I know that you love your dog; I even almost understand; having a dog is like that kid you never had or that last child after your final little tyke has left the nest. Maybe you got the dog during a trying period in your life and now this dog is all you have left to hold onto. Maybe you just enjoy the company of a canine. Maybe you’ve only ever been able to relate to the four legged pooches that understand the most basic of dictates and hold the most strident loyalty to you and your safety. Maybe it’s a combination of these; maybe it’s something else entirely. However when you are traveling with a dog and you are in a public space like a hotel, do yourself and your fellow guests a favor and leave the dog behind.
Not Everyone Loves Your Dog Like You Do: Just because your dog has the most playful bark or does the funniest tricks in the company of friends or family, this is still no reason to bring a dog into a public space. Not everyone loves your dog as much as you do. In fact most people who are friendly to dogs are only being friendly to the individual; most times when a yapping dog is licking itself and falling all over itself in the constant need for attention, most people could not want to be bothered. Not everyone loves your dog the same way you do. And that’s okay. But bringing your dog into a public space is only asking for trouble.
The Anonymous Leave: My wife and I were recently traveling; we spent two consecutive nights in one inn; the Microtel Inn & Suites in Bethel Connecticut. The second night was sort of last minute so we ended up staying in two different rooms. Both rooms had recently had dogs. How could we tell? Well my wife is allergic as all put out to dogs and she began sniffling and sneezing and wheezing up something fierce. This is the Microtel Inn & Suites in Bethel Connecticut we’d stayed in because her mother’s dog at her house makes her do the same thing. As opposed to staying for free somewhere we could have roughed it and been close to family; we chose the paid option so that we could relax and get some rest. While my allergies aren’t as pronounced as my wife’s, my eyes act up whenever I’m in the vicinity of dog hair and they were doing so this night at the Microtel Inn & Suites! Much the same as they had been the day prior at my mother in laws – and the dog at my mother in laws had been at the vet for several days. Dog hair doesn’t go away; at my mother in laws there were fresh vacuum marks on the floor and at the Microtel Inn & Suites I’d like to believe that the housekeeping staff does its job. But they can only do so much when you’re talking about a shaggy shedding dog. Even if you think your dog hair is fine, chances are there is someone like my wife who’s allergic. Do us all a favor and keep your dog hair to yourself.
The Physical Anonymous Leave: On the second night at Microtel Inn & Suites there was a large yapping dog barking its head off all night. For something like six hours this dog was going at it; finally the police showed up and they found that this room had been vacated and the dog had been left! Don’t leave your dog in a room; take it to a pound if you don’t want your dog anymore. If anyone’s seen the Seinfeld episode, chances are just like Elaine’s neighbor, the dog will find its way back to you.
Traveling With Your Dog Nuclear Option: If you’re traveling to public spaces with your dog and you absolutely must take the dog with you, then please do us all a favor and keep that mutt on a tight leash. I was getting breakfast this morning and filling up my cup with cranberry juice and this woman had one of those really long retractable leashes and was only keeping tacit track of this dog that was getting all up in everyone’s business. I don’t want to share my waffle with you, dog! Furthermore you probably don’t even need to bring your dog with you to the breakfast area at all; it’s not like the dog was going to sit down with some Frosted Flakes and a muffin. As I was leaving the dogs wet slimy nostril grazed my leg and I was ready to kick it. It was only by the grace of the dog Gods and this woman’s fast retraction of her dog that saved it from the wrath of my foot.
Dogs are fine; I like dogs in the country, I like dogs in a field, I like dogs in a rescue situation, I like Lassie. But do us all a favor and just like the No Smoking signs which are gradually becoming the regular (there are still places in America where they ask you “smoking or non”) leave your dog and all its residual nonsense somewhere it won’t face the boot of someone like me who’s had enough and doesn’t find your dog as charming as you do.