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(person on video call, holding puppy up to the camera) And now Miss Fuzzywiggles will take us through our third-quarter financial results.

Sit! Stay! Roll over! Zoom!

Sit! Stay! Roll over! Zoom! published on

Two historic trends converged during the Great Home-Office Migration of 2020:

  1. Zoom calls, and
  2. pandemic puppies.

The result is more fuel for the very happy phenomenon of pets making appearances — expected and otherwise — in work meetings. My calls with my BCFED colleagues over the past year have been punctuated with a cameo cat, drop-in dogs, a guest-star guinea pig and a central bearded lizard (who did not come with a handy alliteration).

For some of us, seeing each others’ pets is a welcome reprieve from the sometimes-grueling world of never-really-off-the-clock working from home… and a happy reminder that not every non-human we meet on-screen is a bot.

For others, though, the sight of Fluffy or Bailey is an irritant to be endured. For them, those four-legged intruders are at best a distraction.

But maybe there’s something more to that — something more behind the muttering over whether pets in meetings are professional. Or whether having kids walk in on you during your meeting is professional. Or whether any sign that you have a life beyond your job description and work product is unprofessional.

Maybe this blurring of the boundaries between our professional and personal selves hints at the possibility that the workplace of 2019 isn’t coming back — and neither is a world where we show up to work, whether it’s in the office or at home, as only part of who we are.

If that scares you, let me just say — don’t let it. There’s a lot to be gained by getting to know each other as our whole selves. The future is friendly… and fuzzy.

* * *

This is one of a series of cartoons celebrating Remote, Inc., the new book by my wife, Alexandra Samuel, and productivity expert Robert Pozen. The subtitle says it all: How to thrive at work wherever you are. It’s a practical, hands-on guide for employees and managers alike, and not just for COVID times: Remote, Inc. will help you navigate the fusion of remote and on-site work that’ll emerge as the new post-pandemic normal. It launches on April 27, but you can pre-order right now.

Dog using computer, and using the command line. The command “whois AGoodDog” gets the reply “You are! You are!” The dog’s tail is wagging.

New tricks

New tricks published on

It’s been years since we said goodbye to our beautiful black Labrador, Sisko. As Labs go, he was on the small size… yet he still managed to monopolize our king-sized bed. As a puppy, he had a gift for chewing shoes — and for choosing just one from each pair to maximize the damage he did. He once ate an entire carrot cake.

We loved him so much.

He wouldn’t have needed to ask an operating system for validation; he was constantly told what a good, beautiful dog he was — first by us, and then in his later years by Alex’s mum (who gave him the best life any dog could have hoped for).

And yet when the first of our kids came around, Sisko abruptly dropped in status from “Fur Baby” to “Beloved Dog But Definitely, Let’s Not Kid Ourselves, A Dog.” We were warned that would happen, and didn’t believe it; yet when the time came, it was like throwing a switch.

This cartoon, and every dog cartoon I draw, is for Sisko.

(one coworker to another as they look at a small, incessantly yapping dog) Clearly, there's some nuance to this "relieve stress by bringing a dog to the office" thing.

The sound and the furry

The sound and the furry published on No Comments on The sound and the furry

Of all the cartoons I drew for The Happy, Healthy Nonprofit, this was the most fun. It may be my favourite of all the dog drawings I’ve done (heaven knows I’ve drawn my share of dogs). I hope you like it.

You know what else drawing that dog was? Therapeutic. Maybe not as therapeutic as having an actual adorable animal in the office, but awfully calming. And finding some measure of balance through meditative drawing is just one of the practices that Beth Kanter and Aliza Sherman suggest in their book.

A reminder if you haven’t followed this series the past few weeks: in The Happy, Healthy Nonprofit, Aliza and Beth argue that wellness belongs at the heart of every nonprofit. And they give you solid advice for putting it there: through personal practice and organizational change. This is the fifth of the cartoons they invited me to draw for the book, and I’ll post several more in the coming days.

But you don’t have to wait on my posting schedule. You can see the cartoons right away with this amazing lifehack: ordering the book. Go! Go now! Fetch!