Ok, so this isn’t me (Bosworth, Norfolk terrier) in the picture. It’s another dog who was my predecessor: Calan, a Scottish terrier. I know my humans must have loved him as much as they love me as there’s a couple of photos knocking around and they sometimes speak of him. But that’s not the point as this is about dog friendly places and it looks as if this place – the Hartland Quay Hotel in Devon – was not especially dog friendly.
From the photo, it appears that quite a lot of dogs have expressed their feelings about the sign as it’s gone very rusty round about the place where dogs, such as myself, would cock our legs and pee. Only to mark it, mind, as that’s what we do.
Seriously though, dog-friendliness has got a lot better over the past few years (I overheard my humans talking about this), so now when we all go out, I can mostly go into the places that they do. Some shops welcome dogs and have a funny sign saying things like “Dogs welcome, well behaved humans tolerated”.
Some shops have a simple sign on the door which says it straight: “Dogs Welcome” and that’s what we like to see. Same applies with cafes and restaurants – a sign in the window, a blackboard outside welcoming us pooches is good to see. At the weekend I went, with my humans and their friends who’d come to visit, to a local brasserie-style restaurant. They’ve started to welcome dogs and let this be known on a blackboard outside the door.
It was especially nice because the waiter brought me a bowl of water, placed on a serviette, on the floor. Once I’d had the few treats my humans had brought for me, I settled down under the table while they ate and talked, and then had some of that beautifully served water when I was thirsty. I behaved perfectly too, just like I’ve been encouraged to when we’re out.
One or two very good dog friendly cafes I’ve been to either have home made dog treats for sale along with the cake things the humans eat, or they bring treats to the table, for free. Free treats! Doggy heaven – well, possibly owner heaven too if they’re free. There’s a great cafe in Conwy where this happens.
Some pubs and cafes and restaurants are still not welcoming dogs, so we don’t go to those. These can be a bit annoying. We found a place in Combe Martin in Devon which didn’t have a “No Dogs” sign anywhere in sight, but when we went to go inside, they told us no, we couldn’t.
Aren’t some people funny? My humans were shouted at for taking me into a local charity shop when they were donating goods. There was a washed out “Assistant dogs only” sign on the door which they couldn’t see because the door was wide open, supposedly inviting people in. But when we stayed in York, and they went looking around the shops, several shop owners smiled and invited us all in, saying they liked dogs.
A couple of useful websites with info on dog-friendly places, covering UK locations: