Karen B. London
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Dogs Not Welcome Everywhere
This affects guardians to varying degrees
Pets welcome at bookstore, but not in its café

Dogs are welcome, at least under certain circumstances, in more places with each passing year. A number of parks, schools, hotels and hospitals now allow dogs, and a wide variety of businesses let both employees and customers bring their dogs with them. There are still a lot of places that are off limits to our four-legged family members, and this continues to affect most people with dogs.

I was recently at a local bookstore that allows dogs, but the café inside the store is for people only. There is a very nice sign saying that health codes prohibit them from welcoming dogs to the café, though they are welcome in the rest of the store. The staff works very hard to accommodate people who have brought their dog to the bookstore and would like a cup of coffee by bringing their orders out of the café and into the main part of the bookstore. I’m sure many dog guardians skip the café because they can’t sit down and enjoy a drink if accompanied by a dog. However, many people do request “delivery” to the main part of the store, and seem appreciative of the option.

Years ago I worked with a woman who would hardly go anywhere without her dog. She brought him to work, which was allowed as we worked at a facility that provided dog training, dog grooming and dog day care. This woman never went to the movies because her dog was not allowed to go with her, and never ate in restaurants for the same reason. She made some concessions to practicality such as going to the grocery store or on other errands alone, but she generally only went where her dog was allowed to come, too.

She made decisions that many could consider extreme, but they certainly worked for her and for her dog. Her social life was affected by her unwillingness to go places without her dog, but she has always been very happy with her choices and has a good life.

Are there any places you don’t go because of restrictions that prevent your dog from coming, too?


Karen B. London, PhD, is a Bark columnist and a Certified Applied Animal Behaviorist specializing in the evaluation and treatment of serious behavior problems in the domestic dog.

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Submitted by Frances | May 18 2013 |

Things are, I think, rather easier in the UK, where many pubs and cafes welcome well behaved dogs (the very nice cafe in a local park even offers free poo bags and dog treats - they have recognised that dog walkers represent a key, year round, market for coffee, cake and bacon butties!). My dogs get bored with shopping anyway - they'd rather have a long walk then laze at home. But I have decided that as I don't really enjoy holidaying without my dogs pet-friendly accommodation is now essential - and that means dogs allowed in all rooms and on furniture, and that dogs can be left alone there if necessary. I've passed on a holiday in France with my sisters because it was just too long to be apart from the animals!

Submitted by Penny | May 18 2013 |

Even if I'm not traveling with my dog, I won't stay in any lodging that does not welcome dogs. Why should I give my dollars to people who don't support my family? This is an easy way to support dog friendly places.

Submitted by Lisa Brown | May 18 2013 |

I too wish my dogs where allowed to go where my husband and I go. They are well behaved and friendly. Pet owners are pressed to socialize their dogs but our choices are severely limited. Here, in Texas, the summers are so very hot we can't really take our dogs to a majority of the places we shop so they stay home.

Submitted by Ruth | May 19 2013 |

(Sorry, but don’t Facebook…)
My precious husband passed away early March of this year. My little doggy seems like all I have left...no family, and most friends live a bit far...and I definitely DO take her everywhere...except church...;-) I could see "the end" coming, and got her SERVICE DOG training and credentials, which allows me to bring her -- sometimes only in her little carry-bag, which I put over my shoulder and carry all 7# of her -- but I bring her almost everywhere.

It soothes me and I don't like to leave her home alone for long periods of time...say, over 3-4 hours. She's 7-ish and very calm.

It's important to be sensitive to others who may be allergic to dogs or afraid of dogs...but I try to cover all bases and am much happier to have her with me as often as possible....

Submitted by Anonymous | May 26 2013 |

I own a small art gallery in Columbus,OH. My Eurasian, Maggie and her two Westie companions, Makie & Jasmine, welcome visitors and their dogs to enjoy the art and camaraderie. Our gallery is popular with visitors because we welcome the "entire" family. The pack knows when its time to go to work, they get excited and herd me out of the house.

Submitted by Claudia Kawczynska | May 27 2013 |

Sounds lovely, could you send us the name of your gallery? I'm sure that our readers would appreciate knowing about it. You should also considering entering our Best Places to Work contest, see the entry form here. Thanks.

Submitted by Laura L | June 9 2013 |

Hello and thanks for a great article. I take my dog EVERYWHERE with me- shops, restaurants, markets...everywhere except the medical clinic when I go for my check-ups. How? I moved to France with him 10 years ago and have never regretted it. We live in Paris and he, as a handsome yorkshire terrier, fits right in! There are lots of yorkie terriers here, but none as handsome as he is. He's extremely well behaved and highly intelligent ...all on his own as I never "trained" him in any way beyond normal potty training. He never barks, he does express his thoughts and needs with sneezes and sniffs and snorts when he's frustrated with trying to make me understand something. When I moved him from the USA he was very ill- so ill that the vets over there told me he had less than a month to live- kidney failure, skin infections and other issues. He was already 10 years old. Yes....you've got the math right....by changing his diet, keeping him with me at all times, walking him constantly all over the streets of Paris (as well as myself), he lost weight, I lost weight and I think the excitement, interest and exposure to so many other dogs and life...he found a new reason to live. The French vets were fabulous and solved the problems of his life long skin problems (allergy to bread!) Today he's going to be 20 years old in a month. He has gone blind from cataracts...the French doctors said he's too old to have the genl anesthesia necessary to operate but he still can hear great- and enjoys a 10 hour playlist of classical music (his preference) of Debussy, Mozart, Bach among others that I play from an ipod in his room. We can't sleep in the same room since he snores like a 300 lb weight lifter. He has to take pills to help with his kidneys and brain (he survived a stroke three months ago)..they are weaker than they should be...but more tweaking of his diet and he's still taking long walks at the park...slowly, yes, very slowly some days...he has some arthritis in his right hip...but he's not in visible pain and seems as jolly as can be. He loves taking his pills...I dip them in dolce de leche first! I love him to pieces and pray that he stays with me for a good while yet. He even says "Thank you" with sign language when I give him an extra special treat....he bows his nose to the floor and slowly passes his left paw (yeah...he's a lefty) over his head and down his snout. That's "Thank you". I couldn't love him more than I do. Beau beau (beautiful beautiful) is his name.

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