Pets at Work with Pladook the Chief Barker


About your pet

Official Title:Chief Barker

Workday duties: Greets every employee at the door every morning. Pladook sits in for all conferences and meetings, and always makes sure to bark every time a train goes by outside.

Breed/animal: Boston Terrier

Favorite workday activities: Pladook’s favorite activity is laying on his favorite spot where the sun shines in through the window.

Favorite workday snacks: Krispy Kreme donuts every Monday morning

Start Time: 9:00 AM

How long has Pladook been at the company? Ever since the beginning, January 2011

About you:

Dan Blacharski, founder of public relations and marketing firm Ugly Dog Media, has a long history in the business dating back to the “dotcom boom.” He has lived all around the world in places as far off as Bangkok, Thailand (“Pladook” is actually the Thai word for “catfish”), but keeps coming back to South Bend, Indiana where he has found a favorable environment for small business.

What made you decide to start bringing Pladook into work?

We started the company in our home, and Pladook was always a fixture there and all the staff loved having him around. It felt natural to bring him with us when we moved into our office.

How would you describe a typical workday with Pladook?

Of course, Pladook knows he’s the boss, and when he wants attention, he gets it.

Would you say that having your pet at work helps or hinders your work?

Having Pladook at the office definitely helps the friendly, casual work environment we have tried to create. As a creative company, we’re not a “cubicle” office—we have a creative and open environment with n closed doors, and Pladook takes full advantage of that to make sure he gets attention from every single person in the office.

What do clients think/say about Pladook being at the office with you?

Clients are always delighted. The name of our company says it all, and the fact that there really is an “ugly dog” makes us all the more memorable. Of course, after being introduced as our namesake “ugly dog,” most clients immediately say how cute he really is!

Do you think more offices should allow pets at work?

Absolutely. An office should be a place where everybody wants to go every day, and having a pet like Pladook there helps put a smile on everybody’s face.

What’s your favorite thing about having Pladook at work?

We’re a creative company, and Pladook helps inspire us with great ideas for our clients.

-Dan Blacharski, Ugly Dog Media Inc. (
Dan and Pladook work over at