Best Places to Work 2017

Working Like a Dog (Or Cat): Our Favorite Office Pets in 2017

Furry pals make going to work better.

By Brittanie Shey December 4, 2017 Published in the December 2017 issue of Houstonia Magazine

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Best Office Cat: Guera

Guera is a new hire at MedTractions, an IT firm for energy companies. At just five months old, she recently replaced her older sister Laura, who retired to the home of marketing assistant Bianca Perez. Laura was shyer, explains Perez, but Guera “likes to be in everybody’s business.”

Most days on the way to work, Perez stops at Starbucks for coffee, where she also picks up a “puppy latte” for Guera (a bit of whipped cream in a cup, equally appreciated by canines and felines). And during meetings, the cat joins the staff by reclining on the conference table. “She is the most office-friendly cat,” Perez says.

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Best Office Poodle: Moses Vanderbloemen

“Moses is very refined and polished,” says Holly Tate, director of business development at Vanderbloemen Search Group, of the dog company employees like to call their Chief Canine Officer. “If we’re brainstorming, he’ll come over and demand to be petted.”

The 9-year-old standard poodle and show dog accompanies his owners, Adrienne and William Vanderbleomen, to work every Thursday and Friday. According to his bio on the company website, “Moses’s focus is bringing more happiness to the office and building team morale.”

During the holidays, Moses comes to the office wearing Christmas bells on his collar. “When he comes off the elevator, half the office yells ‘Moses!’” says Tate. “We’re just past the start-up phase,” she adds. “We take our work really seriously, but we don’t take ourselves too seriously. Moses contributes to that by making this a great place to work.”

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Best Office Chihuahua: Tater

When he was a puppy, Tater spent months wandering around the grounds of the Gulfton-area office belonging to Esco Products, a family-owned company that sells oil and gas supplies. It took a while to catch him, says Lindsey McGee, the company’s director of marketing. When he was finally rescued, he was covered in fleas and sickly. That was eight years ago. Tater has been with Esco—and McGee—ever since.

Referred to by employees as the company’s Head of Security, Tater is the first to greet clients, and the heart and soul of the operation. During a recent renovation, the company built a special Chihuahua-height window for him to look out of, and he also has his own throne and portrait hanging in the conference room. Still, the boy doesn’t love everyone. “After all these years, he still hates the mailman,” says McGee.

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Onyx, Baby and Jane

Best Shop Chickens: Onyx, Baby and Jane

Last year, boho-chic Abejas Boutique moved to a stand-alone building on South Boulevard that has its own patio, perfect for a chicken coop. And as she had always wanted to, owner Christina Mitchell got a set of Silkies, a breed with extremely fluffy, unusual-looking plumage. Customers love to feed the birds, which regularly feature on Abejas’s Instagram.

Abejas works with local business The Garden Hen to keep the chickens healthy and happy. In fact, when one turned out to be a rooster, they sent it to live at The Garden Hen’s farm. “They have such personalities,” says Chandler Baker, creative director. “He started crowing, so we thought, ‘That’s a tell.'”

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