Thursday, September 22, 2016

It's a dog-friendly office

Nearly 90% of employees believe a dog-friendly work environment improves employee morale. (According to a study conducted by Banfield). We certainly see the impact at Protege Biomedical. 

A dog-friendly environment is said to be a way to encourage conversation, relieve stress, provide flexibility (no rushing home to let the dog out), and a huge way to attract and retain millennials. The statistics on dog-friendly workplaces are fascinating.  

I never really thought about having a dog-friendly office, until we started Protege Biomedical. Prior to this, I was at Wells Fargo downtown Mpls and Michael as at 3M HQ. We had security badges, I took the bus, and we both worked in "cubeville" with hundreds of other people on the same floor. We never dreamed of anyone bringing a pet to work.

Heidi with Mylie and Watson

When we signed our first lease for Protege Biomedical HQ (you know, HQ that isn't our basement or garage...) We saw that one of our neighbors walked their dog during lunch. I immediately got excited, realizing that we could bring our dogs to work. We don't bring our dogs everyday, because they tend to harass our guests begging to be pet and leave them with a complimentary wardrobe coating of white fur, but they do get to come most Fridays, and some other days during the week if we don't have a lot of meetings.

Right now, on most days, we only have 5 or 6 people in the office on Fridays. Heidi, Kyle, Karen, Mike, Me, and sometimes Dr. Carl. Heidi LOVES the dogs. Sometimes I look outside my office and see she's moved her computer to the floor so she can be closer to them. Kyle loves them too and likes to pick Mylie up and carry her like a baby. Karen is a cat gal. She likes the dogs, but her companion of choice is a cat. Even though we don't often find Karen on the floor with the dogs, She's always first to make sure the dogs have fresh water. Carl works in the lab, so if he's here working, we just keep the hairy dogs in another room, so we don't end up with hairy experiments (we do have another lab in St. Paul that we use when we work with blood or run any official experiments- our lab in this office is just for initial prototypes and bench testing) 
Carl, Kyle, Heidi, and Karen
Most of the time, Mylie and Watson lay outside my door. One typically right by my desk and the other in the entry. If I go to the conference room, they follow. Sometimes one will be in my door and one will be in Michael's. 

When Annie was just a little baby, I brought her to work a lot. A surprising change in Mylie and Watson happens when Annie is in the office. Typically they greet the UPS and FedEx guys with kisses, but when Annie is here they bark! First time we've ever heard them bark at the office. They (especially Watson) are especially protective of her. 
Mylie is hiding under the table
Kyle, Heidi, Carl, and even Karen know they can bring their pets to work, but so far it's just been Mylie and Watson. Heidi's rescue dog is working on good behavior, and when Heidi is ready, she will bring him in too.

We love having our furry friends in the office at least once per week. It adds an element of fun.  

If you're interested in more info on transitioning your office into a pet-friendly environment, here is a link to good website I found. Obviously, this process is more difficult if you have a larger company, but for a small start-up like ours, it hasn't been a problem. 

Until next time! 

Friday, September 16, 2016

Welcome Back!

Hi there! Welcome (or welcome back) to the Adventures of Mylie and Watson! 
This blog was started as a place to write down some of the funny stories about our dogs, Mylie and Watson. Since I started it back in 2010, my husband, Mike, and I started a medical device company with a new hemostatic (blood stopping) technology that we invented in our kitchen. Fast forward 6 years, we now have a patent on this technology, investors, an office, employees, lots of clinical trail data, and we're working on getting the product cleared for humans. 

We launched the product in 2012 for animals and named it ClotIt. Now we have several versions of this for animals, and more coming soon.

So how does all this relate back to Mylie and Watson? Well besides the obvious (they are dogs, we have a product for dogs...) We have a dog friendly office and we bring the two gremlins in at least once per week. They continue to be a source of joy for us, and now also for our employees. 

I'm going to start blogging on average once per week again sharing stories of life with Mylie and Watson, their visits to the office, life at home with two little kids, etc. I'll also throw in some company updates about ClotIt, first aid tips for animals, and other industry things that might be helpful. 

Life has been an adventure! A lot has changed for us since 2010. Here's a top 10 list of all that has happened so you can get caught up with the Adventures of Mylie and Watson in all the time I've been away: 

1) At home, Mylie and Watson welcomed their new (human) baby sister, Annie. Annie is 6 months old and she and her 4 year old brother just love the dogs.  
2) Mylie and Watson got a new office (well, we got a new office, but they sure think they own the place!) Mike and I both quit our "day jobs" at 3M and Wells Fargo
Their "happy place" 
and work full time now at our start-up med device company, Protege Biomedical (side note: our board keeps telling me we're not a start-up anymore, but I can't seem to stop calling it that). 
3) Mylie has perfected her amateur dock jumping skills and Watson has perfected his lazy ball-stealing retrieval methods. (He lets Mylie run and get the ball, then steals it from her when she's 10 feet from me and brings it to me like he retrieved it. Watson, you're not fooling anyone...)
4) Mylie continues to be a counter surfing champ and has managed to eat several entire pizzas, a pan of cinnamon rolls on Christmas, a batch of cookies, a few diapers, several loaves of bread, a bag of cereal, some protein powder, a couple of chicken breasts, anything Jeffrey will secretly feed her, some french fries, a jar of peanut butter, and a plate of spaghetti to name a few. You'd think we're just downright negligent with her, but I swear, she's got a food-stealing gift. She's innocent as can be and doesn't even beg at the table, but as soon as you turn your back, anything she can find she thinks is fair game. 
5) Mylie and Watson have been featured in the ClotIt marketing materials- they are so proud... 
6) The dogs have found their "happy place" up north at our friend's cabin 
7) Mylie became a ClotIt testimonial when she impaled her foot with a wire she found in the yard 
8) Watson recovered from two bad cases of hot spots and skin allergies (likely brought on by those lake visits to his "happy place"). 
9) Both dogs continue to be hairy monsters that leave evidence of their hairy existence everywhere they go. Hair is EVERYWHERE!!! 
10) Mylie and Watson are still spoiled. Even with 2 kids now and a company to run, I still consider them my first "kids". They still get birthday parties, still sleep in our bed, and I still buy them toys and treats like they are my only children. 

So long for now! 
-Susie W. 

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

DIY Chia Pet costumes

Watson's so embarassed
This year I was feeling extra crafty and made Mylie and Watson's Halloween costumes. I found the idea on pintrest and decided to make it myself. ...3 packs of hot glue, 12 sheets of aquarium plants, 1 pack of velcro, 1 felt blanket, 2 glasses of wine and 3 burned fingers later, we have two very sad, embarassed, chia pet dogs.

I think the costumes turned out very nice, and they are very durable so even when the dogs wrestle and run around, the costumes didn't get ruined. The three packs of hot glue I used contributed to the durability.

Here's how I made the costumes:

Step 1: Cut felt/wool/fabric into a cape shape like in the picture below. This will serve as the base for the costume.

Step 2: Glue hook and loop (aka Velcro- but that word is not allowed in my house becuase my husband used to work for 3M and they make the Velcro competition and were taught never to call it "Velcro") to front of cape

Step 3: Pull off the individual plants from the aquarium plant mat and glue them individually all over the cape. Yeah... you could have just glued the mat exactly as is to the cape, but I was about 2 mats short to do that, so instead, I tore them all off and individually glued the plants on so they could be evenly spaced. I think it looked better that way, but probably added at least 2 hours to this process. 

Step 4: Attach a strap that will velcro under the dog's belly. (not pictured). This keeps the costume from sliding around and falling off the dog's back.

That's it! Each costume cost me about $35 to make- and I'll admit, I could have found cheaper fabric and aquarium plants. The dogs entered a costume contest at the Canine Club and Spa but they didn't win. A dog dressed as Iggy Azalea won. :-(

The dogs stayed dressed in their chia costumes while I gave out candy to the trick-or-treaters. They got a lot of compliments, but I was not prepared to explain what a chia pet is to all the kids. Am I really that old!? Maybe if I had dressed them as characters from the movie Frozen, they would have been a bigger hit with the kids. Maybe Watson as Sven and Mylie as Olaf?  Naw... 

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Three and a half dollars

Last week I was mowing the lawn and I looked down and saw a wad of cash. This wad of cash had been "previously digested" (we'll just say that- it sounds classier) by either Mylie or Watson. 

I thought about just leaving it there, but I wasn't sure if there were $20s or maybe even a $50 rolled up in the wad, so I grabbed some gloves, picked up the wad, and washed it off. I pieced the money back together and found
One dollar...
Two dollars....
Three dollars....
1/2 a dollar....

That's it. I was really disappointed that I dug through dog poop for 3 1/2 dollars. 

After washing the cash several times in soap and water, I laid it out on a paper towel to dry, got out the tape, and taped it back together.

The next day I brought it in to the teller and exchanged it for $3 in undigested cash :-) I brought it to the teller in this plastic bag...I told the teller my dog had eaten the money, but i didn't exactly explain that the dog had digested the money as well. I'm hoping that doesn't make me a terrible person. 

This story has 2 morals: 

1) Keep your money and other valuables away from your dogs (I feel like this is a reoccurring theme)

2) Wash your hands after handling cash- you really never know where it may have been ;-) 

While I was mostly frustrated that I dug through the poop and only found 3 and 1/2 dollars, the good news is that $$ almost paid for this pumpkin latte. Latte well earned, i'd say! 

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Dock jumping

Mylie LOVES to jump off the dock. We learned this when she was a little puppy, but had no idea she was any good at it until we entered her into the dock jumping competition they had at the Twin Cities Pet Expo last February.

Mylie placed first in her group and made it to the finals. She placed 4th overall, which is not bad for a first timer!

Watson, on the other hand, is a bit scared of jumping off the dock. He loves to swim, but is not interested in jumping off the dock. We've been working with him a bit this summer and he's making progress. Here's a video.

It's hard to believe it's almost August, and that means an end to outdoor dock jumping for the dogs. We're going to have to get them out to the lake as much as possible in these last few weeks!


Wednesday, August 20, 2014

What to do when your dog eats a diaper...or another scary object

So, I'm embarrassed to admit that this has happened more than one in our household. Even when I think the dirty diapers are out of reach, Mylie and Watson have found a way to dig them out, rip them to shreds, and consume most of it.

The first time it happened we FREAKED out. Called the vet, googled (and concluded that the dogs would surly die), etc. First, I'm not a vet, and every case is different, so don't use this blog post as an expert opinion on what to do if your dog eats a diaper, but I am going to share our experience with you. The experience I'm referencing below refers specifically to the diaper incident, but the same method can be applied to any scary consumption if caught right away. I could have used my own advice during the corn cob incident- remember that, Watson?

- Call your vet. This is always a good idea. We've called our vet several times with "stupid" questions, and it's always better to be safe!
Our dog literally ate our homework
- Our vet recommended hydrogen peroxide. She gave us the dosage (which was different for each dog based on their weight). Because we weren't sure who the culprit was (We suspected Mylie), we gave it to both. Here's a blog post from a veterinarian  on how to induce vomiting.
- Wait, wait, wait. Within about 15 min, Watson threw up a gross foamy mess, but no diaper...
- After 30 min Mylie still had not vomited, so we called the vet again. They recommended a second dose. The second dose did the trick, and mystery solved... Mylie ate the diaper.

One time we were away from home and didn't have any hydrogen peroxide on hand and I had heard that sprinkling about a teaspoon of salt on the very back of a dog's tongue can induce vomiting. It sure worked for Mylie!

You name it, our dogs have eaten it, a throw pillow, diapers,  a razor, my blackberry, several pairs of underwear, corn cobs, a christmas ornament, drywall, carpet, many of their own toys, the list goes on an on. The best thing we've done to curb this behavior is exercise and not giving them as much freedom at home when we are away. Dogs are den animals and are OK being in a crate all day, in fact they often prefer it. We'd leave Mylie's crate open and find her in it a lot of times. We use baby gates to only allow the dogs 2 rooms in the house now. We had been told that sometimes when a dog is given too much house to roam free in when you're away, they get anxious and start causing trouble. This was definitely our experience. Limiting the dogs to just 2 rooms has almost completely stopped the bad behavior. (except for the occasional diaper)
What used to be a throw pillow

Last week, I noticed diaper "remains" in the yard, so obviously the dogs had eaten a diaper I didn't know about and passed it. It is comforting to know that it seems our dogs have garbage disposal stomaches and can pass a diaper, but that doesn't mean they always will.

Lesson for us, do a better job at hiding the diapers....

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

A change for Mylie and Watson

You may have noticed I stopped blogging about a year ago when our son, Jeffrey was born. I used to write stories about the funny things Mylie and Watson did, but then the posts just stopped. I was sure I wouldn't stop blogging about my dogs when Jeffrey was born, but I was wrong :-)

Well, I'm back again. But this time, the blog will have a little twist too.

Many of you know about the venture my husband and I started a few years ago, ClotIt. We developed and tested the product for 2+ years and finally launched in the animal market last September. Michael left his job at 3M last summer to pursue this full time, and we now employ 1 employee and 1 intern. I'm still with Wells Fargo (and no plans to leave anytime soon) but I work on some of the marketing for the business in my spare time.  I recently decided that as part of the ClotIt venture, I should start blogging again about our dogs, and maybe throw in a little pet first-aid, interesting pet posts, etc.

So now this blog is going to morph from what started as just funny stories about Mylie and Watson, to Mylie and Watson stories with a few industry posts sprinkled in here and there too.

I promise to keep it light and fun. Mylie and Watson are going to be the "face" of ClotIt, with weekly Facebook posts on Fridays and a bi-weekly blog post.

Sharing some ice cream 
So, here's to the beginning of a new era for Adventure of Mylie and Watson. They really have been here through the whole venture. They were here with us the day we thought up the idea in our kitchen, here for our initial trials on ourselves (also in our kitchen), and Watson was even our first animal test subject after a nail clipping incident.

We're all here enjoying some ice cream (well some of us). It's not that hot here in MN, but our air conditioner is broken and will be replaced tomorrow. I'm not sure who is happier, me or the dogs!

Until next time!

P.S. for more information about ClotIt visit and more on the company as a whole