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Dogs at Work?

Meet Franklin, the newest member of the Women For Hire team. Tory’s been bringing her beagle Marly to the office for months, and now he’ll have a new buddy, thanks to Alexandra, who just brought the 9 week old pug back from her native Michigan.

We can’t tell you how much energy and sheer fun these pups bring to our office. Instead of being a distraction, there’s a sense of fun and camaraderie that comes from having more best friends around us.

What’s your take on dogs at work?


  1. Nathalie Erwin

    Dogs are cute (most dogs) and every owner thinks their dog is the best, etc.; however because I am allergic to furry animals, my red swollen eyes, constant sneezing and runny nose make me prefer that dogs stay at home so I can work in a healthy environment.

  2. Hi:
    I honestly believe people are more productive when pups are around. Pups make everyone happy and put you at ease. Also, isn’t it better to work in a friendly happy environment?

  3. Sandra

    Right now I am typing and my precious cocker spaniel is curled up on a pillow on the back of my chair.During a rough year of job searching she has added a calm spirit and a frequent cause of laughter and joy.

    With increased stress in the work place it seems these are traits one would love to add to the environment. I would love to take our sweet girl to work with me.

  4. Rachel

    I think if the dog is well-behaved and doesn’t shed all over everything (as a nod to people with allergies to pet dander) that a dog should be permitted to enter the workplace. I personally believe it’s ridiculous to not allow them to come along; we allow small children to come to work in some places. My dog IS my child, so obviously I’d love to have her join me.

  5. I probably would have had a different answer a few months ago–until I got my new beloved dog, Josie. There is something relaxing and soothing about a dog that could lighten the environment. It brings “real” life to work which we sometimes take ‘way too seriously. As far as bringing them to work, I would imagine it would depend on the dog AND the owner–which might get challenging when the wrong dog or the wrong owner decides to try this arrangement. But I suppose it’s no worse than providing guidelines for a dress code!

  6. I have a pug too! Right now I am living one of my visions, teaching yoga on the beach and because I live where I work, my “old man” a black pug named OREO- because he is double stuffed- is by my side all the time AND my cat Smokey hangs in the lobby of the inn that I run with my husband (a vision that we did not plan but everything fell into place so we went for it!)- all the guests love being greeted by smokey as she sun bathes daily!!!
    I think all well behaved pets- those who can handle lots of people- should always be welcome at work!
    Alexandra good luck with Franklin, they are the most loving dogs!

  7. My take on dogs? Well obviously I do not like barking,
    yapping, vicious ones, but a long time ago (when I was
    employed ahem) there was a gal in the office who owned a dog,and for some reason before she brought her dog down to the office one day, we really did not get along. She brought down a golden retriever late one day. My married sister used to have a golden retriever and where she moved when she got married did not allow pets so mom and I inherited the dog. I am an animal lover. Well the dog the co-worker brought down spent most of the time with me. She knew I was an animal person and the co-worker was amazed. She seemed to have turned the corner when she saw her dog liking Me. They say animals are smart and they know who the good people are and who their friends are.So, would I vote yes, YES I would. There are I know, animals that visit shut ins and nursing homes. As long as they are friendly AND that the owner walks them at the
    appropriate time and feeds them at the appropriate time,
    I am all for it. But then, again, I am not employed at the
    moment. You have my take on for what it is worth.

  8. I am all for it! As a counselor, volunteering to career counsel at Women’s Resource Agency in Colorado Springs, CO, I see how it affects the women who come into our agency. One of our volunteers brings her therapy dog and it’s presence just sets a welcoming feeling. I think that women who are scared when they come in for help, forget those fears because of this dog.

  9. YES! DOGS AT WORK! I would leave my job (that I love) in a heartbeat for a job with another company that would allow me to bring my dog! Don’t believe me? Try me.
    It is not an easy combination to find – a great job where dogs are allowed to come to work with you – but they are out there.

    I seriously have done research on this, and the closest I’ve been able to get to this myself is a by working in a landmark office building in NYC where dogs are a big feature in so many of the private offices. I regularly ride the elevators with dogs or see them stopping by the front desk when the arrive, go to lunch, or leave for the day with their owner, and they like to stop to greet or say goodbye to the guards. I have a special buddy name Freckles who I often bump into on the stairs. She’s always got a smile for me. Or I get to hear the two little yappers next door’s playful barking coming through the walls – this happens around lunch time so is really no distraction to the work getting done. If anything, it makes me and my colleagues laugh (or at least smile) anytime we hear them playing next door. Even through the walls this has relieved my stress when I’m pouring over a report that I have to complete on a tight deadline.

    I’m an HR manager, so I do not see large companies subscribing to this company benefit, yet they will spend thousands for an employee wellness program. They’ll spend thousands more to try to figure out how to encourage creative thinking in their teams or how to liven up their company cultures by bringing fun into the workplace. If your company has not budget for such programs, don’t worry, just bring the dogs in! Due to fears and protections of all workers, huge companies will probably never try to pull this off, but smaller more flexible boutique size firms can make it happen. This can actually add value to their jobs and company by adding this free benefit. There is far more to gain by adding this no-cost perk.

    When I managed a large Bed&Breakfast in Santa Fe New Mexico years ago, I had the best co-workers I ever had in my entire life. They were Mr. Bean (the big dog) and Mr. Big (the smaller cat). They were with me all day helping me with my duties and welcoming guests. They often helped bridge gaps with other co-workers I managed, or even with the owners. They were the best part of my job, and helped me relieve any work stress that might be going on. For sure they were excellent at customer service and helped me welcome guests. They were especially adept with the foreign traveler who may not speak English well.

    You’re so absolutely right! Dogs bring such fun and lightness to the work place. Want to improve your company culture in a hurry? Bring the dogs in!
    Want to improve your workers productivity or longevity with your company? Invite your workers to bring their dogs into work with them!
    Want to buld teams that think creatively and work well with each other? Allow them their dog counterparts.
    Research over and over shows how dogs improve wellness and healing in hospitals or extend life and help the aging in senior homes…..helloooo…’s time to bring them to the job too! I’m an HR manager so I have no illusion that large companies would ever subscribe to this due to fears and protections of all workers – but small boutique size firms or smaller offices do easily accomplish having such benefits on the job. It’s a powerful benefit that costs the company nothing.

    One thing for sure, if you want to meet a bunch of great people who you’d love to have for co-workers, find a place to work that allows dogs and you’ll have nailed it. The two go together like chocolate and peanut butter: fun, friendly, flexible, creative, smart, good-natured people GO HAND IN HAND with well adjusted, well cared for dogs (oh sorry, that should have been hand in paw). The two naturally come together. It just may help achieve company goals and improve productivity without increasing costs. It’s a special place that gets it.

  10. Barbara Clark

    Hello Tory,
    Being a huge dog lover I think well mannered dogs at work are a wonderful idea. Sometimes work can be very stressful and we tend to bring stress from home. Having a furry friend stop by for a chat, a hug or just lying by your chair can bring calm and a smile. I have 3 rescues one a chocolate lab mix who was determined to live here. Every time he slipped his chain he was at our place, woke me up during at 3am during a thunderstorm. I heard this racket, looked out the window and he is sitting in the pouring rain looking up at my window howling. I went down with a blanket for him and a towel to dry him off. It broke my heart not to be able to bring him in or feed him. After asking several times the owner let me have him. So I was able to bring the skinny, sun bleached pup in and now he lives like a king. A couple of months later Molly joined us, a Redbone hound and that is a whole other story. The last member to join us is Gretel a German Shepherd. Gretel showed up several times and I shooed her away, being concerned for the other critters we have. The last time, my husband spoke to her she came right up to him. I drove all over the area, called vets and checked with German Shepherd Rescue with no one claiming her. So she joined the herd. In the months since she has put on twenty pounds and truly become part of the family. The joy they bring, especially in this time is hard to describe. To be so important in their lives gives you a warm feeling. They repay all the care with unconditional love. We have told Charlie that he is not to invite any more dogs home,lol. Three 80 pound dogs plus all the other critters are plenty.

    Tory I love that you have such a great place to work, for yourself and your employees. Keep up the great work, I tell everyone about your websites and appearances on GMA.

    Best to you, Barbara Clark

  11. Bev

    I would not be able to work for anyone who thought it was OK to have their dogs in the office. What happens to me when I visit someone I know is that her dog licks my ankles & also licks my feet if I’m wearing sandals. When I visit I have to remember to wear shoes & socks that cover all. If the weather’s nice, I prefer to wear sandals, but can’t do so unless I learn to tolerate the feeling of wet dog saliva on my body. A few years ago, my hairdresser suddenly decided that her dogs should greet her clients. So instead of keeping the dogs in another area of her house like she’d been doing, she had all 3 of them in the basement, which is where she cut hair. She handed me a bag of dog treats & asked me to give them to her dogs. I nicely refused & never made another appointment with her. I think that if people can bring dogs to the office, then other pets should be allowed as well. Maybe people would enjoy having a pet parakeet fly past them as they tried to write something?

  12. jlevitan

    Oh, what I wouldn’t give to have a job where my best friend could join me everyday! I applaud employers who allow dogs at the office. No doubt that they are “thanked” by more productivity, loyalty, and happier employees!

  13. CRCook

    I love having dogs in the office. I am often asked to dog sit when one of my colleagues has a meeting in another building. As long as you are not in the food service industry and it is OK with your co-workers, enjoy your furry friends at work. It helps with morale. I wish my baby was more outgoing so I could take her to work.

  14. Anonymous

    I would love to have my dog at work. Practically speaking, the “cost of working” (I am a single person) include hiring a dogwalker and someone to come look in on my dog while I am at work, which is incredibly expensive. If you do “doggie day care,” it’s even worse.

    People talk about the cost of daycare for their children, but never recognize that those of us with dogs need to be able to meet their needs as well. Having my dog with me would save me tons of money.

    That said, my working conditions aren’t suitable for a dog. We share one big overstuffed office, there’s a lot of chaos, running around, people coming in and out, and the HVAC doesn’t work well. In short, it’s a dump!

    My dog is an extremely well-trained therapy dog, but still this would be too much for her. She would follow me around all day, bumping into stuff (she’s a 50lb GSD mix). The environment would be confusing, and there would be no appropriate space for her.

    I’m all about canine management (keeping my dog safe and sound), but in this case it would require creating a more manageable workspace.

  15. Niki

    As a pet parent myself, I would love to work for a company that would allow me to bring my “baby” to work with me each day. I think that it definitely would improve morale, relieve stress and bring joy and laughter to the workplace. However, many people have fears or allergies to dogs, so something would need to be done to assure these colleauges a safe and healthy workplace. I think it is easier to implement a pet policy in a smaller company rather than a large one for this very reason.

  16. DEBBIE

    NO, NO, NO.


  17. Mona Amthor

    It depends on your work enviroment. I think in some environments it would be fantastic, others not so much! In reading other comments – the person with allergies that would be unfair to her to bring your dog to work. In my office – no big deal as we dog lovers and I think my dogs would love being close to mom all day! Another consideration would be if dogs came to work that were not socialized. Transporting is another issue, you would need to use caution and have them secured in your vehicle as we don’t want them hurt! I see way too many wrecks in a week and would not want my dogs being a projectile in the vehicle or thrown out of the car!

  18. Hi,
    We have a dog at work, and sometimes 2-3 if someone is “dog-sitting”. Several people (& operations manager) think that is a morale booster and nice to take a break with her. She is mostly quiet, but will growl or bark when strangers stop in.
    I think it’s an imposition to expect everyone to like the dog in here every day. I would compromise with 3 days/week. There’s even one poor guy who is allergic and sneezes all day. And, if you bring a dog to work, please keep them clean so there’s not that “dog smell”!

  19. Kristen

    In an office setting, if there are no employees with allergies or severe aversions to dogs, then I think its great. We had a yellow lab in our office (I don’t work there anymore). It was so fun when she first came to work with her human (our boss). She was a puppy and initially it was for the purpose of getting her potty trained and used to people and car rides. But it was so great to have her at the office! Occasionally it distracted us and she would get a bit nosy at lunchtime. But for the most part, it was a happy scene. We threw a ball with her on our stretch breaks. She alerted us to visitors (most of which immediately smiled and relaxed when they saw a dog). It just felt more like a home than an office, and we all liked that.

  20. constance

    I love dogs but having a dog in the office in not a good idea. My personal experience. I do house calls and most homes have dogs very distracting,don’t care how well they are trained and how clean they are there is an odor and if some-one in the office , or a visitor is allergic then what ?

  21. Julie

    As a business owner we brought in our dogs all the time. They were well behaved, knew the “territory” and what they were allowed to do and not do. It made everyone a little happier when they were there and more relaxed.
    I think that you need to be respectful to the workers you have, assess the environment and make the right decision.
    There are plenty of “corporate” environments where dogs are just not appropriate. Additionally, if you are in sales, you must consider that you may have customers that are scared of or otherwise have issues with dogs. Are you willing to loose potential business over the dog coming to your store?
    I loved having the option of bringing my dogs to work but would never compromise my employees either.

  22. Alberta Green

    Dogs should be allowed to go to work if the environment is doggy friendly. For those who have allergies should all be placed in an area that they would not be effected by the dogs. Also, the company should have an awesome filtered air system.

  23. Jocelyn

    I love the idea of bringing a dog to work, but most employers won’t allow it (barking, mess, etc.), but if I had my own office space, it would be a definite!

  24. Wilhelmina

    I ADORE my Irish Wolfhound and new Whippet puppy, but I would never consider bringing them to work. My IW’s size not withstanding, I think it’s a distraction, and there’s always a chance that someone would be allergic. Besides, I look forward to seeing my four-legged boys all the more when I arrive home from a hard day at work. It’s my treat, as they bring so much joy. Having said that, however, I am really, really thankful that I have been working from home so I can have my pups and hug them–any time I want, so I understand those who would embrace the bringing dogs to work thing…

  25. L.G.

    The best idea ever! Dogs truly add a calming atmosphere to any environment. Of course I’m a dog lover, therefore, the more dogs the happier I’d be. Can’t wait to find a job that would allow dogs.

  26. IDALIS


  27. Karen D.


    I’m the biggest animal lover I know–vegetarian, no animals to be used in cosmetics testing, no animal experimentation in the name of research, etc.

    However, I would have to vote no on bringing animals to work. Allow me to explain.

    I had a girlfriend who took her dog just about everywhere she could–and I do mean everywhere. If we went out for ice cream, she usually took the dog. If we went out to run errands, the dog was often with us. When she lived in an apartment on the third floor, which had a deck, she’d let the dog urinate on the deck–right through the slats to the neighbors below! When I protested–loudly and often!–she insisted that it was her dog and she loved her. End of story. It was the “Love me, love my dog” song.

    Several years ago, this same friend and I were discussing the possibility of a “girls only” trip several states away–and she insisted on bringing one of her birds in the car. Stunned, I thought at first that she was kidding. I said no way. But she was dead serious. Since she’s retired, she lives with her dogs, her cat, and her birds; her entire day is defined by their needs.

    Needless to say, the trip never materialized.

    Now she’s an extreme case but this really happened. However, I’d feel the same way about the most behaved pet (or owner!).

    I’ve even been in a veterinarian’s office with some resident animals who have full run of the place. The problem is, even though they’re cats–my very favorite animal–some of them misbehave a bit. I’ve been bitten by them and scratched by them and I did nothing at all to encourage their attention. (My motto is always: Respect the animal and its space.) I was simply there and they were curious. Fair enough; I was in their “space.” Some other clients, who are clearly not cat lovers–but who are curious beings to cats, for some reason–are clearly uncomfortable with a kitty nuzzling up to them. The humans sit there anxiously, wondering what’s going to happen if they dare move.

    Get my drift?

    As much as I love animals, it’s my philosophy that one’s animals–and children–are adored by you (as they should be) but not necessarily by everyone else. In the work place, I would find an animal to be a distraction. Also, because some people have allergies to animals, that presents another problem. And supposing the one bringing the pet is your boss? If you’re allergic or if you’re finding the whole concept bothersome or distracting for any reason, you’re left with the choice of mentioning it and appearing disagreeable to your boss or trying to continue to work feeling resentful, miserable, or upset.

    In my humble opinion, animals, as well as children, do not belong in the work place unless it’s a one-person office–and you’re that person. I adore animals more than I adore many people. But when I’m at work, I like to be working, free of distraction. In one’s own home–that’s a different matter entirely. Have your pet crawl all over you if you wish. But in a work place that’s shared by others, my vote is to leave your animals at home.

  28. Bev

    Hi Tory,

    It is woderful that you allow dogs in the work place. They are such a comfort in a any work enviroment. Michigan even allows dogs in the health care facilities. They are working dogs, who make their rounds, visiting and comforting patients and grieving families. We love our animals and to those that say “no”, I say my dogs probably wouldn’t like them either.
    As previously mentioned there is so much money spent on preventative health care and healthy living habts, dogs in the work pace are definitely a step in the right direction.

  29. Samm


    Most dogs that go to work with people are dogs who know how to behave themselves with other dogs and people. If it is possible for a dog to go to work with they owner,—
    ABSOLUTELY! It is good for all

  30. Nancy

    Dogs do not belong in the workplace–I also suffer from allergies to pretty much anything with fur, and I would be miserable if I had to work near someone with a dog in their cube.

    It’s great that people love their dogs, but it’s not fair to make other people suffer when they can’t choose to leave (as they could at a restaurant).

  31. MO

    Put all “Dog People” together on one side of the office and everyone else away from them if possible. A solution can be found if everyone worked together. Dogs are Earth Angels (smile). Dogs Rule!

  32. Let me say I see both sides, and I realize not everyone is a pet lover. Maybe you’re a book lover. That’s fine. The great thing about a pet is that others tend to pet the dog, and then walls start to come down and everyone feels a little stress-relieved. To those that have already made up their minds, let me ask “what if the dog was hypo-allergenic? There
    are several breeds like my little Bischon..Rowdy. At the time, my husband and I were in our 20th year doing the morning show at WLHT. The Human Society brought Rowdy in for
    their regular weekly segment. He crawled up in my lap and we’ve been together since that day. The next day, I took him to work with me. Uh-oh, I’m bad. I forgot to ask..however, we were alone in a huge studio..and I was neurotic about hygiene. I walked him (and picked up after him) twice a morning. Rowdy started to bark for no reason
    during a break, and the listeners were calling to speak to
    Rowdy, and the employees ALWAYS made a point of coming by
    to say good morning to him. He started making appearances
    in parades…it was a hoot. You’re missing an opportunity
    to bond if you don’t allow pets in your office.

    Best Wishes.


  33. mar

    OM gosh are you kidding me! What is next on the list…every employee gets a fluffy bed to take a paid naptime…or can show up in their fluffy robe and slippers so they’ll be more comfortable. I have had a dog and I currently have cats…I am an animal lover. Unless your operating a vetinary clinic or other related pet service the dogs and cats need to stay home! I am also a believer that unless your operating a child care business that the children should stay at home also!

    Going to work is exactly what that means…you are to work…consentrate on your work, get your work accomplished and then you can leave and go home to your children and pets and other activities.

    Is the work environment to be a “labor camp”….but it
    is also not a paid goof-off, naptime, socializing event either.

    I find it absurd for employees to think it is acceptable to bring their children to the office. I find it just as absurd that employees would think that bringing their dogs and cats or other pets to the office is acceptable as well.

    I have been in the workforce for 28 years. My first job was working in downtown Chicago at a law firm. I was shocked when the office manager showed up with her sick daughter to work because she couldn’t find a sitter instead of staying home. Really?? The five year old was crawling around on the ground with markers and paper making a mess and distraction to all who had to witness it. It wasn’t a productive day for anyone in that department. The whole office ended up with whatever flu bug the kid had over the next few weeks. She also brought her to the office when there was a day off from school and she couldn’t find a sitter…the kid again sat in an empty office w/ crayons, markers etc. making a mess and on one occasion being bored colored all over her arms, dress and the carpet, etc.!

    Several years later at another company I worked for I was a top producer in an inside sales department. One of my co-workers who was not a top producer showed up with her three rug rats ages 6 to 10 and as I and others were on the phones trying to close deals her brats were fighting, whinning, and crawling on the floor under my desk around my legs doing the same to the other employees in our area as well. It was absolutely ridiculous. This is also the same woman that pulled the “well I’m just a single mom” card whenever possible. After I got off the phone I went to my manager and the office manager and said “enough is enough is this a daycare or a business office!” She was told not to do it again, but sure enough a few weeks later we were all “blessed” to have to deal with it again. Of course she used the “what am I to do, I’m just a single mom” card.

    People bringing their pets to work would be no different. They would be just as disrepectful to the other employees that actually took their jobs seriously and were there putting in 200% everyday. The people that would bring their pets and kids to work are the same people that hangout at the water cooler, take excessive amounts of breaks—smoking breaks, snack breaks, etc. and always come back from lunch and then spend the next 15 mins in bathroom and then an addition 15 mins getting their coffee, etc before being able to get back to work again for the afternoon. They are the same people that spend time wandering around looking for leftovers from the lunch meetings. They are the same people that fly in right at their start time and are packed up 15 mins before their quitting time. It is just another idea for them to use to find a way to get out of what they are really supposed to be doing…working. It doesn’t matter whether they are hourly or salaried I am sure that we can all name several of these types of people that we’ve all had to work with or have employed. So from someone that has been in the work force for 28 years both as employee and employer…I vote a big NO on bringing pets and children to work.

  34. Janine

    I completely disagree with dogs at work. More generally, any “pets” at work. Where do you draw the line. What is someone’s dog is another’s cat, snake, bird, toad, turtle, etc. Not everyone is an animal lover and why should those of us who are not be subjected to the discomfort of being around animals. Your home and your private space is your’s to do what you want with, but I don’t believe that everyone else should also be subjected to those things in public spaces (i.e., stores, restaurants, offices, etc.). People who are animal lovers tend to believe (or act like they believe) that everyone else is too. While owners believe their pet may be well-trained or have a gentle disposition or never hurt a fly, that doesn’t mean that everyone wants to be exposed to them. I can’t stand it when people have dogs on a leash and then allow that leash to expand as far as it can and allow the dog to go right up to complete strangers. While I am not “afraid” of dogs, I do not want them any where near me – sniffing me, licking me, or otherwise looking for attention from me.

    It’s very similar to smoking. Although smoking was eliminated in indoor facilities due to healthcare reasons, pets should be viewed in the same manner. Separating an office environment into “pet friendly” and “non-pet friendly” is no better than having smoking and non-smoking areas. Just like having “designated” an area as “non-smoking” does not keep the smoke away neither does separating an office environment into “pet friendly” keep the pet issues at bay for those who don’t want to be around pets. Many people are allergic to pets and having pets in any environment is a health hazard to that person. Set aside any allergies, for many people having pets around does not “brighten the environment,” “calm the atmosphere,” “bring comfort,” “break down walls or barriers” or any other so-called enlightening empowerment. For many, pets are a huge annoyance that get in your face – no matter how well behaved.

  35. Sally

    I once worked in an office that allowed dogs but one of my coworkers absolutely hated them and I think one dog knew it because he often left a “gift” in her office. It was disgusting to see dog poop on the floor. I have to say, please leave the dogs at home, although I don’t mind them in some other setting — like a home or a park.

  36. Angela

    I would welcome working in an environment that allowed workers to bring there dogs/pets to work.

    I enjoy all animals and find being around them calming. Pets are a wonderful way to make introductions, break barriers, and connect to others. Animals are theraputic for customers, visitors, and empoyees/staff.

    In the workplace itself, animals can provide and outlet for stress, deescalte a heated exchange, create a distraction from employee gossip and complaining, and help to create or foster healthy “people” habits (workers being forced to walk pets at lunch can create the lunchtime walkers). I once worked in an office that had a large fish tank, which turned out to be more theraputic than any gossip session. Staff would go to the tank and by quietly observing the gentle motions of the fish and listening to the “bubbles”, staff would slow down. This turned out to be the most calming and theraputic thing in the office.

    As a pet owner, worrrying about getting home to feed, potty, and walk my pets in the evening has a profound effect on my attitude around 5:30 PM. I am worrying about home, thus not focusing on those last issues of the day and quckly become frustrated and rushed in my actions. If I had my dog with me, I would more productive in those last two hours (5:00-7:00 PM) and be willing to work more hours.

  37. pn

    I would love to bring my pug to work!

  38. G

    If I have to interact with the dog, I’d say no. I have a strong dislike for dogs. If it’s kept on a leash and away from me, properly cared for and can be ignored, okay, fine.

    Bad Owner: My coworkers and I are currently burdened daily with the care of two large dogs belonging to the boss. Bringing a dog to work and leaving it there unsupervised is not appropriate, and is neglectful. At first my coworkers were okay with walking the dogs and paying them attention, but now it’s become a chore that no one really wants to do.

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