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.