Most Mondays lack motivation. This particular Monday, after having woken up to our six year old English Shepherd mix Tucker pouncing on me, was not all that different. Until I sat down to check my emails and one caught my eye – Cisco RTP in Raleigh, NC had announced the approved buildings for the Dogs at Work Program, and mine was on there!
Tucker cocked his head to the side, no doubt wondering where his morning walk was. Immediately, I knew what a wonderful opportunity this was. I was already so thankful for having this loveable fur-kid in my life and wanted to share Tucker with my co-workers too.
Two years ago, I didn’t even know Tucker. His mom, Kate, changed my life for the better. Suddenly, I saw life from a different perspective as she encouraged me through hardships and inspired me to be my best self as our relationship grew. When we decided it was time to move in together, that meant blending our worlds and introducing our “babies” to each other. It didn’t take me long to fall for Tucker with his precious Shepherd eyes.
Tucker was rescued out of Jacksonville, North Carolina in 2013. He was quite a nomad and moved to Virginia and New York as his previous owner (a friend of Kate’s) was in the military. When he could no longer take Tucker with him, Kate swooped Tucker up. They’ve been inseparable ever since, and he’s now become such a big part of my life as well.
But, we still had to get Tucker prepared for his first professional day in corporate America. (Cue the Rocky music here!) Wanting Tucker to be an exemplary employee, Kate and I took him for a training session to help with his habits of leash pulling and announcing his presence to everyone within ear shot. He did great, and after successfully gathering all of his licenses, vaccine history, toys, treats, and identification – it was finally the big day. Nothing made me feel more like a proud #DogMom than this moment.
We packed for the day’s adventures and were on our way. Tucker, equipped with a Cisco shirt and tie, knew something was up the minute we pulled into work that day. (Perhaps his puppy-sense picked up on the awesome things happening here at Cisco?) His fluffy ears perked up, tongue out, and tail sweeping the backseat of my car – he took one small step for four legged pals, and one giant leap for the future of Cisco and other Tech Giants.
Instantly, heads turned in the parking lot, smiles formed, and hands reached out to greet the happy new Cisco hire. (Have you heard how friendly Cisconians are to new hires? Because that’s totally true!) Everyone was happy and excited to welcome Tucker to his first day at Cisco.
My colleagues in Cisco Capital soon started keeping treats for our “mascot” at their desks, and became motivated to go for a walk and discover new places on this beautiful campus with Tucker at our sides! Everywhere we explored, a fellow employee – whether they were on phone calls or just enjoying a break made a connection with Tucker. These were co-workers I may not have ever crossed paths with or spoken to if it weren’t for Tucker being there! It was then that I noticed how powerful his presence really was to the work day.
Shirin Escobedo-Gicheru is one of Tucker’s “girlfriends” around the office and says he is the highlight of her day when he’s visiting. Shirin doesn’t own any pets, but she really enjoys spending time with Tucker and taking him for walks around the campus. She says, “He helps to relieve stress with his loveable, cuddly personality – meeting Tucker even has me considering a rescue pup of my own in the future!”
My cohort and Tucker’s fan-girl, Lori Simpson, says that when she needs to take a second from a hectic sales call or find a moment to breathe, she knows she can turn to Tucker’s who warms her heart and toes (literally, he’s always ready to keep your feet warm! J) – working in finance can be tough, but Tucker is right there to bring a smile to any moment you may need one.
Connie Fernholz, another one of Tucker’s admirers says, “I definitely consider him the Cisco Capital mascot. Tucker brings to the office that special puppy power that turns any ruff day into a good one, pun intended!”
After witnessing firsthand the Dogs at Work program here at Cisco, these past months have brought so much joy to our office in Raleigh; so thank you Tucker and to the other dogs at Cisco who have shared their unconditional love! I think they are helping us to find even more new ways to collaborate and partner on connecting the world.
Want to work with Tucker? We’re hiring. Apply now.