Why Can't We Let Dogs Into Stores?

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Dog owners using "Therapy Dog" tags to get them into stores: http://www.nypost.com/p/news/local/stupid_dog_trick_1nMC3NBq6sPfyzlpXdiDkN

It's interesting to read the story and the comments people make about dogs. I kind of get both sides to this. There's two basic camps:

Camp One: Dogs shouldn't be allowed into stores at all.

    Dogs are filthy animals and shouldn't be allowed into public places.

  • People are allergic to dogs, and do not want to have an allergic reaction.

  • Some dogs are dangerous, and there are dog owners who can't control their dogs.

  • Some dogs aren't housebroken. They may pee or poop in a store.
  • These are all valid points, but also points which are relaxed if we talk about service dogs. For example, if a blind person were to try to walk into their local CVS with a guide dog would someone cry in horror, "That dog shouldn't be allowed in here!"

    No, they would understand that the dog has been trained, and that the owner is in need of having a dog to guide them.

    Now keeping guide dogs in context - what if there was a way to register your dog as the equivalent of a guide dog but they aren't a service dog.

    For example, you own a dog like my Rocco. He would do exactly what a guide dog would do in a public place. He's housebroken. He won't jump on people (unless they engage him first). There's a few Dog Friendly businesses in Hoboken in which I can bring him into the store, like Luxxe Cafe (Formerly "Dames Coffee").

    We live in a city. I used to be in the camp that it was unfair to dogs to be locked up all day in their apartments without the ability to get daily exercise. I still believe that for larger dogs, but once I got a smaller dog like Rocco, he was happy walking about 10 blocks and calling it a day. I would combine his walks with some basic shopping like getting a sandwich or going to CVS. It just saved time, rather than walking Rocco up to Washington Street and back, putting him into my condo, and then walking up to Washington Street again to get something to eat or buy something at the store. Often I am trying to kill two birds with one stone and end up tying up Rocco outside the store, while I keep an eye on him through the glass windows or pay a "Regular" homeless to watch him.

    What's a "regular" homeless? Its a homeless person who I see so often that I know their name, like "Tree" (that's his nickname and what he introduced himself with) who stands outside the CVS. He's about 6'4, with dark hair and a goatee. Very nice guy, and I usually walk up to him say, "Hey Tree - watch Rocco for me and I will give you a $1 when I get out." I'm sure some dog owners would gasp in abject horror at such a notion, because surely the homeless have no moral sense and would immediately steal your dog. Well, if you live in the big city long enough you will realize that the homeless are good people just down on their luck or have addiction issues and the last thing they are going to do is steal a dog. Also to those that would say, "You really shouldn't give homeless money...it will just feed their addiction.", my answer would be "You do what YOU want. I will do what I want." I often offer homeless something to eat or drink when they are standing outside Dunkin Donuts.

    But - back to the question at hand. How do you create a way to let the "good" dogs into stores? I was thinking there could be a program in which your dog is trained and would get some kind of certification that they are well trained, housebroken and won't jump up on people if allowed into public places.

    Imagine if you could get your dog Certifed, which is to say they had dog training from an dog trainer like Joana Watsky Sit & Stay who after "X" weeks of training if you pass the tests you can get some kind of patch & card proving that your dog is Certified to go into public places.

    Of course I can see how this could be abused, just like the people from the article who would skip getting their dog actually trained and just pay someone off for a card.

    It's basically just easier to say "NO" to everything. Much like the government would rather raise our taxes than find tax breaks.

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This page contains a single entry by Furey published on August 5, 2013 11:10 AM.

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