I love dogs. Really. They’re the best beasts on the planet.
For those of you who don’t know: I work at home with my chihuahua, Scribbles. She’s an awesome programming companion. As I work she lays in her dog bed next to my desk, and naps while I code. When I stand up and move around, she chases me around the house, and gets me to take her outside for a walk.
Since I started working at home two years ago, I’ve realized how great a dog can really be while you work. For me, Scribbles keeps me balanced. When I’m feeling stressed, I can lean down and scratch her head. If I’ve been sitting too long, Scribbles will get my attention and demand a walk. She always knows exactly what to do to keep me sane, day after day.
When I’m working on particularly complex software problems, I’ll often talk out loud to her, explaining my thinking and proposed solution. Half the time, just the act of forcing myself to talk to her, explaining myself, helps me realize problems in my thinking.
In addition to the benefits of having a funny looking animal around at all times: knowing you’ve got some unconditional love no more than 2 feet away is a nice reminder life is good. Even when I’m working really hard to fix critical problems, or in the zone coding away, having a dog nearby makes me feel comfortable and happy.
Here are some pictures of Scribbles (the destroyer of worlds), in all her glory:
NOTE: In case you’re wondering–she’s named Scribbles because she has scribbled markings all over her fur.