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an ad for General Services showing a scottie dog straining at its leash
 

 

We also walk dogs. A catchphrase in the world of technical and computer support used to indicate a willingness to take on any job, no matter how large, small, prestigious, or menial;reference 1 or, the ability to take care of every facet of business support, from A to Z.

The phrase comes from a 1941 short story by speculative fiction writer Robert A. Heinlein. (It was originally published under one of his nom do plumes, Anson MacDonald.) In the story, the fictional General Services takes on large- and medium-sized jobs: the event planning for an interplanetary gathering and logistical management for a socialite whose son ends up in the hospital on the day of a party she is hosting. However, president Jay Clare describes his company this way:

He waved a hand at the far wall, on which there was cut in intaglio the time-honored trademark of the business—a Scottie dog, pulling against a leash and sniffing a post. “There is the spirit of the sort of work we do. We walk dogs for people who are too busy to walk 'em themselves.”reference 2

1. Przybyla, Leon H. 2001. English Metaphors. Leon's EFL Planet. Accessed Oct 24 2001 from http:// efl.htmlplanet.com/ metaphors.htm.

 

 

2. Heinlein, Robert A. 1975. “--We Also Walk Dogs”. In The Past through Tomorrow: 'Future History' Stories. New York: Berkeley Medallion Books. 327.

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About the illustration: Figure 1 is the author's conception of the General Services corporate identity.
see also: walk the dog Last updated: March 31, 2008
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