Monday, July 14, 2014

on-site pets

I've known several people who regularly brought their pets (dog/cat/other) with them for fieldwork. It's not something I would do, but it can work out under a few conditions:

1. The animal in question is docile/well trained and likes to be right next to/perch on the shoulder of its owner. No bolting!

2. The animal likes travel, or at least is easygoing enough that it doesn't care one way or the other. If it would be happier/more secure at home, then don't drag it around!

2. The fieldwork doesn't involve any heavy equipment or other major mechanical hazards.

3. The site is either secluded or contained in some way (i.e. not dispersed throughout a neighborhood or industrial area).

4. The presence of a pet is not going to ruffle any client or stakeholder feathers.

5. Nobody in the field crew is allergic to/petrified of the animal. Usually this works out ok if the pet owner has his/her own vehicle so that nobody else is subject to hair/dander/feathers/loose critters. Or if the coworker honestly doesn't mind. I used to spend long  (6 hour +) drives with a coworker's animal, but I don't have allergies and I like the buggers so it worked out ok. Other people were seriously put out by it and it was a big black mark against them in the office/in their career.

I have had plenty of sites where a leashed dog/shoulder loving parrot/trailer hamster would be fine. But pet owners should keep in mind that an on-site pet may be viewed as charming/totally ok by most people, but that a certain percentage of the population will find it incredibly unprofessional. It's best to be extremely careful and to take into account political considerations if you want to take your pet along.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Call me a grinch, but I say leave them at home. In my 30+ years working on rigs, I've seldom seen a good situation with pets (most oil companies ban them from work sites these days, and with good reason):

• Driller's pit bull (would a driller have a pomeranian?) standing at top of drillfloor stairs, hackles up, growling and snapping at anyone who approaches.

• Bears attracted to food scraps tossed out for the toolpusher's dog.

• Company man's little darling leaving "surprises" under the bed in the geologist's end of the shack.

• Toolpusher's dog killed and buried in a single stroke by a hopper-bottom gravel truck on the lease road.

• Company man's dog nearly flattened as it runs back and forth under a high-boy truck trailer unloading casing.

• Company man spends all afternoon driving around the country (rather than supervising the operation), looking for the dog that bolted when he opened the door of his shack.

• Etc.