Office dogs: Balou


Dogs are good for the working climate, keep us moving, promote communication and make us laugh. According to a Statista study, dog owners who are allowed to take their animals to work are less stressed and their colleagues more satisfied. And as long as the office community and the superiors have nothing against it, there is a lot to be said for taking friendly four-legged friends to work with you. At Burda, there are many woof-tastic coworkers. Some of these dogfluencers even have their own Instagram account and one of them acted as inspiration for Burda's first dog magazine. Here a few Burda dogs introduce themselves personally.

Who are you and where are you from?

My name is Balou and I'm two years old. I am a French water dog and my breed is called Barbet. I was born in Emsland and there are very few of my kind: not even 100 or so in all of Germany. That's why my owners drove so far to bring me into their family. I am also a hypoallergenic dog, which means that I don't shed and also don't smell a lot.

Where does your owner work and what's her name?

My owner's name is Nadine Hey and she works as Head of Creative Services at the Adtech Factory in Munich and Offenburg. She sits at her desk a lot and makes phone calls. Then she wears headphones, which is handy, because she has one free hand to scratch me. That's also good for the other person in the line: Stroking dogs relaxes the vegetative nervous system, I read in one of my owner's magazines.

How often do you come to the office and what does a typical day look like?

Two to three times a week I am at a doggie day care centre. That's great, because there are all my buddies and also cute girls. My owner says that is important for my socialisation. On the other days - depending on scheduling - I join her at the office. When she does her tasks, I sleep. When she goes to appointments, I like to come along. Sometimes people talk out of small boxes. Mom says these are video conferences so the other bipeds don't have to travel. I understand, that is also better for their dogs. At some point I get bored, then luckily it's lunchtime and we go to the park. Usually we meet other four-legged friends from other departments, for example Ivy from BCN. My owner says that through me she gets to meet colleagues she wouldn't otherwise have met. As communicative beings, dogs are born networkers!

Where's your favorite spot at work?

I prefer to lie in the small corner directly at my owner's desk. I like to be very close to her. But I also enjoy visiting Sabine Essex at the reception in Munich. If I can persuade my owner to get a coffee from Sebastiano at the Burda Bar, I always get a treat on the way from her.

What makes you howl, when do you start growling?

I am basically open-minded and friendly towards all living beings (no matter if human, dog or cat). Each dog I see, I want to meet. "Good nature" is my middle name and I am a well-balanced companion. In addition, I am very clever and always need activities that challenge me physically and mentally. To remind my owner, I sometimes woof, but really only very briefly. She doesn't like it and I know I have to quit eventually. But that is my only "vice". With all my qualities, I'm super suited to accompany my owner to work.

Who is your favourite person in the office and why?

My owner's colleagues from ad management are sitting next to me and are recording all of Burda's sales. I don't know anything about financial transactions, all I know is that my colleagues always store a few dog biscuits for me... And I get stroked there, too. Patricia Riekel also thinks I'm great. As does the boss of my owner, his name is Michael Fischer and he has a dog himself.

Are there any other office dogs besides you, if so, who? 

My best friend is Leo, a black cocker spaniel I've known since I was a kid. When I see Leo and his owner Tanja Seiter (from Media Market Insights), I am always very happy. In our department there is a small greyhound called Gin. She has an eye on me and is crazy about me. Then there's beagle Pepe, who always wants to play with my toys. Because I'm a lot older than him (okay, just a few months), I have to tell him again and again that that's not possible. There are rules - also for us.

Truth be told - What mischief have you ever done in the office?

I'm always nice, really! There is no shoe or chair that I have nibbled on. Only when my owner needs me as a shredder do I step in. I can shred paper quite well and help whenever I’m needed.

What do you look forward to the most after work?

Lounging around, hunting rabbits, dog school? I love to roam through the forest with my owner, which is close to where we live. Then we play search games or I meet other four-legged friends, with whom I can run through the undergrowth. Everyone knows me there, too. On Sundays we always go man-trailing and look for people. I sniff out their trail over a distance of over 1.5 kilometres and have a 100% hit rate. So I could also work as a detective!

More images & downloads

Balou on his way to the office. On board: his best friend Leo © HBM

Schau mir in die Augen, Kleiner - wer kann diesem Blick widerstehen? © HBM

Nadine Hey and Balou at Munich © HBM

The barbet at his favourite sport: playing ball © HBM

Shredder at work © HBM

An interested Burda dog loves well-written articles... © HBM

Balou loves nature © HBM

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