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Pets at Work: Mr Scruff at Duke Studios

 

As a newcomer to Leeds, I’d heard through the grapevine that Duke Studios is one of the top spots for creatives, and the best place to connect with other likeminded people. With our move drawing closer, I did some research into the space, discovering their newest member of the team and fluffy faced mascot, Mr Scruff. I visited the studios to find out more about this enticing space and to see how he’d settled in. His main duties include chasing bouncy balls and chewing the occasional Mac lead ...

The space provides private studios for those from all creative walks of life. There's access to co-working space, vinyl and laser cutting facilities and it can be hired out for meetings and private events. Mr. Scruff the Tibetan Terrier gave me a guided tour as he was casually tucked under the arm of James, one of the owners. The final stop on the tour, Duke Studios’ head office, where Mr Scruff spends most of his time as 'Creative Assistant'. I met the rest of the team, who told me what it's like to have a puppy in the office. When he's not snugged up asleep in his daybed, he's tempting his coworkers into play breaks and tends to sit and stare at his colleagues until they give into his scruffy pup charm.

While in head office I met with Laura, co-founder of Duke Studios and she tells me about the day they chose their new puppy. Other than taking inspiration from the DJ, the name Mr Scruff came from the fact that his coat was wilder and crazier than his siblings, standing out among the rest. 

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Laura entertains Mr Scruff with his Moomin toy and later he’s treated to some organic peanut butter. He’s one pretty cool pup. My time there is 40% shooting time, 60% playing. Photographing him is like getting attacked by a fluffy piranha. I foolishly have my camera strap dangling down, which he bites onto for a tug of war. As I prise him away, he harmlessly digs his little teeth into my wrists in the cutest way. Once I’ve peeled him off one thing, he’s snapping straight onto the next irresistible object. He starts on my shoelaces and I can’t help but laugh and pat his little scruffy head. He’s just a little fluffball of energy and it reminds me that photographing puppies, as chaotic as it can be, is my favourite.

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We have a prolonged goodbye, the Mr Scruff MDF barrier goes back up and I’m straight downstairs into the Sheaf St Cafeteria to start my edits. I remember thinking that when I’m next here at Duke Studios, we might actually be living in Leeds ... and now we're here. How lovely.

For a first look at Pets at Work, follow the Pet Stories Instagram feed and stay tuned for more posts on the new working pet.