For anyone enduring a “ruff” day, that all changes when you enter the front doors at Halfacre Construction Company in Lakewood Ranch, where you are not only greeted with a smile, but also a wagging tail. Halfacre Construction Company is among a number of companies that allow dogs to come to work with their owners.

“It’s just awesome,” says Christine Curwood, an administrative assistant at Halfacre Construction Company. “It just adds a special element here.”

Christine brings her 11-year-old dog, Brie, with her daily. She says it gives her peace of mind having her dog with her while she works during the day. 

“Brie comes with me because she has got a brain tumor,” says Christine. “She has seizures and is on medication for them. I’m quite lucky that I get to have her with me, so I can provide her daily dose of medication and have her around in case she does have a seizure.”

According to the 2017-18 APPA National Pet Owners Survey, 60 percent of U.S. households own a dog. With so many canine owners out there, their owners are either forced to leave them home alone for hours while they work or pay for a doggy care. 

Employees at Halfacre Construction Company say having the option to bring their dogs to work with them is a nice benefit.

“I absolutely love it,” says Chelsea Gruber, the marketing and business development manager at Halfacre Construction Company. “It’s really nice because you don’t have to pay for daycare or dog walking. We’re in this beautiful area, and we can take the dogs walking all the time. It’s a really nice work perk.”

Chelsea brings her 6-year-old dog, Paisley, into the office every week. “She is my world. I rescued her when I was a senior in college,” says Chelsea.

The pet-friendly environment at Halfacre Construction Company started 20 years ago when the former president of the company, John Cox, started bringing his dog to work with him. He enjoyed having his dog in the office with him, and he decided to allow his employees do the same.

Browning Hill, one of the company’s most tenured superintendents, used to bring his dog, Roxy, to project sites with him all the time.

Employees who take advantage of this benefit say it makes them happy. “There is a great family vibe here already, but for them to be so understanding about our pets, is pretty amazing,” says Christine. “You couldn’t ask for a better place to work.”

Chelsea agrees and says even those who don’t bring their dogs into the office don’t seem to mind. “All of the employees we work with are really nice and accepting of all the dogs,” Chelsea says. “And you can’t help but smile when one of them comes up to you looking for a back scratch or a nose rub!”

Halfacre Construction Company is a locally owned and operated private commercial construction company. For more information, visit