By: Jennifer Shannon and Dawn Donham
The practice of law is hard. The answers are never black and white, the deadlines are strict, and sometimes our client’s fate comes down to a decision by twelve strangers. Because helping our clients is important to us, we are willing to carry that pressure. But what does that mean for everyone in the office? Stress.
That said, we are always looking for ways to lighten the mood around the office. A positive work environment means satisfied employees and by extension, happy clients.
One of the ways that we try to do this is by sharing our pets with each other. As it turns out, animals have an exceptional ability to put a smile on everyone’s face at Worden Thane.
I think the first time we realized that our group shared this deep connection and love for animals was when we met Lulu. Lulu was a mini Australian Shephard puppy who needed lots of attention and supervision, and the employee who owned Lulu lived too far from the office to go and check on her during the work week. So, it was decided that Lulu should spend some time in the office where she would be given the proper attention and supervision. She instantly became our office mascot, roaming the halls freely, and greeting clients with a tail wag or a hop. She loved to play, and she made everyone smile. She wasn’t shy, either! She would gladly nose her way into a conference room to join a meeting if the door was left cracked.
Sadly, less than a year later, Lulu moved to Bozeman, MT with her people. But the firm’s love of sharing their animals continued. It’s rare that a week passes without receiving a funny cat story or getting a visit from a dog in the office. Once we even raided a closet in the office with old Worden Thane gear, dressed up our pets, and exchanged the photos.
Bob Ming, for example, belongs to attorney Will McCarthy. Bob would say that he is Will’s owner, not the other way around, but you get the point. He’s our Shih Tzu guard dog. He won’t let anyone go to the restrooms or walk down the hall if he’s in a particular mood. We are sure this stems from his Raiders fandom.
But Bob Ming isn’t the only special one…Pickle, the guinea pig, enjoys dressing up for the holidays.
And there are also Timber and Bonnie, the Bitterroot donkeys, who are very mischievous, and REALLY like snacking on watermelon.
Wyatt and Otter are the two best labs anyone could ever hope to have, and despite the fact that Otter always has some blingy toy in her mouth, she is constantly starving to death and looking for food.
Bart and Biscuit’s mom (a paralegal here at Worden Thane) owns a dog treat business that she named after them. Her business, Bart n Biscuits, makes the very best baked treats and they are even sold locally.
Dolly and Doolittle are the most ferocious (not at all) Pitbull siblings who love to snuggle with Harry the Cat and play with their human brother Caleb.
One of our employees even has GRAND dogs, named Willa and Mojo, who have been fortunate enough to have our copiers named after them!
Don’t worry, we also have certified cat people in the office. One of our staff members even has tiny cat-tents for her kitties, Max and Mia to lay in.
And, when I asked an attorney “What is a cute thing your cats like to do?” Her response (which makes perfect sense), was “Everything my cats do is cute.” She then provided me with the most adorable pictures of Alan and Moose. Moose is even sporting a bow tie!
Our love of animals even extends past our office walls, to include community service projects with local animal shelters. Worden Thane recently adopted a cat through AniMeals’ Barn Cat Program and named him Caticus Fitch. We also look forward to promoting AniMeals through a “Party with a Purpose” in February at Big Sky Brewery.
So, yes, our jobs can be difficult. But we try to keep it positive. And, if you are a client in need of legal services, know that part of what helps our team stay positive and committed to our clients is our deep love and affection for our pet families.