photo-icon Skye Murtagh

Working dogs

Last updated 25 Nov, 2022

While they seem to spend the biggest part of their 'working day' snoozing away in whatever slice of sunshine they can find, the owners of the following city businesses are adamant their personable pooches make the best office companions.

The Men’s Room Barber Shop

109 Hindley Street, Adelaide

Described by his owner as “very relaxed, tolerant, stubborn, playful and sometimes aloof,” Lenny might give Gus a run for his money as the quintessential ‘doggy in the window’.

Adam Newman has been running The Men’s Room Barber Shop on Hindley Street for the past 17 years. For almost half of those, clients and passers-by will have spotted Lenny’s unmissable mug peering out of the front window.

“I love having my dog with me and my work mates also enjoy his company,” said Adam. “Even if you’re having a rough day, he’ll always give you a laugh and keep the smile on your face.”

Lenny spends a large part of his working day sleeping and snoring, but Adam does believe his presence is good for business.

He attracts interest and brings in customers. People remember the barber shop with the British Bull dog. He greets customers on arrival (sometimes a little too amorously) and 99 per cent of the time they’re (clients) thrilled when they meet Lenny and always want to give him a pat. He always puts a smile on their face. They think it’s awesome that I can bring my dog to work. If anyone’s a bit unsure, I’ll just hold Lenny or put him on his lead.”

Archie & Co

48-49/81 Carrington Street, Adelaide

While they enjoy the luxury of not having to turn up to work every day (they must be majority shareholders!), nine-year-old ‘jug’ Archie and seven-year-old Agyness (re-homed through the greyhound adoption program) are listed as official staff at Archie & Co – the salon run by their owners, Adam Hadley Darrie and Paul Engelhardt.

“Archie is the ‘Supreme Leader’ because everything has to be about him (we even named the business after him!) and Agyness is our ‘Executive Assistant’ because she’s here to help everyone in the team,” said Paul.

“They’re not in the salon all the time, but regularly pop in for our lunch breaks. You could be having the worst day, but you just have to see the love in their eyes and give them a pat and everything falls into perspective and whatever was bothering you doesn’t seem important anymore.”

Dogs are a huge part of the culture at Archie & Co. Everyone on staff is a keen dog lover and regular clients look forward to spotting either pooch at a visit.

“Dogs are such social creatures, they love meeting new people and salon clients get to know them quite well (most would be in every four to six weeks) so, in addition to building a relationship with their stylist, the client can end up building a relationship with the dogs.”

New clients have often heard about Archie and Agyness before they even arrive, thanks to the pair’s Instagram account: @archieengelhardt

The Flower Nook

Shop 8, Topham Mall, Adelaide

Pop into The Flower Nook for a pretty posy or two and you're bound to spot a big pair of puppy eyes peeping out at you from between the rainbow of blooms in-store.

These belong to the very tiny but totally adorable three-year-old Rosie, the pride and joy of her owner, florist Sophie Kresevic.

"I started bringing Rosie into work when she was a puppy as I'd often be working over 12 hour days and she is great company," said Sophie.

"Now she just comes in every now and again, but I still loving seeing the effect she has on customers. She immediately relaxes people and creates conversation about their pets."

Rosie's favourite spot to spend her day is under Sophie's work desk - where she can keep an eye on mum.

"She loves to just sit in her bed and get all the belly rubs she could dream of."

Tonic One Six

16 O’Connell Street, North Adelaide

Molly is another salon pooch that spends most of her days in the office people-watching from the comfort of the low-set bench seat in the waiting area at owner Yen Ngo’s boutique.

“Molly is sweet, loves children and – while she can be a little bossy – most of the time she’s well behaved and playful,” said Yen. “She’s super smart and certainly knows how to suck up to people for a cuddle or a scratch. She also reminds me to go for a walk and get some fresh air through the day."

When awake (and she does love to snooze!) – Molly is usually open to being gently scooped up by any dog-loving client prepared to indulge her love of cuddles while they’re getting their ‘do’s’ done.

Importantly, like all the salon owners we met – Yen understands that not everyone is as comfortable with dogs as she and her staff – so she’s always watchful of people’s reactions.

“I can recognise from people’s expressions if they’re not at ease and we’ll just pop Molly into the backroom for a snooze.”