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Dogs As Stimulus?
A relief package with four paws and a tail.
These models make shopping with a dog look elegant.

Only weeks after we blogged about some Oregonians’ efforts to rollback what they consider a too-dog-friendly attitude in stores, a Southern California community is heading in the opposite direction. Merchants in Escondido, Calif., want to welcome dogs into downtown shops (and a park where dogs are currently banned) in the hopes it will spur traffic and sales in a down market.

Will it work? While a day shopping with my dogs isn’t my idea of a good time, I would like to be able to combine dog-walking with errands. What stops me now? Leaving my dogs tethered on the sidewalk. Plus, I’m guessing there might be a loyalty bonus. I know I feel a certain allegiance to shops and shopkeepers who demonstrate a little dog love. The coffee joint on my regular morning loop, Café Javasti (plug intended), has fresh water in a bowl, treats behind the counter and one barista who, when business is slow, delivers snacks to my waiting hounds herself. The espresso is good, which is important, but dog-love is an equal draw for me, even when it’s being showered on someone else’s buddies.

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Lisa Wogan lives in Seattle and is the author of, most recently, Dog Park Wisdom.

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