photo-icon 'Molly' at Tonic One Six

In the company of canines

At Play Our Wellbeing At Work

Saturday 21 September sees the return of Houndwave* – Adelaide’s annual doggy day out – to Light Square / Wauwi in the city’s wonderful West End. This popular event sees dogs of all shapes and sizes come together with their owners for a day of friendly spring-socialising to the sound of smooth local tunes from Katie Pomery, Nathan May, Elli Belle, Ryan Martin John, and Ricky Albeck & the Belair Line Band (Duo).

With one of Houndwave’s aims being to highlight the importance of canine companions to people, we asked the owners of a few city hair salons, a barber shop and a florist why they enjoy bringing their personable pooches to work.

Gus – Pug x Lhasa Apso

Mane on Ward

1 Ward Street, North Adelaide

The nine-year-old fur-baby of hairdresser Melissa Starr spends most of his day reclined in his cushioned chair (think chaise lounge for pooches) situated in the front window of Melissa’s Parisian-influenced North Adelaide boutique salon, Mane on Ward.

Named for his love of food (think ‘guts’ – minus the ‘t’!), Gus is as much-loved by the salon's clientele as he is by Melissa – who finds his presence at work “calming".

“Gus greets everyone when they come to the door,” said Melissa. “He has a social and playful personality and interacts with people in a warm, positive manner. I have clients that bring him treats and some walk him while they’re waiting. He adds personality and entertainment to the business and just makes everyone happy and relaxed.”

Lenny – British Bulldog

The Men’s Room Barber Shop

109 Hindley Street, Adelaide

Described by his owner as “very relaxed, tolerant, stubborn, playful and sometimes aloof,” Lenny might give Gus a run for his money as the quintessential ‘doggy in the window’.

Adam Newman has been running The Men’s Room Barber Shop on Hindley Street for the past 17 years. For almost half of those, clients and passers-by will have spotted Lenny’s unmissable mug peering out of the front window.

“I love having my dog with me and my work mates also enjoy his company,” said Adam. “Even if you’re having a rough day, he’ll always give you a laugh and keep the smile on your face.”

Lenny spends a large part of his working day sleeping and snoring, but Adam does believe his presence is good for business.

He attracts interest and brings in customers. People remember the barber shop with the British Bull dog. He greets customers on arrival (sometimes a little too amorously) and 99 per cent of the time they’re (clients) thrilled when they meet Lenny and always want to give him a pat. He always puts a smile on their face. They think it’s awesome that I can bring my dog to work. If anyone’s a bit unsure, I’ll just hold Lenny or put him on his lead.”

Molly - Maltese

Tonic One Six

16 O’Connell Street, North Adelaide

Two-year-old Molly is another salon pooch that spends most of her days in the office people-watching from the comfort of the low-set bench seat in the waiting area at owner Yen Ngo’s boutique.

“Molly is sweet, loves children and – while she can be a little bossy – most of the time she’s well behaved and playful,” said Yen. “She’s super smart and certainly knows how to suck up to people for a cuddle or a scratch. She also reminds me to go for a walk and get some fresh air through the day."

When awake (and she does love to snooze!) – Molly is usually open to being gently scooped up by any dog-loving client prepared to indulge her love of cuddles while they’re getting their ‘do’s’ done.

Importantly, like all the salon owners we met – Yen understands that not everyone is as comfortable with dogs as she and her staff – so she’s always watchful of people’s reactions.

“I can recognise from people’s expressions if they’re not at ease and we’ll just pop Molly into the backroom for a snooze.”

Agyness and Archie – Greyhound and Pug x Jack Russell

Archie & Co

48-49/81 Carrington Street, Adelaide

While they enjoy the luxury of not having to turn up to work every day (they must be majority shareholders!), nine-year-old ‘jug’ Archie and seven-year-old Agyness (re-homed through the greyhound adoption program) are listed as official staff at Archie & Co – the salon run by their owners, Adam Hadley Darrie and Paul Engelhardt.

“Archie is the ‘Supreme Leader’ because everything has to be about him (we even named the business after him!) and Agyness is our ‘Executive Assistant’ because she’s here to help everyone in the team,” said Paul.

“They’re not in the salon all the time, but regularly pop in for our lunch breaks. You could be having the worst day, but you just have to see the love in their eyes and give them a pat and everything falls into perspective and whatever was bothering you doesn’t seem important anymore.”

Dogs are a huge part of the culture at Archie & Co. Everyone on staff is a keen dog lover and regular clients look forward to spotting either pooch at a visit.

“Dogs are such social creatures, they love meeting new people and salon clients get to know them quite well (most would be in every four to six weeks) so, in addition to building a relationship with their stylist, the client can end up building a relationship with the dogs.”

New clients have often heard about Archie and Agyness before they even arrive, thanks to the pair’s Instagram account @archieengelhardt

Rosie - Maltese x Toy Poodle

Rosie the dog at the flower nook

Rosie at the flower nook (never one to get in the way!)

The Flower Nook

Shop 8, Topham Mall, Adelaide

Pop into The Flower Nook for a pretty posy or two and you're bound to spot a big pair of puppy eyes peeping out at you from between the rainbow of blooms in-store.

These belong to the very tiny but totally adorable three-year-old Rosie, the pride and joy of her owner, florist Sophie Kresevic.

"I started bringing Rosie into work when she was a puppy as I'd often be working over 12 hour days and she is great company," said Sophie.

"Now she just comes in every now and again, but I still loving seeing the effect she has on customers. She immediately relaxes people and creates conversation about their pets."

Rosie's favourite spot to spend her day is under Sophie's work desk - where she can keep an eye on mum.

"She loves to just sit in her bed and get all the belly rubs she could dream of."

If you’re a pooch parent like this crew, don’t miss taking your fur-baby to Houndwave  - happening:

Saturday 21 September, 11:00 am to 4:00 pm

Light Square / Wauwi 

This free community event is a great chance to meet new friends (of both the two and four-legged variety) and catch up with old ones, all while taking in top live tunes, tucking into tasty treats and raising money for the RSPCA South Australia and Animal Welfare League SA.

Please note that all dogs attending Houndwave must be on a leash and already ‘socialised’.

*The City of Adelaide supported Houndwave through a Community Programs & Events Grant one of several funding opportunities available through City of Adelaide's Arts and Cultural Grants Program to help enterprising locals realise their creative ideas.

If you’re planning or working on an event, performance or exhibition that will contribute to the city as a creative, welcoming and dynamic place for people to live, work and play - you might be eligible for funding assistance through a Quick Response Grant – for which applications are open all year round (until funds expended).

Article by

Skye Murtagh

Skye Murtagh

Skye is Adelaide Living's main driving force. She is passionate about sharing stories from all walks of life. When she's not busy weaving beautiful words together, she's singing a line or two from her favourite song.