When Fiona Grierson was sent the job advert by a friend her first reaction was: ‘it must be fake’.
For years she had worked in PA and office manager roles but had always dreamed of working with animals.
It was as though pet food firm Bella & Duke, had read her mind.
The company has tried to create the UK’s most pet-friendly office at Rosyth.
But with so many staff bringing dogs to work, making sure all the animals are happy is an important job.
Fiona’s role as office park ranger in Fife
Fiona’s role as Bella & Duke’s office park ranger includes office manager duties but also organising agility courses and interactive areas for pets to blow off steam.
“I have two border terriers that are both therapy dogs,” she said.
“Dogs can certainly be a calming influence. It doesn’t matter how rubbish your day is, a dog is happy to have your attention.”
The company’s aim is to help pets by providing more nourishing, healthy food.
This ethos has been extended into the office environment, with pet-friendly inclusions such as an agility course, interactive areas and a toy box.
“The staff love bringing their pets to work,” she adds.
“If their owners need to go to a meeting, then I’ll look after their dog until they get back.
“Recently a sausage dog decided it wanted to sit on my knee.
“Then it decided he didn’t want to be on my knee any more, wriggled behind me and this tiny dog started pushing me off the chair.
“The job is everything I hoped it would be and more. It’s not a normal job – I love it.
“Every day is different.”
Cat days and ferrets
Fiona said staff mostly bring dogs to work, although there has also been a couple of cat days.
One lady even brought in her ferrets earlier in the year when there were fewer office workers.
As owners work, the dogs usually lie beside their desks.
Of course, some workers don’t have a dog, but know there are many who love attention.
For the pets that don’t like being disturbed, Fiona has created signs for desks that say ‘let sleeping dogs lie’.
The business also holds a ‘wellness Wednesdays’ where staff are provided with healthy food and talks about financial health or mindfulness.
Bella & Duke history
Bella & Duke produces raw food for cats and dogs. It started out with just two people at Blairgowrie, but has since expanded and now employs more than 130 staff.
Turnover has also soared – from £701,000 in the first year to £11.2 million in the past year.
As well as the Rosyth office, which it moved into at the end of last year, Bella & Duke has a production facility in Inverkeithing.
It now has ambitions to grow its sales to £50m within five years.