Ruffin’ it at work: Village Green hosts national Take Your Dog to Work Day

By: Sherri Kolade | Farmington Press | Published June 24, 2013

 Christine Eluskie takes her dog around the Village Green office as employees look on June 21.

Christine Eluskie takes her dog around the Village Green office as employees look on June 21.

Photo by Donna Agusti


FARMINGTON HILLS — Mary Ellen Olejniczak Childs didn’t have a typical 9 to 5 workday Friday.

Childs, a senior property accountant at Village Green, who took her dogs to work for the first time during the 13th annual Take Your Dog to Work Day, enjoyed her new co-workers, who beg for food, love and attention.

“My dogs are behaving pretty well,” she said as they scampered beneath her desk and around her swivel chair with wagging tails. “It has not been too complicated trying to be here.”

Associates and residents in more than 150 communities raised funds for local and national nonprofit animal organizations during the event, including the Lansing-based Animal Placement Bureau, an animal foster care agency.

Childs said her favorite part of the event is spending time with Bebe and Penny — Yorkie and shih tzu-Yorkie mix, respectively.

“I love being with them,” Childs said of her dogs.

The Animal Placement Bureau has participated in the event for 13 of the 15 years Pet Sitters International, an international pet-sitting agency, has put it on.

Village Green, headquartered in Farmington Hills with six regional offices, including Chicago and Dallas, hosted the event, which donated locally raised money to benefit Best Friends Animal Society, a national nonprofit for abandoned and abused animals, Village Green Public Relations Director Jacqueline Trost said.

“Other regions will donate to a national charity in Michigan,” she told the Press. “The corporate office donate(s) … local money.”

She added that the event adds “camaraderie” for the staff.

“They get to bring their best friends in to work, and everybody has a lot of fun. Even their pets make lots of friends,” she said.

Participants donated $25 to bring their dog to work; money was also collected through a raffle, a themed lunch,  professional photos and an online auction.

Close to $8,000 was raised during the 2012 event.

Trost added that about 20 employees in her office, out of roughly 90, brought in pets.

Staff also participated in this year’s sports-themed activities. A number of little and big pooches donned brightly colored bandanas and jerseys; one or two even sported Detroit Tigers gear with their owners, like Animal Placement Bureau volunteer Christine Eluskie, who organized the event and brought her dog.

“(I’m most excited) about raising the funds for Animal Placement Bureau,” she said.

The event also featured a dog parade, home run obedience baseball and an award’s ceremony.

“Pet Sitters International created the event to have people show the bond (between them and) their dog, so people who do not have pets can see that and might want to adopt,” Eluskie said. “There are so many homeless animals out there who need homes, and there are good dogs.”

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