What are all those dogs doing on a medical website? They're not rescue dogs, or guide dogs or even therapeutic visitation dogs. They're OUR dogs, all of them... the dogs of Allegro.

A few days ago they were all just sitting around in their Santa hats (happens every year about this time) and we said, "Hey, let's put these dogs to work." So there you have it. Actually, we decided they deserved a little recognition. After all, they let us come to work with them.

Allegro Medical employees have enjoyed bringing their pets to work for years. We started our pet-friendly policy soon after we hired our first Certified Rehab Specialist, Jack Craigs. Jack's role was to work with adults and children in need of customized power wheelchairs. He would travel through Arizona visiting people in hospitals and medical facilities, working with physical therapists and medical specialists. He helped countless people realize independence through the use of power wheelchairs. Jack's work was difficult but he, like so many Allegro employees, was passionate about helping people. And as Jack visited patients in hospitals, his Weimaraner Libby was always at his side. She traveled with Jack in his van from destination-to-destination and was especially well received by the children he worked with. Soon after, other Allegro Team members began bringing their dogs to work.

Here’s the run-down on our current posse:

Craig & Samantha’s “girls” (4) - a yellow Lab named Rio and a chocolate Lab named Reece - were born next door to our office a couple years ago. Until they were weaned, these adorable little fur balls spent their off time sleeping in whoever’s lap was handy. Now that they’re all grown up (indeed) they prefer to come to work on casual Fridays so they can get a little rowdy and not get in trouble.

Val’s sweet Cocker Spaniel Honey (6) has popped (or should I say 'pooped') in and out of Allegro since she was 3 months old. She's a greeter, a roamer and a bit of a beggar… even though that’s a no no. It’s her Grammy Barb's fault.

Greg & Kelly’s Labs, Dusty (3) & Dakota (8) are usually here with Reece & Rio because they hang out together outside of work. According to Greg, “Dusty’s a spaz and Dakota’s…um…just exuberant for his age.” One of the funniest things I’ve ever seen was Dakota (Koder) romping through the office with a swinging trash can lid stuck around his head after dumpster diving for a sandwich. Poor things, they never knew what people food was until they came to work.

Bosco (4 or 5?) – a Border Collie/lab mix, we think - lived in a rescue home for stray dogs until 2 years ago when he adopted Daver. He’s happy, loyal and ready to have a good time, all the time. His best day is everyday and he’s everyone’s friend. Sounds a lot like Daver. When not playing chase and getting into general mischief he’s always up for a good old fashioned belly rub. Even more like Daver. His favorite play buddies are Tanner and Sammy, but he has a sweet spot for Rio.

Max’s Rottweiler, Tiva (9) is a DIVA! She has a sweet disposition and is protective of her home and family. She’s highly intelligent and well trained. She’s great with people, especially kids. She’s spoiled, and her favorite food is cheese. Oh, and she loves walks on the beach and romantic candlelit dinners.

Stout (2), Mike’s Rotti/Lab mix, has been grounded from Allegro for a while. He likes people in general, but he REALLY likes people in wheelchairs. You wouldn’t think that would be a problem, but Stout is built like a Rottweiler with the mentality of a Lab. She thinks she’s a 15 lb lap dog, and with 5 wheelchair users here, the stage is set for disaster. Mike says, “I think it’s wonderful that Allegro offers a pet friendly environment but until I can get Stout to calm down, he’s hanging at the house.” Awwww. Come back soon Stout.

What’s an office without a pair of Bulldogs? Amy’s Zuki (5) and Brutus (5) are of the English variety. And just like the English they’re partial to pats on the head and belly rubs. They hardly ever bark. Watch out though, they’re big droolers and they may slobber on you.

Jessica brings three dogs to work. Not all at the same time, though. Her Plott Hound mix Sam (6) knows it’s her turn to go when Jess gives her a special look in the morning. Sam loves to lay by her friends and get a tummy rub and a back scratch. She makes the rounds after lunch, enjoying the leftovers. Oh yes, Sam has quite a reputation at Allegro, and loves every second of it. Jess’s other dogs, Black Lab/Queensland Heeler Lucky (4) and Mix Breed Kodi (2) are just as sweet. Lucky’s a hugger and Kodi’s a kisser. Kodi’s very timid though, and won’t kiss you unless you sweet talk him. He’s working on his social skills.

Justine’s Basset Hound (1) Angie is a greeter and a sniffer. She’s always got her nose in something…usually someone’s lunch or the trash can. Hey, with a nose like that you can hardly blame her. Huh, Angie.

Casey (10 ½) is Juanita’s Lab/Terrier mix and the oldest Allegro dog. She’s so friendly and insists on greeting every single person in the office. I hear she’s quite a swimmer too.

Doug’s Beagle mix Tanner (1) is a crazy pup with loads of energy. He loves to 'ruffhouse' with other dogs and play “catch me if you can”. When he’s not running around he’s sniffing every square inch of the floor for crumbs.

All I can say is thank goodness for dogs. Our days are so much more interesting and enjoyable with these trusty companions at our sides. Sure, there are a few ‘accidents’ here and there, but Allegro wouldn’t be the same without our pets. Sometimes I get the giggles when I have to explain to a business associate on the phone why they hear panting, or growling or whining in the background. Yes, it’s a dog. No, I’m not working at home. I’m working at Allegro.