Pebbles, the office poodle and fellow dog trainer
When you walk in the door of SYNERGY HomeCare of Tucson, you’ll not only get a smile, you’ll get a special greeting from Cooper.
Cooper is one of the office dogs. He’s been with the staff for several months, thanks to franchise partner Vida Johnson.
Vida is the co-owner of SYNERGY HomeCare of Tucson. About a year ago while volunteering at the Humane Society of Southern Tucson, she heard the shelter was in desperate need of people to foster some of its special needs animals. She jumped at the chance. After all, she was used to having a dog in the office. Her own dog, Pebbles the poodle, has been coming to work with Vida for eight years
Carleton, a chihuahua mix, was the first dog Vida fostered. “He was scared,” she said. “While other dogs would get excited to see visitors, Carleton would cower in the back of his kennel at the shelter. No one would choose him.”
Carleton, the first foster dog
What Carleton needed the most was socialization. Vida felt that by bringing him into the office, he would get plenty of interaction. The SYNERGY HomeCare office is located in a busy office center. Between caregivers, delivery couriers and neighboring office staff, Carleton was always being introduced to a variety of faces. It wasn’t long before he came out of his scared shell and began to trust humans. Carleton was adopted into a loving family soon after.
The second foster dog in need of care was Luke. The chihuahua mix was found on the streets. He was very sick with Valley fever, a fungus that affects the lungs. That didn’t deter Vida. The former intensive care nurse used her medical background and brought him back to health. The loving environment of the office helped in Luke’s recovery just as much as the medications. It wasn’t long before Luke was adopted by a local social worker who visited the office on a regular basis.
Luke, the second foster dog
And then there was Cooper. Cooper, another chihuahua mix, is getting close to finding a forever home, too. Vida helped clear up a nasty infection in one of Cooper’s eyes. Visitors and Pebbles helped Cooper with his socialization skills. He’ll soon be rehabilitated enough to be put up for adoption.
Cooper, the third foster dog
“A lady who noticed me always walking the dogs stopped me to ask if I brought my dogs to work with me,” Vida said. “When I said yes, she then asked if I worked at Yahoo or Google!” Vida says you don’t have to work at a progressive company such as Google or Yahoo to foster a dog. She hopes to inspire other local businesses to follow in her footsteps.
“My employees love having the dogs in the office. It is a morale booster and a stress buster,” Vida said. “As much as we have helped these little dogs, they have helped us just as much. I can’t wait to meet my next best friend.”