Muffy, Fluffy, Tinkerbell, and Audrey

A cat.

You mean, you wouldn't want to take her everywhere? Source: BarrieJH hide caption

toggle caption Source: BarrieJH

It's true, Sarah and I will take any opportunity to promote our kitties on the blog. We are shameless kitty promoters — of Winston and Audrey, particularly. Sarah, in fact, walks Win on a leash, which I only wish I could make Audrey do. Unfortunately, Audrey is a) terrified of anything outside of my apartment (and a few things in it), and b) incredibly fuzzy, and I would be nervous that someone's throat would close up at the sight of her. And that, my friends, is the subject of Ask Amy today. Brit and Paris have started a few very-rude trends (remember when Britney simply could not remember her drawers?*), but the most pervasive isn't the underpants, and, er... jail, it's the Tiny Dog in Bag phenomenon (TDB). Bringing Muffy** and Tinkerbell to the store is now ubiquitous, and people are getting pretty steamed about it. What do you think? Should Fluffy be in Saks? Or the frozen food aisle? Is it rude, or just irritating?

*Nothing SFW I can link to. Or SFMM (my Mother), which is an even higher bar. Thanks, Mom!

**Muffy, to my knowledge, is not one of Britney's dogs names.




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Bringing pets into a grocery store or restaurant is unsanitary and should not be allowed. I really don't see why there is any question in this aspect of the discussion.

I can, however, see how there may be more controversy when it comes to brining pets into another interior, but relatively public, environment. As an allergy sufferer, I don't think that pets should be allowed into interior spaces. Perhaps I would yield if there was adequate signage. But, in reality, one's health is far more important than one's desire to bring Fido into a store. Clearly this does not apply to working dogs like seeing eye dogs.

Finally, if I were a business owner, I would not want to risk "accidents" on my property.

Sent by Amanda | 2:14 PM | 9-27-2007

I have two 100+ pound German Shepherds that are better trained and more well behaved than most children I see having temper tantrums in the stores. I trained Guide Dogs for the Blind, and as part of the training process the dogs are taken into stores to get used to the ???real??? world. Most people were OK at the best with us in the stores, so I doubt that other non-working non-pocket sized dogs would be welcomed. People who carry their dogs everywhere don???t realize that they are causing more harm than good, They are DOGS, they like and need to RUN and WALK places, not be carried or pushed in doggy strollers! (BTW here are my "babies"

Sent by Stephanie | 2:17 PM | 9-27-2007


Sent by David Gura | 2:35 PM | 9-27-2007

Let's not forget not everyone likes animals and animals can bite too!!! Who is going to want that responsbility? Service dogs are one thing but forget the rest.

FYI we got bit in October 06 when the leash was in the owners hand in front of his house.

Sent by jm fay | 2:39 PM | 9-27-2007

I think this issue goes beyond animals behaving in an annoying manner. I work at an inner city non-profit and I encounter many people who are deathly afraid of dogs of any size and shape. Shouldn't these people who have not had the positive encounters with dogs be able to shop in peace?

Sent by Weston | 2:42 PM | 9-27-2007

Stephanie is absolutely correct. Responsible parenting and pet ownership are both very important to this issue.

Oh, and, "Wheelies" shoes should be banned as well!

Sent by Amanda | 2:43 PM | 9-27-2007

In my state, the issue is a legal one. Any store selling food- and yes this includes bookstores that have cafes- it is against state health regulations to allow animals inside. Of course seeing-eye dogs don't count, but many well-to-do dog owners seem to think that "Tinkerbell" is above state laws.

Sent by Stacy | 2:48 PM | 9-27-2007

i think that only certified service dogs should be allowed in public. this isn't a reaction against the dogs, but against the owners, most of whom have no idea how to get their pets to behave in public.

Sent by giligadi | 2:48 PM | 9-27-2007

I think there is a sad stigma attached to pets and their cleanliness. I take my dog everywhere I can, and she loves it. She brings customers into my business every day. lets start treating our pets better!

Sent by Jerry L | 2:51 PM | 9-27-2007

I'm not a pet owner.

Compared to a child digging through her nose, and who knows what else, and then touching everything in reach, a dog is a vision of cleanliness. There's no more rational right to let somebody's snot-gobbling disease vector touch everything in the grocery store than there is to let somebody's doberman sniff the boxes on the shelves.

Sent by John | 2:52 PM | 9-27-2007

To me, animals are like children; the only difference being they dont talk back! If an animal is behaving badly, I blame the owner with not training them properly. I have a pomeranian, and he loves going outside. I dont take him to grocery stores often because I dont feel welcomed. I would otherwise. He is my companion and I doubt someone from PETA would enjoy seeing me lock my pet in the car while the sun heats the inside like an oven. And the mentioning of "dog strollers..." Im sure there are worse accessories that have been manufactured. Like someone exlained, it was because a complex didnt allow the pets to walk on the ground, so they offered this tool to aid in keeping the ground clean while transporting the animal. In some states, some owners are allowed to bring in their pony (not an exaggeration). I'm really annoyed by uncontrolled children who throw themselves on the floor, sometimes screaming at their parents. Until I can see some of them thrown out, people who are bothered by pets (usually those that dont own pets) should just pick another line to check out in. And others who are "afraid" and feel uncomfortable because they had a "bad expereince" before; so if you have a bad experience with a human being like being robbed by someone of another race, are you going to be weary of that racial group? Its something people just have to get over. All dogs, all people, are different.

Sent by Catherine Be | 2:54 PM | 9-27-2007

An adult guest brought a teacup breed dog to the birthday party of a 1 year girl on Saturday. I thought this was terrible. The dog needed a peepee pad and other special accomadations and created a distraction from the limelight for the 1 year old little girls special day.

Sent by Janet Pfeifer | 2:55 PM | 9-27-2007

I think it more thanjust about allergies. My daughter used to be very afraid of dogs after being attacked by a dog. I Am very glad I didn't have to deal with dogs in public places when she was little, other than service dogs who are well trained. I would have had to deal with a five year old climbing up my body with no warning if she had seen a dog in a grocery store, department store, etc.

Sent by Barbara | 2:55 PM | 9-27-2007

i am an unhappy dog - i hate being carted around treated like a toy, a fashion accessory, a human family member. I miss being allowed to act like a dog - hunting, playing with other dogs, eating what I dig up, licking myself, peeing where i want. stop treating me like i am a human

Sent by fido | 2:55 PM | 9-27-2007

If it "barks, cries or screams Mommy", I want, please leave it at home.

Sent by Michelle | 2:58 PM | 9-27-2007

Until my child greets someone else by sniffing them in an unsanitary place I will consider them much more sanitary then any animal.

Sent by J. Mason | 2:59 PM | 9-27-2007

I find it amazing that people can call in and compare their animals to children. Because they are not the same and if you had a child you would understand that.

Sent by Scott | 2:59 PM | 9-27-2007

My issue is that people with these mini dogs think it is okay to bring their dogs everywhere, but it is not okay to bring a regular sized dog? If one size dog is allowed, all dogs should be allowed.

Sent by Karen | 2:59 PM | 9-27-2007

I am a dog owner. I believe what hurts dogs being allowed in public most is irresponsible and thoughtless owners who don't pickup after their pets. It is unsanitary and disgusting.

Sent by pw | 2:59 PM | 9-27-2007

I wonder why there is agression towards parents with children in food markets? The callers obviously do not have kids and have an odd since of values. Besides, I have never been growled at by a kid in a shopping cart.

Sent by Frank | 3:00 PM | 9-27-2007

Why are people so angry? Do not say rule of thumb!

Sent by David | 3:00 PM | 9-27-2007

there's nothing wrong with carting in your animal to a shop to buy something but not where there's food around. I hate when people bring their giant dogs to art festivals, etc. I also hate strollers at those festivals as the aisles are too small most of the time. We carry our Lhasa Apso in a pack to take in shops w/o food for sale. There's nothing wrong with that. She's blind and I've considered buying a stroller so we can take her around more. But only because she's blind. She used to love to walk and run everywhere.

Sent by Debbie Rodriques | 3:01 PM | 9-27-2007

My husband and I have a very well behaved jack russell named Lucky. She has a fenced in yard to run around in. Why would I bring her to the grocery or to a restaurant? She won't enjoy it. We take her to the park where she can run to her hearts content and we don't annoy other people around.

Sent by Mylene | 3:01 PM | 9-27-2007

I think the "unsanitary" card is pulled far too often. If it were so unsanitary for humans to eat or shop in the company of dogs, most of us dog owners would be would never have a sick free day in our lives.......

Sent by garret | 3:01 PM | 9-27-2007

Forget health concerns or behavior. Some of us just don't care for dogs. It is obnoxious for those who are 'dog lovers' to think we all should not only tolerate, but appreciate and love their pals. The simple fact is they can't understand why 'anyone' wouldn't just love their pet, so they can't see how obnoxious it is to force them on everyone.

Sent by Pete | 3:02 PM | 9-27-2007

come in. After all, he behaves better than most kids."

Sent by Doug Welshinger | 3:02 PM | 9-27-2007

I am about sick to death of the comparison of children and pets. I understand that people love their pets, but if a person cannot understand how a human being is different from a dog or cat or whatever other pet, then there is a problem. Moreover, can every person who exclaims that their pet is "better behaved" than a hypothethical child say that their dog is better behaved then they themselves were? Didn't the world have to tolerate the pet owner as a child? Do people honestly not understand that children have a lot more to learn than dogs do? Children have a whole lot more going on than learning to sit for a treat. Love your dog, believe your dog is a person, but do it at home. A dog is never going to be a human, no matter how much one would wish it to be so.

Sent by aj | 3:04 PM | 9-27-2007

I don't understand comparing the a pet to a baby. Yes, they are both understandably cute and cuddly. I see plenty of adults nose picking, butt-scratching and breaking things in stores so "cleanliness" is not an issue.

Leave your pets at home or in the car. Parents can't leave our kids at home alone or in the car. No comparison.

Sent by Nikki | 3:05 PM | 9-27-2007

Where does the "pet" definition end though? The other day, I was walking in Cambridge MA, and was completely nauseated by someone who was petting a large rat (not on any type of restraint). I certainly would'nt want to see a rat (even if it was a pet) in a grocery store. And if I was paying big bucks for a fancy meal - that would certainly make me puke right there on the table....

Sent by Justin | 3:06 PM | 9-27-2007

Stacy, worse than thinking their dogs are above state laws, they think they are people!

Sent by aj | 3:07 PM | 9-27-2007

I own a 6 pound chihuahua, that I happened to rescue from the street as opposed to a breeder, which is typical. I never thought of myself as a small dog lover until this little angel fell into my lap. The one and only desire of a chihuahua is to be with it's owner. I soon realized this as everytime I would leave, Alberto (my chihuahua) would cry. I found myself purchasing a doggie purse so I could take him everywhere with me. The bag restrains him behind a mesh sides and he has never let out as much as grown at people in publc. As long as a dog is behind some kind of protection that prevents them from being able to bite someone, I don't see how they are any kind of hazard to hygene in places such as super markets. Perhaps, the more dogs were seen in public, people would take a different perspective towards animals and think of them as companions rather than a built in "security system", which is typical.

Sent by Jamie Weingarten | 3:09 PM | 9-27-2007

I haven't heard any comments from someone who actually works in a food establishment. Having worked in restaurants off and on for years and now in a grocery store for 6 years, I have to say, we work extraordinarily hard to make the best food and best presentations to not only please our customers, but to excite them. Yes, kids running around the grocery store is a problem, but it doesn't happen as much as you think, most toddlers are in the seat of a cart and do not have the reach to 'contaminate' products. Right, neither do dogs, but people are not allergic to kids! And not everybody is comfortable with dogs. Granted, not all of us are comfortable with kids either, but we can't ban kids, can we?
A customer brought her small dog into my grocery store recently and was carrying the dog in her arms at about chest level while she was serving herself from the salad bar. the manager told her that she had to remove the dog from the store and our kitchen staff had to either replace or remove the top layer of the foods because of possible contamination. (hair) The dog was in the area below the 'sneeze' guard. I have yet to see a child reach in to the salad bar food, actually It's the adults that I've seen sneaking pinches from the bar!
I love dogs, but not the whole public world feels the same way and I think that it's inconsiderate to take dogs when running errands.
The kids versus dogs argument just doesn't carry any weight at all with this food establishment worker!

Sent by Maggie | 3:10 PM | 9-27-2007

Why limit it to dogs? If it's okay to bring dogs into enclosed, public spaces, then it should be okay for pet owners to bring their cat, or parrot, or snake, or tortoise, or ferret...

A snake does not have fur and does not bark. Just because many people are scared of snakes does not mean snakes should not be allowed in public spaces. After all, many people are afraid of dogs.

You get the point. If you limit it to dogs, you are discriminating against other people's non-canine pets. It's a slippery slope.

Sent by JPS | 3:12 PM | 9-27-2007

i suppose i am the only one that sees differently on this topic. i am the owner of a dog that weighs roughly 5 pounds (and 3 cats which i also love dearly). my dog is well-behaved and will soon be taking the akc canine good-citizen test. she gets to run and play and chew on things and other dog behaviors (chewing, rolling in dead things, etc.). she also does ride in my handbag from time to time. i think she should be able to go everywhere with me. i think the line needs to be drawn when dogs are not allowed to be dogs and are merely accessories and are not properly cared for.

Sent by kate vonk | 3:15 PM | 9-27-2007

I don't have a problem with dogs going into stores. I was in So. Calif lately and I asked the store person abount their policy. "No dogs allowed" But service dogs are allowed into the store. ????? Is a large service dog different than those dogs carried arond in the pocket books? Let me know.

Sent by vern gomes | 3:19 PM | 9-27-2007

I am sad and angered about what I have read and heard on this topic. Anyone who would compare a child to a pet in any way is sick. It seems they don't have the ability to withstand challenging human relationships (which being a parent can be) so they buy a pet and pretend they are having a relationship and now insist that everyone else do the same.

Sent by Carol | 3:27 PM | 9-27-2007

How can anyone compare dogs to babies? Why do "dog people" assume that all children are unsanitary and rude...and all dogs are well-trained and just back from the groomer? I have two kids and a dog. I take my kids everywhere... including to restaurants and grocery shopping...And I take my dog to the park and to the pet store. Sorry dog people...all kids are people...and all dogs are not people.

Sent by mom & dog owner | 3:29 PM | 9-27-2007

I own a restaurant and do not allow animals inside or on the patio. It ruins many peoples meals. 1. No one wants to eat a meal while seeing a dog drool, scratch and sneeze. 2. As soon as a pet shows up, all the kids want to pet it. Now the pet owner is either mad because kids are petting their animal or they are mad because parents won't let kids pet their precious possession. 3. How can I distinguish between acceptable versus unacceptable pets? This is what I might hear: "If she can have her pomeranian in here then I should be allowed to have my miniature pony in here. After all, he behaves better that most children." If I tell someone they can bring in a poodle but not a German Shepard it creates difficulties that I don't want to deal with. I recently witnessed a lady who left her car running for over an hour with the AC running and her precious pooch inside while she sat and ate a leisurely lunch with a friend. I suspect that dog would be much happier at home.

Sent by Doug | 3:32 PM | 9-27-2007

some of us just don't care for children. as some of us don't care for dogs or pets. shocking, i know. and i prefer pets to children.

by the way, my cats have a stroller that they enjoy riding in so that they can go out to public festivals too. actually, if the stroller is left out they enjoy taking naps in it.

Sent by kmv | 3:41 PM | 9-27-2007

Housetrained and well-behaved isn't human, not even close. You can say you love your dog and your dog is like your kid...but, How many people who have both, love their dogs more than their kids? It's sad that your only judge of a being is his or her ability to control his bladder.

Sent by Sandi | 3:48 PM | 9-27-2007

Sorry, but I'm on the 'if you allow children in then you should allow my pet' bandwagon. At no time will my pet run about in a bag of it's own feces, drool or vomit at random, urinate on public property or scream and cry in a fit of anger...unlike your toddler. My pet weighs 4 pounds,and loves to travel with me in his pet carrier. He is a breed that was bred to be a companion animal, and is far more content in my company than left at home alone. I've seen the messes toddlers leave under their highchairs in public eating establishments, and if your are LUCKY it is only food. European countries have allowed pets to dine with their owners for years. We are sadly behind culturally in this area as well.
Every time I see a full diaper that has been dumped in a parking lot or on the side of the road all I can think it "my puppy would never be guilty of such disgusting behavior".
Don't call me "sick" because I have an aversion to poor public behavior on the behalf of children and their parents. I guarantee you my pet is better behaved and far more sanitary than your toddler.

Sent by Eden | 4:39 PM | 9-27-2007

Another example of how common civility has gone down the tubes.
Take a second out of your self centered life to realize that your decisions affect others. I don???t see why I should have to suffer (allergies) so you can satisfy your codependent needs. If you want to want fifi to stay in the hot car, here???s a novel idea, leave it at home.

Sent by td | 4:47 PM | 9-27-2007

Why stop at dogs? Should it be just as acceptable to take pet snakes, mice, rats, guinney pigs, etc. into stores? Why are dogs more acceptable than other pets?

Sent by Erik | 4:57 PM | 9-27-2007

I have been told I can not bring my dog into my bank on a leash. Others bring dogs in pocketbooks and jackets and set them on the tables in the bank. Rules should include all dogs or none. I cite my Bank in Superior AZ, where I see people wth pocket dogs all the time. I told the staff, post a "no dogs" policy or I will continue to bring my dog. I get chastised everytime, but there is no policy regulating bringing dogs into the bank.

If I can't bring a dog on a leash, then no one should be able to bring a dog in their picket book.

Sent by Eileen Bertie | 4:59 PM | 9-27-2007

Please keep your pets out of stores, they don't belong there. People NEED to go to stores therefore they should be places where people who are very allergic to dogs or cats can go without having to worry. For some people even a short encounter with a dog or cat can cause severe enough reaction to miss work or have to take drugs that nearly incapacitate them. I don't see any difference between someone slugging another person or forcing an allergy causing pet on them.

I have a dog, I love him and take him out with me every where I can, but I don't impose him on other people.

Sent by Patty Stone | 5:02 PM | 9-27-2007

Until both Kid owners and Dog owners can make sure their charges in line maybe they should all be banned.

I have seen plenty of bad dogs in places where dogs are alowed and I have seen plenty of bad children in places where kids are allowed. I think the adult population should have to be burdened with them as little as possible.

Sent by Paul W | 5:19 PM | 9-27-2007

Pets are simple housebroken animals versus children being just small humans. Let's not continue comparing pets with children; there just is no comparison. If a child was very, very ill, would it be OK to euthanize the child? NO! It is OK if it's a cat or dog that the Veterinarian recommends euthanasia.For those people that think it's OK to take their pet everywhere, would it be OK for me to bring my pet snake or my house to the same caf?? or food store you're in? Get a grip please, pets are animals, not kids or humans. GEEZ!!

Sent by Robert P Boyer | 5:54 PM | 9-27-2007

ALEX, the gentleman creating the European Cafe in Winston-Salem, please email me! I have the perfect new product for your Doggie Station! (sales at wowfordogs dot com)

Sent by WOW! for Dogs | 6:14 PM | 9-27-2007

I take offense at Ms. Amy pitting pet owners against parents and kid lovers. I love the well behaved variety of both!! I'm sure that there are many more people that fall into that middle category than what Amy implied that you have to like one or the other!

Sent by Simone Cifuentes | 6:42 PM | 9-27-2007

Can't say I have strong feelings one way or the other on this one; I can appreciate both sides of the debate. I've happened upon "dog-toting people" only twice so far in my life: the first time, it was a kindly, "mature" (70-ish) woman with a small Yorkie. Both she and the dog were adorable and quite friendly. The second time, it was a snobby-acting/looking, obviously well-to-do socialite type with a shivering, quivering yippy little thing tucked miserably away inside a designer bag...guess which incident elicited the annoyed, "Oh, puh-leeeze..." eye roll....

Sent by brit 07 | 6:51 PM | 9-27-2007

While I think pets are great and close companions for many people, some people are highly allergic, and sitting near a pet (even those touted as being "non allergic", because of their having hair instead of fur)do create discomfort for some. I have had to take medication without even realizing that there was an animal next to me, and I have gotten really sick. It is not a matter of choice, it is a matter of health for some of us. Thank you for considering others in this mix.

Sent by karen | 2:12 AM | 9-28-2007

The caller who said that dogs are allowed everywhere in France is totally wrong. They are strictly forbidden from food stores. And even the old custom of dogs in restaurants has strongly declined.

Sent by MarcParis | 4:54 AM | 9-28-2007

I currently live in Germany, where dogs are taken almost everywhere. Although I have never seen a dog inside a food store, they are commonly welcomed into many cafes and restaurants.

However, German dogs are also exceptionally well-trained. A great part of the German culture surrounding dogs lays a very heavy emphasis on training and dog owner responsibility. I have even seen some exceptionally well trained dogs waiting for their owners outside the grocery store while their owners shop.

I am a dog lover, although I don't own one myself, and I wish that dog owners in the United States had the kind of responsibility culture that German dog owners have so we could see dogs everywhere. Seeing well-behaved and happy dogs everywhere I go in Germany is one of the great pleasures of this place.

Sent by Christian | 6:10 AM | 9-28-2007

Great, this is exactly what we need, more division. We now have dog people arguing with baby people. Let us be sure to dictate to everyone what to do and how to behave. Let us be sure that the shopkeepers implement our policies in their own stores. No room for tolerance, innovation or creativity. In the meanwhile, lets all look with contempt at the mothers and their children as they shop. We???ll do this because we all know better.

A dog or a child, we should be joyful for anyone who has love enough to share. Lighten up and be supportive. Now go to sleep.

Sent by Dad | 8:23 AM | 9-28-2007

There is a huge difference between allowing service animals into an establishment (and how often are service animals in stores, etc. anyway?) than allowing random pets in establishments. Service animals are doing a job, which they are trained to do and take very seriously. Moreover, not allowing a service animal into an establishment can mean the difference between being independent or not for the person who relies on that animal. That is completely different than a person who simply wants to take their pet someplace.

Sent by aj | 8:23 AM | 9-28-2007

I am an American living in Europe. It is WONDERFUL taking my little dog EVERYWHERE with me. He well-behaved. When I am in the States, I miss being able to take him with me even though I found that shops were more open about inviting small dogs in, as long as they are in a bag.....

Kids cry. Some people are not very clean. I love dogs. Long live the European dog experience. Thanks for listening/reading.

Sent by Stephanie in Italy | 9:25 AM | 9-28-2007


Another great thing about living in Europe, aside from being able to take a doggie EVERYWHERE, is the NATIONAL HEALTH CARE!

Sent by Stephanie in Italy | 9:34 AM | 9-28-2007

I'm not going to argue which is more sanitary a child or a dog, but I will say a child can't be left home alone and a dog can. People have to grocery shop and I'm sure if most parents had a chocie they'd shop alone. Now for restaurants I don't want to see, smell, or hear a dog while I eat and the same goes for children, until you have control over your kids or have a baby sitter eat at home, on the same note turn your cell phones to vibrate.

Too many people treat dogs like kids, which is fine in your own home. But leave them there don't burden others with them. A dog does not have to travel with you and does not have to go where you go.

Sent by Chandler | 10:12 AM | 9-28-2007

I really can't comprehend why some people fail to realize that most people don't want to have dogs in restaurants, grocery stores or shopping centers. This is really a cultural issue. Despite many people's opinion, a dog is a pet and an animal, not a human being. The argument comparing toddlers to dogs, shows just how removed people are from reality. You don't bring your bird, hamster or pet snake with you in a restaurant or store. Despite what happens in Dublin or France, the people who make up the majority of the global population don't place the so-called rights of pets above humans. You need only need to throw a dart on a map to see what the rest of the world thinks (i.e.. Latin America, Africa, the Middle East and Asia). I think its great to enjoy your pets but please take advantage of your local park or your front yard.

Thank you

Sent by David | 10:28 AM | 9-28-2007

Good god, such passion. It's like a hot button issue tossed into a Democratic-Republican debate. I have a child, dogs, cats and a horse and I don't compare them. The anger and hostility directed towards both sides is disconcerting, but the attitude that human beings are more important than all other species on the earth is what got us into our current problems with the environment.
I don't take my companion animals to stores, but I also was careful where I took my daughter when she was younger. Just a suggestion people, lighten up.

Sent by J. Bostwick | 10:31 AM | 9-28-2007

As for toy breed dogs not wanting to go shopping with their owners, toy breed dogs have been genetically selected for many thousands of generations to accompany their owners. The Roman poet Martial wrote a poem about "Issa" a Maltese (or early ancestor of one..) a tiny and much beloved dog, belonging to Publius, the Roman governor of Malta. In China 2000 years ago tiny "sleeve dogs" were carried by Chinese courtiers.

In the Middle Ages toy dogs warmed their owners in drafty castles, and collected their owners fleas. They were on their owners or in their clothing, often.

In the Renaissance toys dogs start to appear in portraits, on laps or at their owners feet???

So, the phenomenon of taking your toy dog places on your person is ancient. What is modern is our odd "sanitizing" and dividing of one part of life from another.

I certainly agree that we need to be respectful of one another, and try to avoid, to the extent reasonably possible, irritating or harming one another, but, as far as the comment "no one want to eat a meal while seeing a dog droll, scratch or sneeze." In my little town, there are two or three restaurants that are hugely popular, in large part BECAUSE you can take your dog! They are always busy, the owners know the dogs by name, it is fun! Happy people, happy, well-behaved dogs. Dog lovers are a huge market!

I would also add, in my experience (teaching dog obedience for 25 years) dog people, more often than not, love kids, and kids and families love dogs. The supposed enmity is a fiction, or at least not the average attitude.

Sent by Penelope Milne | 2:57 PM | 9-28-2007

The only time a dog should be allowed in any type of store is when they are seeing eye dogs! I own two very well trained dogs, they will always stay in my yard/pasture or in the bed of my truck while I shop. I do not even allow my pets in the same area as guests to my home when I know they are not comfortable with animals, or I???m unsure of their comfort level, it is a respect issue more then a sanitary issue. People that do not want to be exposed to dogs/cats should not be forced to. If you want to take your dog outside the home to public areas take them to public areas where people have the ability to avoid your pet while enjoying/using the same public area. To compare a young child to a pet is ignorant. It is never ok to leave a young child alone, for that reason they have to be taken to confined public areas, on the other hand it is expectable to leave pets alone for limited amounts of time while visiting confined public areas. Lastly, I do not think it is healthy or humane for dogs to be confined to handbags, or for that mater to small houses/apartments let your dogs be in the open air in the out of doors where they are intended to be.

Sent by Andrew | 7:17 PM | 9-28-2007

I adore my dog and I adore my kids, but I believe both groups are happiest in environments which welcome them. My kids (when they were small) preferred family restaurants to five-star. My dog prefers a trip up and down the aisles at PetCo more than the occasional walk down a city block.

As for why dog owners insist on bringing their pets with them on errands, let's not forget that dogs are pack animals and prefer to be with their pack. I'm the alpha leader in my dog's life, and, while he prefers a good hike in the mountains or a run on the beach, he'd much rather curl up in the back of my car and sleep while I run my various errands around town than stay at home alone. The car smells like him, but to him, the car smells like me.

Sent by Lucy | 10:24 AM | 9-29-2007

I would like to point out that dogs and cats do not go to the bathroom where they live. Which is more than you can say about people: look at Exxon Valdez, our air quality, the polluted water table, people littering paper cups on the street or worse, NOT recycling! I have a friend who is a 'messy bessy.' I love her, but I don't go to her house- it is untidy and smells. My dog and cat do not smell, nor do their little beds.

Although pets can stay home and kids can't, I like being with my dog and want to tote him when I can.

I was once walking behind a group of American tourists observing some doggie doo in the street, saying, 'I can't believe they let their dogs "&*= in the street.' Well, I can't believe that we let big corporations dump in rivers.

Animals and nature are 'perfect'. We can learn something there.

Sent by Stephanie in Italy | 2:26 AM | 9-30-2007

To dog owners complaining about toddlers, my first reaction is "Ok, you win, I'll tie my fifteen-month-old out on a run in the backyard while I go shopping, so he doesn't bother you or your dog in the grocery store". I thought I was over-reacting, then noticed that my image points to the truth. Adult dogs have many other perfectly suitable choices for safely entertaining themselves while human companions are shopping. Toddlers, however, need to be in the company of loving adults (parents or otherwise) at all times. Please don't try to make the rules according to "that kid I saw the other day", as there are just as many signs of poor pet management in public places (just go for a walk in the park and then check your shoes). And please, don't make such comments unless you have parented toddlers yourself. It is an experience that cannot be understood from afar.

If you see a child that needs assistance or input, offer it gently while making eye contact with the parent. If you do this well, you will receive only gratitude from an exhausted parent.

Sent by Ian Camera | 4:16 PM | 9-30-2007

Penelope Milne, just because people brought toy dogs everywhere with them in ancient times doesn't mean they should today. People also used to defecate in a pot underneath their bed. Would you rather that ancient tradition continue? Or is it better that sometimes, as you say, "divide and sanitize" one part of life (pets, the bathroom) from another (restaurants, the bedroom).

It's actually unhealthy NEVER to separate from someone you love.

Sent by Steve | 11:23 AM | 10-1-2007

I rather doubt that small dog owners would appreciate a pet pig owner bringing their pet into the store. Please people remember that these are all animals and should be left at home.

Sent by Kathy | 6:27 PM | 10-1-2007

about the allergies arguments, i have allergic reactions to many different types of perfumes and colognes. yet, they aren't banned from public enclosed places.

Sent by Kate | 2:07 PM | 10-2-2007

Dogs are dogs and people are people. Lets remember that.

Sent by Joe | 4:04 PM | 10-2-2007

We waste our time arguing this point while millions of children and animals, both, are starving, alone and mistreated daily. Why not funnel your anger and effort where it will do some good? For both sides...

Sent by Chris Kovalesky | 4:29 PM | 10-2-2007

I am appalled by the miserable, misanthropic rantings of the "my little poochie-woochie is cleaner than your nasty nose-picking baby" people. Do you really think that you never picked your noses when you were toddlers? At least my child doesn't clean her posterior with her tongue. I love children; I love animals; I detest the wretched souls who don't intrinsically know the significant differences between them.

Sent by Frank | 2:42 AM | 10-3-2007

I don't believe that the argument that some people and kids are uncomfortable with dogs is valid. Adults should get over it and kids should be taught how to behave around dogs (screaming is not acceptable). I bring my dog in department stores, hardware stores and anywhere else I go. It is great oppotunity for her to "work" - pay attention to me, not touch, sniff or interact with other people. She loves it. I think that if you have a well behaved dog that can be trusted in crowded public situation, you should not be punished for other people's irrational fears. As for allergies - if you don't come up to the dog and touch it, you will probably get more allergens off my coat.

Maybe we can require dogs to pass a test, such as the canine good citizen test, to be allowed in indoor public spaces. By the way, Europe is much more relaxed about this. You can see dogs in department stores routinely.

Sent by Iva | 3:15 PM | 12-10-2007

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