t be like Louie: Work can be great for socialising; you’re lucky if you get along with everyone, but don’t forget the reason you’re there. Slacking off at the expense of chatting up Amanda from accounts with the great legs will be noted and it won’t be looked up on favourably. Louie is the classic ‘I’ll do it in a minute’ man, leaving him behind on walks and needing to sprint to catch up. Procrastinating can work for some people, but it makes for a stressful time before deadlines.

Lenny

It’s a well-known fact that you can’t be old and wise if you were never young and crazy, and Lenny is the youngest and craziest of them all. Challenging the staffy stereotype since 2016, this excitable pup is more likely to bowl you over for a belly rub than to bare his teeth. He’s the office junior: full of enthusiasm, eagerness and not-so-good ideas (like escaping to next door’s garden, where he remained trapped for half an hour, causing palpitations and a few choice swear words from Emily). Do the pugs respect him as a pack member? No. But does he make their work day fun? Also no. But that’s the thing about office juniors, at some point they grow up and we can take them more seriously. Until then, they’re on brew duties and photocopying only.

Be like Lenny: There’s something about the association with youth and vivacity that you can’t deny once you’ve met Lenny. Bosses want to see keenness in their new recruits- usually expecting it whilst paying you a wage you couldn’t be less keen on- so having a passion for what you’re doing really helps you to demonstrate your willingness to pitch in. It’s the time to develop a thick skin; don’t take things to heart, there will be set backs and you will make mistakes, but show some perseverance and you’ll soon be passing brew duty on to someone else.

Don’t be like Lenny: Don’t be a know-it-all when you actually know f-all. Was Lenny told multiple times and in no uncertain terms not to dig up the decking in the back garden? You can bet your life on it. He heard the warning, but he didn’t listen. It all depends on your company policy, but the chances are your boss won’t give you a clip round the ear for making a mistake; however, nobody wants to be continually correcting you on the same error. Listening is active, take time to consider what has been said to you rather than hearing the words and carrying on regardless.

There’s the round up of our picture-perfect pets. Women’s best friends and the faces of Fresh Perspective, cheering up your weekdays since 2016. To answer the question, are they like their owners? You’ll have to make your own mind up…

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