Dogtopia-isms are rules to live by. They playfully relate to dogs, because after all, dogs are our business and we PLAY to our full potential.

We are all faced with this COVID-19 virus that has the ability to not only harm us physically, but mentally. As business conditions change in response to this situation, it can take a mental toll on us and dilute commitment to our brand. Let’s face it, this has been a shock to our businesses and daily routines, but it is those that have synergistic teams, clear visions and authentic engagement that are poised to persevere and thrive.

At Dogtopia, we CHASE the absolute highest standards of safety for our teams, pet parents and beloved BFF’s (Best Furry Friends). During COVID-19 we commit to executing the highest level of safety while proactively providing trusted support, consistent communication, and a unified front to our pet parents during this time of uncertainty.

Corporate culture in a business is the force that guides your decisions every day regardless of where you are on the comfort scale. How you show-up in a crisis ties closely with your core values, which are the deeply ingrained principles that guide us and the foundation of how we communicate and collaborate throughout a crisis. Effective values in an organization can spark excitement in a team, a brand and a community. Living a personal and professional life aligned with your values, also provides a much needed sense of intrinsic value and purpose during a time when there is so much uncertainty in the world.

We rely on our Dogtopia-isms to increase the alignment of our team around our purpose and Noble Cause, “to enhance the joy of dog parenthood, and enable dogs to positively change our world”. Our values serve to help our teams become emotionally connected to the brand and vision, which ultimately binds us together during tough times. As we move past this COVID-19 crisis, we will emerge stronger, more unified and effective as a team by staying true to our core values. While it’s not always easy to authentically lead from a place of optimism during crisis, it requires that  we TREAT everyday like it’s the most exciting day ever.

Kim Hamm, President and CEO of Dogtopia Canada, (who has studied under the guiding hand of Peter Thomas, chairman of Dogtopia Canada) has organized ZOOM calls every morning, which last about an hour. These calls were a tactic to keep the core team informed about COVID updates with representation across Canada, but most recently have evolved into something more. For the last week, we have been taking turns starting the call by playing some of our favourite songs, including Bob Marley’s Three Little Birds (Don’t Worry About a Thing) and Fleetwood Mac “Don’t Stop” (Thinking about Tomorrow). We are making a COVID team playlist. We LOVE life unconditionally like a dog.

We know this won’t go on forever, and these unprecedented times of self-isolation will end, but we do appreciate that the power of coming together through our ZOOM calls has strengthened our resolve and confidence that we can get through this as a team. Some mornings we have our dogs or kids in the background, cats on keyboard; and even team members who felt comfortable enough to share a tear. There is such power in connecting face to face.

At Dogtopia, we are holding onto the #orangelining because we STAY loyal to our pack.

Guest post written by Denise Kelly.