This Friday is National Take Your Dog to Work Day and we want you and your furry friends to join us.

From 4-7pm, we’ll be hosting a Yappy Hour at our office and the dog-friendly Collins Bar patio next door, sponsored by Trim Tab Brewing Company.

If you’ve ever walked past our office on 2nd Avenue North, you may have noticed a few wagging tales heading inside or nose prints on the windows. You see, at Big, we love to celebrate TYDTWD, but we like to think of it as an ongoing holiday thanks to our open-door pet policy.

They’re not just here for the cute factor though. There’s science behind sharing space with our four-legged friends.

According to studies performed by the Humane Society, bringing pets to work reduces stress, helps build relationships, and increases productivity. But those aren’t the only positive side-effects of pet-friendly office policies. The same study found that these types of work environments can help increase the number of pet adoptions. People who work long hours often hesitate to get a pet, the study says, but when they can bring their dogs with them, it knocks down that barrier and can help more animals find homes.

One such rescue dog makes a regular appearance at the office. Wherever PR Account Executive Sarah Tiambeng goes, her pup Francis loyally trails alongside.

“As a big time dog lover, I follow many animal shelters on social media, and two years ago I spotted a pup I just couldn’t pass up,” said Tiambeng. “Francis’s eternally sad eyes came across my news feed and two days later he was in my passenger seat headed home with me. Being able to bring him to work really makes my office feel more like home.”

Besides being a fun opportunity to socialize with other pet owners, the Take Your Dog to Work Day Yappy Hour also serves as a chance to meet adoptable pets through the Greater Birmingham Humane Society.

Last year, Content Writer/Producer Jeremy Burgess unexpectedly met his furry sidekick through this event.

“I’d been thinking about getting one for a while, and I made the happy mistake of telling one of the Humane Society volunteers,” said Burgess.“I told her I was looking for a mid-size female dog, a few years old, that’s kinda lazy like me. And she said, ‘Oh, we have the perfect dog for you.’ A week later I met a nervous but beautiful and sweet gray pit bull who’d been abandoned by her previous owner. I knew she’d been passed over several times because of her age and breed, so I knew I had to keep her. Jessica’s been a part of my life ever since.”

Perhaps the most infamous canine around the office has been chasing tennis balls down the halls and winning our hearts for the last five years.

According to Associate Creative Director Shannon Harris, Booda “Boo” Harris arrived by way of the Peeks of Standard Deluxe, who have rescued dogs for years in the sleepy little country town of Waverly, Alabama.

“We brought Boo to Birmingham after he had spent about a year becoming an expert pack dog,” said Harris. “He was a little nervous at first, but always a charmer. The folks at Big have spent the past five years turning him into the most social dog you’ll ever meet. Being able to bring him to work is essential for Matt and myself as we both work at Big. He reduces stress levels for everyone he comes into contact with and I can’t imagine my work environment without him.”

At Big, our core values are young, hungry, and wide open, and having the ability to bring our pets to work allows us to pursue those values relentlessly without the added stress of leaving them at home all day. (And the dogs really like it too!)

So we hope you’ll join us this Friday to share a drink, meet some pups, purchase some limited edition posters and bandanas designed by Big and printed by Yellowhammer Creative with proceeds going directly to GBHS, and help more dogs find their fur-ever homes!