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Northern Ireland celebs enjoy Bring Your Dog To Work event


Naomi Long with Daisy

Naomi Long with Daisy

Kevin Scott / Belfast Telegraph

Miss Northern Ireland Anna Henry with pup Mac

Miss Northern Ireland Anna Henry with pup Mac

Ralph McLean and his pooch Tarka

Ralph McLean and his pooch Tarka

Gemma Garrett walking Stella and Buddy

Gemma Garrett walking Stella and Buddy

Kevin Scott / Presseye

Naomi Long with Daisy

With almost 500,000 dogs in more than 300,000 homes, Northern Ireland folk are among the UK's biggest fans of man's best friend.

Today the pooches will be out in droves as businesses across the province join the national Bring Your Dog To Work Day.

The event raises money for charities dedicated to improving dog welfare.

There are a raft of benefits besides charity to Bring Your Dog To Work Day, as hounds are proven to lower stress levels, improve team co-operation and increase staff morale.

Miss Northern Ireland Anna Henry will be one of those getting involved.

The 22-year-old model from Portglenone said: "I have a beautiful one-year-old Saint Bernard pup called Mac. I can't believe how big he is already.

"I don't see how anyone could not support a charity that raises money to make sure dogs are looked after properly."

Former Miss UK Gemma Garrett would love to take her dogs to work - but said they were just too bouncy.

Dog-lover Gemma (34), who now works as a make-up artist, said: "I've two lovely big British bulldogs, Buddy and Stella."

But they are not allowed to go on jobs with her, as they're just too excitable.

"They crave so much attention," Gemma said.

"If I took them to a make-up job they would be into everything - eating the brushes, jumping around all over the place.

"They wouldn't sit still for a minute."

Alliance Party leader Naomi Long - who will be attending the talks at Stormont today - said she had thought about taking her dog Daisy to the high-powered political negotiations.

The MLA said her pooch might be able to inject a positive vibe into the discussions.

"She might perk things up a bit," she chuckled.

But having discussed the matter with her dog, she said last night Daisy did not seem too enamoured with the idea.

"However, if I get the chance, I'll take her with me to our constituency office in east Belfast instead," she added.

Women aren't the only people who'll be cooing over dogs in the office today.

BBC DJ Ralph McLean considers his six-year-old wheaten terrier Tarka his "best friend".

He said: "Unfortunately, health and safety will probably stop me bringing my dog to work, but they are a big relaxant on humans and I think they should have more rights.

"There's hardly any restaurants or cafes where I can take Tarka inside, and I'm all for increasing accessibility for dogs and for taking them to work.

"I also think raising money for animal welfare through events like Bring Your Dog To Work Day is essential as there are so many animals out there being treated so disgracefully by their owners.

"I believe dogs are humanity's best friend and everyone should get involved in this cause."

Those enjoying Bring Your Dog To Work Day can send photos of their pets to us at newseditor@belfasttelegraph.co.uk

Belfast Telegraph