originally posted May 20, 2010
I love getting up on a beautiful Saturday morning during spring and heading out with the dogs to grab a coffee at Starbucks. We sit outside, reading the paper and people watching. I’m enjoying my Soy Latte with about 12 Splendas while Ric sips his Triple Shot Extra Hot Fat Free Caramel Macadamia Nut Cinnamon Dolce Latte with Light Whip and Sprinkles. Petey and Tina Belle munch on a whole grain bagel and, on a really good day, a dead Grasshopper or two. Birds are chirping, mice are singing, and a cartoon princess dances thru a bed of daffodils. It’s bliss.
But then one day something changes. A notice is taped on the door of the Starbucks stating that it is illegal by notice of the Health Department for pets of any kind to be allowed indoors OR outdoors on the sidewalk in the open air. In essence, we have been branded criminals by Health Department standards. We hang our heads in shame as the family of 4 sitting at our usual table turn to each other with smug grins on their faces, their children screaming incoherently at the top of their lungs, spitting food on the table, scattering crumbs and napkins all over the ground around them.
I’ve noticed more and more of this type of discrimination lately. Three Dollar Cafe, El Azteca, Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse . . . dog haters all of them. The mall, the local pool, even our church . . . all intolerant of our furry friends.
So what’s behind this movement? To pet owners our dogs our children and if i’m not mistaken, children are welcome at all the venues previously mentioned. Are we seeing the beginning of a “District 9” where non-human life forms will be confined to restricted areas? Living in slum-like conditions? Reduced to begging for food and treats?!? While human children indulge in indoor public activities and fine cuisine?
I think not. And I’m on a mission to expand the consciousness of the public, demonstrating why my dogs are cleaner, more polite and better behaved than your children, thereby tearing down the Berlin Wall of fear and resentment toward them, allowing them entry to any public space that welcomes “children”.
10 Reasons My Dogs should get Your Kid’s Seat in Restaurants & Public Venues:
- My dogs are really cute. My dogs are SO cute, in fact, that I have become like the ugly girl at a nightclub with her pretty friend. I walk them daily and, on average, we’re stopped 3 times a week by tourists who ask me to step aside so they can take pictures of them and with them. Apparently I’ll be buying my own drinks. Consider the last time a stranger stopped you on the street and asked to take a photo of your human child. Oh, that’s right! It hasn’t happened!
- My dogs are very tidy. When in public you’ll often see them cleaning up around themselves, eating any dropped crumbs, bugs, or general trash items. Tina Belle will even go so far as to eat her own pooh rather than leave it on a sidewalk to make a mess. When can you remember your kid taking one for the team like that in order to preserve our environment.
- My dogs are super friendly to everyone. No one can walk past my dogs without being welcomed eagerly with barking and jumping. Why, Tina Belle will chase you down and wrestle you to the ground in order to greet you, and Petey has been known to be so overcome with joy and excitement that he has accidentally bitten off a finger or two from an unsuspecting passerby. But legally I’m not allowed to talk about that.
- My dogs are by nature very reserved and always under control. We use a safety device consisting of a body harness with a lead attached to ensure that they are safely by our sides at all times. You will never see Petey or Tina Belle running wildly thru a restaurant while other adults try to have a relaxing dinner. Nor will you see them sticking their arms into the pitcher of tea meant to be used by the waitress to refill customers’ drinking glasses. They don’t scream and cry incessantly, throw silverware, refuse to eat, stick straws up their noses or kick the back seat of the booth.
- My dogs are well dressed. I think that statement is self explanatory.
- My dogs are connoisseurs of fine cuisine. They leapt from the womb eating steak and chicken, pizza and Cheerios from the table. No high chairs, bibs, pureed pees, smashed bananas, or orange glob that tries to fool the little genius by sticking a “Vegetable Turkey Dinner” label on the jar. Even a 3-month old human is smarter than that. Why do you think they spit it back at you or projectile vomit at the most inappropriate moments?
- My dogs feed themselves. Sure, I’m guilty of cutting up their food so they can easily chew and digest, but otherwise they’ve been capable of feeding themselves as soon as we brought the little bundles of joy home. They don’t require human breasts, formula, bottles, heated milk or miniature spoons and dishes. Frankly you could throw their food on the kitchen floor and in .005 seconds you’d never know it was there. Refer to #2 above.
- My dogs can clean and groom themselves. While I do offer spa bath services with deep conditioning treatments, furmination, and deep tissue massage on a bi-weekly basis, for the most part my dogs are skilled in cleaning themselves, even going so far as to wash each other should they notice a spot the other has missed.
- My dogs go potty on their own. My dogs know how to do #1 and bad potty without my help. I don’t have to wipe dirty butts and apply Gold Bond ointment and I certainly don’t have to carry them to a toilet and ply them with Warheads and Fruit Rollups to convince them to drop a load. And cleaning up potty accidents in my house is as simple as picking up a bullet-sized pooh or quarter-sized tinkle with a piece of toilet tissue and flushing it. Since I maintain that my views are completely objective, I will admit to dressing Petey in jeans and panty liners to avoid testosterone surges that result in unwanted marking of chairs, table legs, or Tina Belle. However, we do ensure that he always looks stylish. Refer to #5 above.
- My dogs can babysit themselves. It’s quite an efficient system really. They have a personal suite of their own within our home, filled with fluffy blue and pink blankets, decorative pillows they’ve stolen from the sofa and claimed as their own, and a big stuffed white rat. It’s a veritable luxury resort where they’re often joined by friends including Fox, Horsey, Olive and Elephant. When it’s time for the adults to head out to dinner or a movie, we provide room service consisting of a selection of tasty treats to be enjoyed in their personal suite where they will then curl up and snooze until we return. Simple, civilized, inexpensive and hassle-free.
By now you’re starting to understand that my dogs, and yours alike, are sophisticated, refined creatures whose natural habits are inherently far more evolved than the human kid’s. You’re realizing the absurdity of excluding them from restaurants while welcoming human children to wreak havoc, leaving a trail of broken dishes and spilled milk in their wake. More importantly, you’re seeing the hidden truth behind this law. This law could mean the end to Saturday evening dinners at McDonald’s and Chuckey Cheese and the beginning of romantic dining with adult conversation . . . the renewal of marriages . . .the healing of friendships lost along the way. . . the beginning of world peace!!!
That world peace thing may have crossed a line but it seems to work for the bubble-headed pageant queens so I thought I’d give it a try. The bottom line is that this is a triumph for dog, man and womankind. We need only join forces to stop the oppression and recognize the legitimate rights of our canine friends.
Make our president a hero!