Scamp of Carswell Gould
Gill Gould, human to Scamp, talks about his attendance at meetings and how he'll eat all food anyone is foolish enough to leave on their desks!
What does your company do?
Based in Southampton and established for over 25 years, Carswell Gould is an integrated creative communications agency.
We offer a full suite of marketing communications, which includes strategy, branding, PR, social media, design, advertising and web development. We have an eclectic mix of clients from a number of industry sectors, but they all tell us they value our creativity, passion and can-do attitude.
And introduce us to your workplace pet… What’s their name, and what kind of pet are they?
Scamp. A very pedigree Jack Russell, apparently. He’s 11.
How did he become your workplace pet?
I rescued him from a miserable life in a flat in Portsmouth when he was 18 months old. He immediately came to the office and started having the time of his life!
What’s it like having an animal around the place?
Wonderful. Clients love talking to him and he certainly breaks the ice with new people. He joins us for meetings and just loves to be around people. The office is a three-storey Georgian building, so he trots up and down the stairs to see different team members. He never misses an opportunity for some exciting food, so he’ll hop up onto desks if anyone has been silly enough to leave their lunch out!
What made you decide to bring pets into your workplace?
I just didn’t want to leave him at home on his own and he’s a fully-fledged member of the team now and even has office signs dedicated to him.
Does it have an effect on stress, and on how the whole team works together?
Definitely. Petting and stroking is brilliant. We’ve had team members experience some struggles in the past and Scamp is the first to pick up on this and show some extra affection when it’s most needed. He took a big shine to our art director Rob, so he now has two beds, one by my desk and one by Rob’s desk on a different floor.
Any unexpected benefits? Or, indeed, pitfalls?
We have a client who brings her dogs in now and another client recently insisted Scamp joined our meeting only today because she was anxious about him having had a warm walk in the heat and wanted us to keep an eye on him. He has brought out the human face in everyone.
Who’s responsible for walking, feeding, cleaning… any of the ‘less popular’ jobs?
I do the lion’s share but if I’m tied up, one of the other team members will happily take him for a stroll in the park opposite our offices, he doesn’t mind who shouts ‘walkies’ he’s straight there.
Ever find it a distraction?
When he was young he certainly entertained. One occasion he slipped his collar in the park when being taken for a walk by one of the team. He then spent an hour killing every rat he could find and couldn't be caught until a chap passing threw his coat over him. Scamp returned to the office covered in blood! I returned from a meeting to find the team white in the face having spent that hour chasing Scamp and stopping him going onto the roads.
What would you tell other people who were reluctant to take in an office pet?
Don't be. The result is a lovely calming effect. Health wise it makes you go out and walk every lunchtime which is always good for the mind.
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