In Honor of Take Your Dog to Work Day, Meet Foxtrot!
It’s Take Your Dog to Work Day! To celebrate, we’re sharing the story of Foxtrot – the most famous humanitarian pup in the world.
Hi! My name is Foxtrot, and I’m a pup with a very important job. I help the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) save lives and raise awareness about global hunger. Last time we met, I was in Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh which is home to the world’s largest refugee camp. But four months ago, I took a big leap and moved to Italy! I’ve been sightseeing, making new friends and am almost fluent in Italian (the dog version, of course).
While I explore this new Italian chapter, I’ll never forget my family back in Bangladesh where my story began.
“I’ve always respected people who have made the terrifying journey away from their homeland. Whether forced to leave or leaving by choice, it’s never easy to settle in a foreign country where everyone and everything is unfamiliar. So if you’re one of these people then just remember that I think you’re one of the bravest people I know 🐶” – Foxtrot, @humanitarian_pup
The people in Cox’s Bazar are Rohingya refugees who had to flee their homes in Myanmar because of violence in 2017. My old colleagues there support them by making sure they have dinner on the table every night, keeping the camps as safe as possible from natural disasters, and making sure children get a nutritious start in life.
You may wonder what a pup like me could have possibly done to help in an immense operation like that. Well, we all have skills to give back to the world and it turns out mine are quite useful.
One of the jobs I liked the most was making sure no one gets too stressed out. Working in an emergency can take a lot out of a person, so when I saw someone who needed some stress relief, I ran up to them with a toy in my mouth and pushed my head against their leg. That’s my way of asking them for a pat or to play a game with me. Humans are actually pretty simple creatures, and it’s amazing how well this works in relieving any tension.
I was also a one-dog cheer team and mascot for the U.N. World Food Programme. You could often find me visiting my colleagues in the camps to make sure their work was coming along smoothly.
I helped the kids to laugh and play. The kids in the camps attend learning centers each day, where we give them high-energy biscuits to help them focus. When I visited they all had loads of fun. A lot of them are scared of dogs like me, but after a few minutes they realized I’m super-friendly and were eager to feed me treats.
My most important job though? Reminding the world about the Rohingya people. I use Instagram to tell the world the story of the Rohingya and the response to this crisis. They’ve been there for more than four years and it’s easy for people to forget that there are nearly 900,000 people living in a congested refugee camp in Cox’s Bazar.
So I use my boyish good looks, infectious smile and charming personality to capture the attention of people from all over the world and tell them about something important.
Some people have asked why a pup like me would want to work as a humanitarian and help the Rohingya instead of just chasing my tail all day. Although I do enjoy chasing my tail, I also know what it’s like to have no one.
When I was a puppy I lost my mum. I was all alone in the world with no one to turn to. I saw some U.N. World Food Programme staff and started following them because I just knew in my bones they would help me. They did. They picked me up, gave me some food (they were very on-message), and searched high and low for my mum with no success. At the end of the day, they took me to their office and said it could be my new home.
When I learned about the Rohingya, I remembered the dark time in my life when I had no one to turn to. I remembered how the U.N. World Food Programme stepped in to help me. That made me so sure that I wanted to help them in return, so I asked for a job.
They say dogs with jobs are the happiest and that is definitely true for me. I love that I get to spend my days surrounded by colleagues I love and who love me back. I love the camera, and I know how to pose in a way that makes my colleagues laugh. But most of all, I love seeing the difference we’re making in peoples lives each and every day. For me, every day is Take Your Dog to Work Day, and I couldn’t be happier about it.
Here at World Food Program USA, we are still primarily working from home – so most days have been Take Your Dog to Work Day! Since March 2020, each of our pups has earned the humanitarian title for providing some much-needed humor and nose boops during this unprecedented global moment. Say hello to some of our four-legged colleagues: