When they hear Pippa’s bells, staffers scurry out of their offices and into the hallway like kids hearing the song of an ice cream truck.
Pippa Heyrich is a tiny corgi puppy who’s been brightening spirits in the Senate in recent weeks, despite the government shutdown and the challenges of a divided legislature. The bells on her collar alert everyone that there’s a cute distraction coming their way.
Samantha Heyrich, a legislative correspondent for Pennsylvania Republican Sen. Patrick J. Toomey, is settling into life as the proud owner of the popular Senate pup. She learned that Capitol Hill was a dog-friendly workplace back in her intern days and is happy to finally join the canine culture.
While she has solicited tips and advice from others in the Senate who bring their pets to work, Heyrich now has advice of her own for staffers considering office dog ownership.
“Exercise your dog before you come to work,” said Heyrich.
Watch: Meet Pippa the Corgi, the Senate’s newest Instagram star
Mornings start early, both because Pippa is an early riser and because it’s key to burn off some energy with a walk and some play before a long day waiting on the world’s greatest deliberative body.
If Pippa arrives to the office a bit tired, she’ll likely nap, which is perfect for everyone getting their work done.
“She goes through the metal detector, she knows, she just walks right through and says hello to the Capitol Police officers,” Heyrich said.
Treats and toys are a must for a successful day in the Senate. And bones give Pippa something to chew on while the work day continues.
Other Toomey staffers have been more than happy to pitch in and take a Pippa break so the corgi can go outside, according to Heyrich.
The courtyard of the Russell Senate Office Building is a lifesaver, where Pippa can play and relieve herself alongside other Senate pups, including at least four other corgis.
“We are potty training,” Heyrich said. But she acknowledged that accidents do happen for the 4-month-old puppy, including right in the halls of Russell, as happened Wednesday.
Power doesn’t scare Pippa, who has a growing list of senators she’s met and wooed on camera. The pup’s Capitol Hill adventures have their own Instagram account, @pippaoncapitolhill, which is run by Heyrich.