Net Reco for This Week: Behind the Paw Blogger Summit!

 Reco = Recommendation
Behind the Paw Bloggers Summit at our Poe Avenue HQ
Behind the Paw Bloggers Summit at our Poe Avenue HQ

Last week, I played hostess to eight really wonderful (and talented) people who came to visit us as participants in our first Behind the Paw Blogger Summit.

Caroline, who is on staff for Romeo the Cat

Amy, who blogs at Love Meow

Lana from Petside

Nicole from DogTime 

John from Avenue K9

Dr. Janet, who blogs at About Vet Med

Dr. Eric who blogs at The Dogster and Catster Vet Blog  

And Karen, the The Cat’s Meow on Catster blogger, who brought her flat cat Skeezix who blogs at Skeezix’s Scratching Post.

 I am working on an overview of the event which I will post in a few days. For now, check out these wonderful sites!

On our way, Thursday morning.

On our way, Thursday morning.

Euka is 8 Years Old Today!



On September 13, 2001 a Golden Labernese dog named Kuna was born.

Two years later, our office felt empty because we had recently lost our longtime V.P. of Canine Communications, Kersey (a beautiful and loving Golden Retriever). So we formed a small group to find our next Canine Communications employee. At the time, our Eukanuba team was working with a canine assistance organization in Quebec named MIRA on a project to celebrate canine assistance teams and the importance of Eukanuba nutrition for assistance dog performance.

We saw an opportunity to include MIRA as a possible source for our next Canine Communications Specialist. They suggested we look into their “flunkie program” of dogs who did not quite have what it takes for assistance work, but who would make wonderful companions. Kuna was one of these dogs.

Euka attends a meeting with her roommate, Vicki.

Euka attends a meeting with her roommate, Vicki.

Kuna found herself with the “flunkie” designation for having “bonding issues.” Kuna got too attached to her designated human training companion and sometimes lost focus on her job as a service animal. This flaw could be dangerous for someone depending on Kuna as their canine assistance companion.

The folks at MIRA thought Kuna would be perfect as Canine Communications Specialist for Iams/Eukanuba. After a couple of visits to meet Kuna our search team agreed, and we began the adoption process which included giving Kuna a new name. We decided to call her Euka.

Euka's Office

Euka's Office

And so Euka became our second Canine Communications Specialist. Her main duty involves “dogging” her post in the lobby of our head quarters in Dayton Ohio. She is responsible for greeting all guests and making them feel at home. Her “office” area includes a bed, toy bin (with toys), and other essentials. She was officially introduced at a company quarterly meeting where she received an enormous round of applause (so loud that it probably frightened her!). We were very excited to have a Canine Communications Specialist in the lobby again!

Within her first year, Euka was performing with excellence at her lobby post, and her role was rapidly expanding. By the end of 2004, Euka was promoted to Vice President of Canine Communications for The Iams Company and appeared Fortune Magazine with P&G CEO A.G. Lafley.

Euka continues to showcase her innate skills to bond with people and connect with all that meet her. She maintains a weekday work schedule. She often visits assisted living centers and hospitals to brighten the days of adults and children alike, and she regularly attends events like:

Euka says, "Play ball!"

Euka says, "Play ball!"

  • Take Your Dog to Work Day
  • Take Your Child to Work Day
  • The P&G Annual Shareholders Meeting
  • The P&G Annual Summer Intern Orientation at the P&G Global Offices
  • Different marketing executions
  • Dog Park Grand Openings
  • Shelter ground breakings
  • Pet oriented fundraisers
  • Parades, as Grand Marshall (including the Bark at the Park with the Cincinnati Reds)

We have so many testimonials that reflect on the joy our partners and

friends feel when Euka welcomes them to P&G Pet Care or attends an event. In fact, they never fail to voice their disappointment when Euka is out of the office.

We could not be more thankful for how Euka has enhanced our lives. She represents more than a quirky title or role. She brings our mission, vision and company principle values to life everyday.

Happy Birthday, sweet Euka! May you have many, many more!

People Behind the Paw: Bruce in Marketing

Bruce and Ginger enjoy the sunshine!
Bruce and Ginger enjoy the sunshine!

Bruce has been part of Pet Care for 12 years.

1. What pets share your life?    
My life is blessed with Ginger (a 10 year old Yellow Lab), Carly, Lucy and Buffy (11 year old cats – litter mates) and Azula (a 4 year old Blue-Fronted Amazon Parrot).  I’ve had animals all my life and can’t imagine what it would be like without them – probably lonely and a lot less fun!

 2. What is the funniest thing your pet has ever done? 
After 10 years, Ginger (our yellow lab) still thinks the couch is her spot – though apparently only when no human is around.  It’s been years since I’ve actually caught her on the couch, but the blonde hair says otherwise.  Somehow she ALWAYS is sitting or standing by the couch when we come in the family room.  If only she guarded the house with as much vigilance!

3. What’s your favorite story about pets in the office?
Many companies participate in “take your dog to work day” every year … but we get to do that every day!  In fact on the actual day of the annual event, we’ve sometimes have to coordinate who is not bringing their dog so we don’t have too many show up.  It’s great to get to know everyone’s pet … it’s just another way to know their people better.

 4. What is your favorite part of working at Pet Care?   
I’ve worked long enough that it takes more than a paycheck to motivate me – it takes working for something I believe in.  Our on-going commitment to the overall health and well-being of pets … to the best nutrition for them … and to be the voice of dogs & cat wellness in the world, motivates me and all the people I get to work with to do our best for our own dogs & cats and eveyone else’s too – I know that makes a BIG difference.

Net Reco for this Week: HILARY SWANK!

Reco = Recommendation

The photo shoot was a while back, so I’ve been wanting to talk about this for weeks! We announced today that Hilary Swank is our celebrity Ambassador for the 2009 Iams Home 4 the Holidays! 

From the press release: 

“After 10 years of successfully helping millions of orphaned pets find homes, Iams Home 4 the Holidays (IH4TH) today announced that two-time Academy Award-winning actress Hilary Swank will serve as the drive’s 2009 ambassador. Swank will share her personal experience with adoption and rescue in an effort to help educate others about how they can make a positive impact on the lives of homeless pets. Along with founding partner Helen Woodward Animal Center and nearly 3,500 participating animal organizations from around the world, the program has set a goal to help 1.5 million pets find homes Oct. 1, 2009 through Jan. 4, 2010.”

Some of my teammates were at the photo shoot, which happened at the The Helen Woodward Animal Center, and they tell me that Ms. Swank walks the talk–she is passionate about getting pets adopted!

Ms. Swank shares her life with 2 rescued dogs: Karoo is the smaller dog who she rescued from the town of Karoo in South Africa while filming a few years ago. She adopted Rumi last fall through an Iams Home 4 the Holidays participating shelter in Los Angeles.

The Associated Press: Swank Promotes Pet Adoption, Seeks to Dispel Myths.

PR Wire: Academy Award(r)-Winning Actress Hilary Swank Named 2009 Ambassador for Iams Home 4 the Holidays Pet Adoption Campaign

Iams Home 4 the Holidays

Hilary Swank, 2009 Iams Home 4 the Holidays Ambassador

Hilary Swank, 2009 Iams Home 4 the Holidays Ambassador

[this post has been edited]

The Doggie Dash!

OMIDOG! My buddy Kris called me (REALLY EARLY!) this morning to remind me that the Doggie Dash is happening in NYC today!!

More details at Bideawee’s site. And I’m going to try to re-tweet Kris’ tweets as it happens (I haven’t had a moment to mention that I’m in Chicago at the BlogHer conference!)

Take Your Dog To Work Day, Iams/Eukanuba-Style!

For as long as I’ve worked for Iams/Eukanuba, we’ve been able to bring our dogs into the office with us when we feel like it. Bailey and I are very lucky because we are usually able to work from home—but this past Friday was TAKE YOUR DOG TO WORK DAY, so we just had to spend the day at Iams/Eukanuba headquarters to enjoy the celebration!

BaileyI took so many photos on Friday! It took me all weekend to sift through and narrow them down to a few representational shots. Also over the weekend I happened to read a post from Jaime, over at Thoughts Fur Paws that gave me some inspiration. I hope you like this photo essay of Take Your Dog to Work Day, Iams/Eukanuba-style!

This was the premier of Bailey’s new stroller! OK, go ahead and laugh at me for buying my dog a stroller. In my defense, my old girl has arthritis which causes her discomfort if she has to walk too far; her cataracts are interfering with her ability to see; her hearing is starting to fail; and she’s just not getting out of the way of people’s feet fast enough anymore. So I felt a new stroller was a good investment if I want to continue to share this kind of event with my pooch. And I think she likes it better this way too.

The first thing we did on Friday was to take a tour of the building to check out the four-footed fur buddies celebrating the day! (Normally we practice a little common sense—we don’t all bring our dogs at the same time—but on Friday, there were more dogs than usual!).


Allison and Lil’ Roo (Shih-tzu, “a bouncing 3-year-old baby boy!” Allison’s words, not mine!)


Roo says, “Hello Bailey!”


Annie and Champ (Yellow Labrador Retriever, 2-years old).



“Uh, no, I’m not doing any work today unless there’s a biscuit involved.”

BunkerBunker, a 6.5 year old Golden Retriever.


Chelsea (Miniature Schnauzer, 5 years old) takes a meeting with mom, Chris (facing camera), Connie (left) and Valerie (right).

ChrisAndGladysMeanwhile, back on Chris’ desk, Gladys the floor cat (she lives on the 4th floor of the building) is tremendously annoyed that today is about dogs. She refuses to participate and plans on spending the day in her box lid.

DeannaAndTonyTony (a Rat Terrier, who was 5 years old this month), is totally psyched that this is TAKE YOUR DOG TO WORK DAY, and cannot be persuaded to take a nap before the pawty (that’s his office bed, underneath the desk).


Deanna And Tony

“That’s OK Tony,” mom Deanna says. “You can nap this afternoon.”


Atlas (2 years old, Doberman), who is a regular at the office, waits patiently for mom Christine to return from the copy machine.

FlashIn the next cube over Flash (Goldendoodle, 6.5 years old) is wishing mom would let him out so he could play with Atlas (more about that later).

Flash and AlisonFlash and Alison.

JulieJulie is babysitting little Diva while Jason (Diva’s dad) attends a meeting.

Jason and DivaJason and Diva (10 weeks old, Afghan puppy). Jason breeds Afghans.

Jason and DivaWhat a cute future champion (and I don’t mean Jason!).

Diva's office.Diva has her own special space in Jason’s office.

Adoptions!(Humans, left to right) Kim, Mario, Malisa and Pam talk about the Hope, the Poodle mix that Kim just adopted from Luv4k9s, and the shelter cats that live with Mario.

JackThis is Jack (Affenpinscher, 9-years old), who shares his life with Malisa.Malisa and Jack

Hello!Bailey and Cricket (also an oldster, she’s a 14.5-years old Yorkiepoo adopted from SICSA) say hello.

Cricket and PamCricket and mom Pam (check out Pam’s interview).

Meredith and BeaglegeuseMere and Beaglegeuse (pronounced Beagle-juice), an 11-year old Beagle.

Mitch and KuddlesMitch and Kuddles (10-year old Maltese)

Peek-a-boo!That’s Carmella peeking round the post!

Carmella and RebeccaCarmella (7 month old puppy Mixed Breed) lives with Rebecca.

Bailey and I looked in on one meeting that seemed to be going to the dogs! (Flash, Atlas, and Champ figured since it was TAKE YOUR DOG TO WORK DAY, why not have a ruff-and-tumble meeting?)


Ruff & tumble meeting!Ruff & tumble meeting!Finally, cooler heads had to intervene or no work would have gotten done. Its rest time for playful pooches!Time for a rest.

Scott and BaileyScott and Bailey (11-year old Chocolate Labrador with a great name!) on their way to the pawty in the courtyard!Special Pawty Guests!

Teddi and Rachel

Teddi and Rachel from the Humane Society of Greater Dayton brought puppies (!) that were looking for forever homes.Puppies!

Look at those puppies!

Adoption discussion?

Special Pawty Guests

Our friends from SICSA (Travis, Sea, and Michael) had Kroger gift cards available. This is a great program—you get the Kroger gift card from SICSA, load it with money at Kroger, and then each time you use it Kroger gives 4% of your purchase back to SICSA.

Special Pawty Guests

Mick, Minnie, and Elizabeth were on hand from the Montgomery County Animal Resource Center–there’s a wonderful video of Mick on YouTube (see below).

Special Pawty GuestRichard, Melody, and Deborah from the Miami Valley Pet Therapy Association also joined our celebration. They do incredible work in our local hospitals, libraries, schools and medical centers, with children, seniors, veterans, and others who need a furry shoulder to lean on.Special Pawty Guests

Special Pawty Guest

Special Pawty Guest

Special Pawty Guests

We also were visited by Jessalyn and Jennifer who represented 4 Paws for Ability. This group is devoted to raising and training service dogs for children and adults who have developmental disabilities. This includes autism-assistance dogs, seizure response dogs, mobility-assistance dogs, hearing-ear dogs, in-home companions, and street companion dogs.

BaileyBailey was having a great time at the pawty!!




TYDTWD at Iams-Eukanuba 2009

At the end of our celebration, we took a group photo.

Bailey was exhausted! Good thing she could snooze the rest of the day away in her new stroller!


What a fabulous TAKE YOUR DOG TO WORK DAY!!

[7/18/09 Note: I have re-formatted this post because the formatting did not survive when it was imported from Blogspot to WordPress. Formating changes only, NO text changes.]

The People Behind the Paw: Deb, Iams Dog Brand Manager

Happy Take Your Dog to Work Day! We celebrated at the home office of Iams/Eukanuba, and I am working through the hundreds of photos I took to put together a photo essay for Monday.

For today, I would like to introduce you to Deb, who has worked in Iams Marketing for 5 years.



1. What pets share your life?Topaz (AKA Topie-dope, AKA Topie Stank) is a 6 year old Neapolitan Mastiff. 

2. What is your pet’s most endearing habit?
Topaz thinks she is a human! She will walk up to the couch, scoot backwards and sitdown. She also loves all of her toys and treats them like her babies – she never wants to leave them.

3. What’s your favorite story about pets in the office?
The dogs on my floor know that I have treats in my office and often wander in to say hello and get a tasty reward!

4. How does your job at Pet Care make a difference?
I truly believe that I am making a difference by educating consumers on the benefits of Iams premium nutrition. We are a brand that dedicates ourselves to the enhancing the lives of pets all around the world.

More News on the Tornado that hit our Plant

I just got this email:

“We are pleased to report that our Aurora employees have made remarkable progress in a very short amount of time in getting the entire site back in business. Power was restored yesterday late morning and Aurora resumed shipments in the afternoon and re-started production yesterday evening – an incredible effort less than 24 hours after the tornado impact.”


The People Behind the Paw: Pam, Professional Relations, Academic Programs

A little housekeeping first: In the past couple of months I’ve been posting “4 Questions” on Fridays. Part of that has included interviews with people that I work with at P&G Pet Care. Moving forward, I’m going to title those interviews “The People Behind the Paw,” because that’s what they’re about. I’ve gone back and tweaked the blog post titles on the three previous interview posts.

Pam and Cricket

Pam and Cricket

1. What pets share your life?
Cricket is my “little girl in a fur coat.” She was adopted from SICSA 14 years ago and is a beautiful Yorkie-Poo (body of Poo, mouth of Yorkie). She was estimated to be approximately 16 weeks old when we adopted her. Actually, Cricket (then known as Julie) was not our first choice. SICSA had some Chihuahua’s waiting to be adopted and we were going to take of them. The director called me and asked that I “just come down and look at Julie.” I said and I, but still wanted to wait. When Julie tried to jump on my lap (she was only about 6 pounds), that was all it took! We went and picked Julie up the next day. Julie very quickly became Cricket and has been the love of my life ever since then.

2. What is your pet’s most unusual habit?
Cricket has learned to crawl, so she is now going through her second childhood and crawls everywhere around the house. We believe that she does it to scratch her belly! We have to be very careful because she will rub her belly raw right after she is groomed. We keep a t-shirt on her for a week or so after her grooming just so she doesn’t rub her belly raw.

3. What’s your favorite story about pets in the office?
One of the funniest stories was when Cricket was a puppy and I would bring her in the office with me. For some reason, she did not take to real tall men and every time she would see my boss, she would start barking. I felt like it was a reflection on me, but I really had a wonderful boss!

4. What is your favorite Pet Care story of all time?
Oh my gosh. There would be so many pet stories I could not cover them all on this site. Everyone would get tired of reading. I do know that having a pet has made a difference in how I relate to my job. I love seeing the beautiful coat and knowing that the nutrition inside is wonderful. The nice part as well is cleaning up the yard after her. I do know that I enjoy every minute of having Cricket around. One lasting story in my mind was the last time she went to NC with us when my Dad was suffering with cancer — Cricket would get right up beside him as if she was taking care of Dad. She knew that “Grandpa” was not feeling good and she wanted to comfort him. How could you not love a dog for being so sensitive!

A Tornado Hit our Plant in Nebraska!

OMIGOSH! I was buried in a meeting all day yesterday and totally missed this!

At around 9:00 p.m. Central Time, on Wednesday evening, our plant in Aurora, Nebraska sustained minor damage when a tornado touched down. The damage was to the outside of the warehouse. From the photos I’ve looked at, I think it was mostly parts of the roof and one wall.

All of our employees and their families are safe and accounted for–no damage to their homes. But some folks there lost everything! I HATE tornadoes! I can remember times when I was a kid and we had to “seek shelter” in the basement. In fact (I’m gonna get gross here), I can remember one time I was so scared I threw up in the laundry sink!

The house we live in now doesn’t have a basement. Somehow the big closet in the center of the house (which is supposed to be our safest place during a tornado) does not seem quite adequate. I wonder how much it would cost to build a bomb shelter in my backyard…..

It will take them a couple of days to get power restored and the plant up and running. Of course, we have other plants in other parts of the U.S., so I doubt there will be any problems meeting demand for our food.

My heart goes out to the people who lost their homes!

If you want to read more about it, I found these news sources on the Internet:

KHAS-TV Channel 5 News (video of our plant)

KETV Channel 7 News (video of the tornado) The video on this site makes me feel sick–the “storm chaser” actually gets waaaaaaaaaay too close to that tornado.