Apparently we are a nation of animal lovers, cherishing all creatures great and small. Our compassion for animals holds no bounds, putting aside for a minute Fox hunting, Badger baiting and the XFactor, where we like to look the other way of course. But there is one area of the British obsession with animals that stands out more than any other and that is our utter mania for dogs. Dogs have taken and continue to take over our lives in many ways. Those amongst us who dare to suggest that they harbour anything other than total dog love are certainly taking a risk.
Ok, I can already sense the growing hostility of some of our readers at the mere mention of any dissent to the belief that “everyone loves dogs”. I don’t hate dogs, they are splendid creatures who have a role to play in making some of us happy. But here is the thing, who amongst us thinks that maybe the number of little Rovers and Spots might just be getting a little on the high side. It’s not uncommon for dog lovers to have more than one dog these days as is their right.
But let us cut to the chase. As this is a site dedicated to all things to do with the licensed trade I thought it might be interesting to raise the question of dogs in pubs, dogs in hotels and dogs in restaurants. We have come across what seems to be a growing trend in all these above businesses to allow dogs to have free rein or should that be lead, to enter anywhere. It seems these places have made a conscious decision to promote dog access in order to improve their trade. “Dog friendly” seems to be a new marketing tool. Why we ask? We think the answer is simple. The dog fraternity have a lot of clout as well as money. Dog owners it seems want to take their dogs everywhere they go and rather like smokers when they were excluded from pubs, they resent it if Flopsy is not allowed in.
On two occasions recently we have witnessed dogs in restaurants actually being sat on chairs at the table being fed by their owners. The owners obviously thinking this was very charming were totally unconcerned about any hygiene issues that their dog was creating and to be fair both manager and staff paid no attention to this situation. Dogs in hotel rooms good or bad? Provided the hotel informs any prospective guests that dogs are allowed in rooms, with the subsequent hygiene issues that it creates, then people can make an informed decision as to whether or not they stay at that hotel.
As to dogs in pubs, well the tradition was for many years that this is where you went to exercise the dog. “Bye Luv, just taking the dog for a walk.” But even here our experience tells us that at times traditional pubs can be overrun with dogs.
So are people who would rather see dogs excluded from places of refreshment and accommodation in the minority? Is it a cynical marketing tool to allow every dog entry to all areas of our lives, just to make more money to the detriment of other patrons?
We understand and respect that “seeing eye” dogs and other specially trained dogs are not part of this debate.
What are your opinions on this issue?