The Seattle Times.
In a city where households with dogs outnumber those with kids, Seattle’s historic Dexter Horton building is introducing a rare workplace amenity — an indoor dog lounge where workers taking a break from business can bring their dogs to do theirs.
A carpet of artificial grass, complete with a vintage metal fire hydrant, offers pooches a place to go off-leash and relieve themselves.
An irrigation system below the gently sloping turf treats liquid waste and flushes it into a drain. Owners are expected to pick up their pet’s poop and dispose of it in the trash bin.
A ventilation system maintains negative pressure in the room, pulling air through a charcoal filter 15 times per hour and keeping any smells from wafting into the hallway.
It all makes the dog-walking areas outside Amazon’s many office buildings look a bit primitive.
The dog lounge is one of several changes since Portland real-estate developer Gerding Edlen bought the 15-story building at Second Avenue and Cherry Street last year for $77 million. The building is about 11 percent vacant.
“We have the only dog-sanitation room in an office building downtown,” said real-estate broker Dan Dahl, of Colliers International, which markets the building to prospective tenants. “We’re trying to offer a package of amenities that’ll appeal to employees.”
Spencer Norris, an employee of a firm in the building, took a break Thursday morning to bring his 1-year-old boxer, Benny, to the dog lounge.
“It works,” Norris said. “You don’t smell anything.”
Some office workers must juggle their schedules with the need to go home and let their dog out — or face a stinky mess indoors.
And the alternative of doggy day care is expensive at $20 to $35 a day, he said.
With the dog lounge in his building, Norris said, he could envision bringing Benny to work for a half day and paying for only a half-day of day care.