Dunkin’ Brands newbies are often surprised and delighted when they see our Chief Joy Officer, Cooper Dunkin’, in the halls on their first day. Why? Because this energetic and lovable colleague is a 2-year-old Black Lab / Golden Retriever / Goldendoodle mix whose day revolves around bringing joy to others.
Cooper is a specially trained in-residence dog who came to Dunkin’ Brands as Chief Joy Officer and ambassador (or “spokesdog”) for the Foundation’s Dogs for Joy program. In his first year on the job as our Chief Joy Officer, Cooper brought joy to kids at hospitals throughout the northeast and employees alike.
Before life at Dunkin’ Brands, our four-legged friend was at Canine Assistants in Milton, Ga., which breeds dogs specifically to work in children’s hospitals.
“In-residence dogs like Cooper are typically cared for by a primary handler with whom they live and work, which in a hospital setting could be a doctor, chaplain or child life specialist,” said Anne Fajon, the Dunkin’ Joy in Childhood Foundation’s Communications Manager. “In Cooper’s case, that’s our Foundation’s Executive Director, Kari McHugh, whom Cooper truly chose when he was a puppy and bonded with instantly.”
Every morning at Brand Central (that’s our corporate headquarters), Cooper runs through the office and greets his favorite coworkers with enthusiastic tail wags and kisses. His favorite people are the ones who keep treats at their desk. HINT: He loves bananas, yogurt and peanut butter.
“Cooper always puts a smile on your face and lives up to his title, Chief Joy Officer, by bringing joy to everyone in the building,” said Cooper’s secondary handler, Erin Pochay, who manages Cooper’s work life as part of her role as Program Specialist for the Dunkin’ Joy in Childhood Foundation. “Employees bond with each other over how much they love Cooper, and it is not uncommon to see people laying on the floor with him.”
In her role, Erin is responsible for Cooper’s care while at the office, which includes maintaining his little black book of dog walkers at Brand Central in Canton and tracking his travel to donut-decorating and ice cream sundae parties with hospital patients.
“Employees have the opportunity to take Cooper on walks, invite him to meetings or just hang out with him at special events,” Erin said. “He loves being included and will sit outside meeting rooms waiting until he is invited to come in. There are also trails in the woods right across the street from Brand Central that Cooper loves to run in.”
If you’re coming in for an interview at Brand Central, keep your eyes peeled for Cooper! You might spot him wagging his tail by the cafeteria, poking his head in cubicles looking for snacks or spending quality time with employees.