Whirlpool employees bring dogs to work for national holiday

Kaiser, a black sable German shepherd, gets his belly rubbed while visiting Creative Services at Whirlpool Corp. on Friday. (Tony Wittkowski | HP Staff)

Kaiser, a black sable German shepherd, gets his belly rubbed while visiting Creative Services at Whirlpool Corp. on Friday. (Tony Wittkowski | HP Staff)

By Tony Wittkowski | Business Reporter | The Herald-Palladium

BENTON HARBOR — There were different kind of labs at Whirlpool Corp. on Friday.

Several employees at the Multi-Media Creative and Photo Services Center took part in National Take Your Dog to Work Day for the third straight year.

Nicole Clark-Frisch, a digital imaging specialist at Whirlpool, started the effort a few years ago and has been taking part ever since.

“I just thought it would be a fun idea to boost morale,” she said. “Take your dog to work day celebrates canine companionship and demonstrates to dogless coworkers that having a dog can be fun. Hopefully this promotes pet adoption as well.”

She’s been at Whirlpool for a combined eight years – as an employee and contractor – and had never heard of the appliance maker doing it before.

When Creative Services began doing this three years ago, there were only two or three dogs brought to work. This year had the largest turnout, with about a dozen dogs patrolling the grounds among the refrigerators and stove tops.

About a dozen dogs were brought to the Creative Services at Whirlpool Corp. on Friday as part of National Bring Your Dog to Work Day. (Tony Wittkowski | HP Staff)

About a dozen dogs were brought to the Creative Services at Whirlpool Corp. on Friday as part of National Bring Your Dog to Work Day. (Tony Wittkowski | HP Staff)

The only restrictions employees have for the special visitation is making sure the dogs are up-to-date with their vaccinations and that they get along with other dogs.

Clark-Frisch had her husky-malamute mix named Cali with her on Friday. The 105-pound dog was owner relinquished to Clark-Frisch and her husband, who have another husky at home.

“Dogs have a tendency to lessen stress, increase morale and productivity,” Clark-Frisch said. “That’s a special benefit for us because we are always busy and our very job is to be creative. Even if it’s just one day a year, it helps out a lot.”

Loren Lukaszewski dabbles in set construction at Creative Services and decided to dress up his dog Rocky.

Decked out in a mini tuxedo, Rocky was among the smaller dogs there Friday.

“Our nephew got married in Minnesota, so Rocky got to wear a tux too in the wedding,” Lukaszewski said. “He’s a smaller dog, but he was always the underdog at the Humane Society. We saw him in the paper and thought he looks like Rocky. He’s our underdog.

Lukaszewski said they’ve had him for about five years and makes a good watchdog.

Among Rocky’s wardrobe includes a NASCAR driver, a Chicago Bears football player, a rain jacket, winter jacket and a Spider-Man costume.

“He’s been a pretty good dog for us. He’s come to these days each year we’ve done it. I get his haircut down the road. I pick him up when he’s done and he hangs out for the rest of the day. My dog gives me that timeout of the day I need. It’s a dog-eat-dog world. Everyone needs a timeout.”

Contact Tony Wittkowski at twittkowski@TheHP.com or (269) 932-0358. Follow him on Twitter: @tonywittkowski.

(Author’s Note: This article was originally published on June 25, 2016)

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