Beyond the Build

Team Building



Two weeks ago, we lost an important part of our staff when Pal, our company dog and my personal pet, died. He was 14-years-old.

I struggled and I struggled about what to do. He could not get up any longer and walking was extremely painful. He could only stand on carpet. I worried about what to do for a long time, when my M.D. son finally called me from his hospital and said it was time. Together with my oldest girl child, we took him to the vet
to say goodbye.

Pal had two lives. In his early years, he spent most of his time at home with me, helping me through a dark period and sleeping near my bed. When we moved to our new offices 6 years ago, he started coming to work each day with me, and quickly became “the dog.” Pal was our goodwill ambassador with our visitors. Whether he was outside chasing birds or sleeping in the “quiet wing” (our accounting area) he always evoked a smile and good thoughts with our visitors. We even gave Pal his own picture on our website among our team members.

Our business can be pretty vanilla at times, and Pal helped us be a little different, earning his own special place on the team.

In the days without Pal, I have been low at times until I saw this on a sign: “Heaven is the place where all the dogs you have ever loved come to greet you.”  Thanks, Pal.

Merrill Stewart Jr.

Merrill Stewart is Founder and CEO of The Stewart/Perry Company, a commercial building contractor based in Birmingham.