There's something about having animals in the office that makes it feel less like... you're in the office :)
On a normal work day, there will be anywhere from 1 to 4 dogs in our open floor work space. Occasionally the mood will strike them just right that they'll start an all out sprint/stampede around the perimeter of the room. There's something gleefully exciting about the tiniest dog chasing the largest dog, giving not a moment's pause over what he'll do if he catches her.
Late last year, my podmate and good friend Crystal and I set off to find ourselves some desk flare in the form of baby beta fish. Having never had one before, I was in awe of my little Baxter Binx's ability to recognize me, dance for her food and even take pellets from my finger. Sitting hours at my desk, I would forget about her and then catch her, flitting up and down in her mason jar, out of the corner of my eye, to get my attention.
Fast forward to February 28th when I arrive at work to find her jar empty. She'd gotten herself so excited (or smitten with her neighboring male fish companion, Dexter, in the next bowl) that she'd thrown herself out nearly 3 feet! I cried, no, I kind of sobbed, at my desk. To some, they're just pets, fish, animals, but to me, she was my companion. Someone that could take me out of myself for even a moment.
She's now buried in the rosebush that sits on my desk. Reminding me to breathe and smile.