So it turns out I didn’t actually have to worry about running into Darren today, because it’s Bring Your Dog to Work Day. I forgot. Which goes to show how fucked up I am today. Anyway, the building’s full of dogs. And I do mean full. What the fuck, does literally everyone have a dog, or…?

As promised, Arsenal has brought his Golden Retriever, an extremely friendly dog who walks right up to me as soon as I walk into the room, wagging and sniffing. What was the name – something sugary – I scratch her behind the ears.

“Marzipan,” Arsenal calls, laughing, “come back here!”

Marzipan, that’s right. “Who’s a good dog? Who is? It’s Marzipan!”

Arsenal is laughing even harder at the fact that his dog has completely defected, deciding to shower me in love instead of him, and is enthusiastically thumping her tail against one of the chairs, making a ping noise with each wag. She stands on my toes, in an effort to lean into the scritchies, but she doesn’t jump on me, so at least I have no trouble staying upright – I feel like she’d be a particularly excited jumper, honestly, and don’t particularly want to be knocked on my ass right now.

Stranglehold also has a dog. I guess he was telling the truth after all – I hope he got a dog because he was actually planning on getting one, not because we teased him about it – which means two thirds of us brought dogs. Damn. Maybe I should’ve borrowed one of P&P’s cats. (Why does no one ever organize a Bring Your Cat to Work Day?)

“He’s not mine,” Stranglehold says.

“What?” I ask.

Stranglehold laughs. “Bas. Basil. He’s not mine, he’s my cousin’s, and they’re just visiting for the week, but he said I could bring Bas in to meet you all. Right, puppy?”

Bas slowly raises one eyebrow in response to the question, but otherwise doesn’t move, contentedly flopped out next to Stranglehold’s chair. He’s a St. Bernard, and big even for one of those (or maybe just fluffy? and he is lying down all stretched out), so I would hope Stranglehold isn’t trying to keep him in an apartment long term. I mean, I don’t know how big where he lives is, but I can’t imagine it’s big enough for a St. Bernard. Don’t these guys need acres to run around in or something?

Marzipan’s gone back to rest her head against Arsenal’s knee.

I point a finger at him. “Aren’t you supposed to be in school?”

He looks guilty for half a second. “Whatever. It’s just a pep rally. I don’t remotely want to be there, and it’s not like they write down who shows up, you know?”

“They’re wasting school time on a pep rally?” Bartok says, with a snort, walking in with a tiny bundle of curly fluff in her arms. I bet it’s a dog.

I reach out a hand. A tiny nose pokes out. Then two tiny eyes blink at me. It is a dog! Tiny ears perk up, and then a tiny pink tongue bleps out. I try to decide what color to call this sort of brownish-blond. Bronze? No, that’s too metallic. I want to say maybe ‘wheat’ or something, but I’m not sure if that’s actually a dog color.

“You can pet him, you know,” Bartok says.

I do. What a soft friend. I love this tiny dog. I think I’m making those little cartoon eyes, with stars in them and all, because that’s pretty much the face that both Stranglehold and Arsenal are making. Even Marzipan seems interested in the tiny ball of fuzz. (Basil seems to be asleep.)

Our teammates gather around to give the puppy (probably an adult dog, actually) pats and scritches, and it is adorable. It’s a very bonding experience. Even if I can’t quite reach with two other people in the way, very bonding. Bring Your Dog to Work Day is the very best idea for teammate bonding ever, and we should do it constantly. Every day.

“What’s his name?” Stranglehold coos.

“Champagne,” Bartok says.

“Champagne,” the other two repeat, enamored – wait, no, shit, I did it too. Fuck it, fine, this little Champagne dog is now my best friend. I can’t believe I didn’t know Bartok had a dog.

Anise walks in with Laces a minute later, but we all knew he had some sort of almost-Scottie-looking mutt, you can’t get away from the photos, so that’s not quite as surprising. Of course, she looks a lot more like a Scottie in person, which is a little surprising. Maybe it’s the haircut.

This pupper does jump up and down on my feet and legs repeatedly, but she’s tiny, so it’s cute, even though it shouldn’t be, because you’re really supposed to train that out of them aren’t you, but how can you say no to a bouncing doggo? I let her head bop into my hand repeatedly.

Okay, but, we’re seriously being overrun, though. I know for sure Hunch doesn’t have a dog. I’m fairly certain Sass doesn’t have a dog. I have no idea whether Boomerang has a dog. We’re not even going to have room for them all.

Boomerang does indeed have a dog. It’s a multicolored smallish-medium sized creature that looks like someone was brushing static electricity all through its hair, and it wags happily, looking around at all the other dogs, then goes to sit in the far corner away from them, thumping its tail against the wall. With a yawn, it relaxes onto its front paws.

“Everyone, meet Cayenne, the sweetest doggy in the whole world, she’s shy, leave her alone,” Boomerang says, grinning at his dog and tossing over a dog treat.

She leaps up into the air to catch it, wags again, and lies back down.

Ugh, now I want a dog even more.

Then, as if we weren’t outnumbered enough, it turns out Sass actually does have a dog, which is a lab, who is named Chocolate, and they wander in…late? I don’t know. The meeting is full of dogs. There’s no way we’re going to get literally anything done. How do you tell if someone’s late to a meeting where nothing happens? Is that even metaphysically possible?

Anyway, Chocolate the lab, who I did not expect to exist, is also very excitable, and jumps up into my lap to try to sit on me, so I have a dog in my lap the rest of the ‘meeting’.

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