Have Dog, Will Travel, but why?



by cheri sabraw

You’ve seen Chip on this blog before. He was driving a car. He isn’t my dog, but his bravado, especially considering he is blind and deaf, is admirable.

Chip is a rarity in this age of neutered males.

As you can see, he is satisfying his appetites.

The best news is that Chip’s owners do not travel with Chip. He stays home, with a sitter.

Perhaps one of the newest trends trespassing into the travel, shopping, and dining industries is the traveling with one’s dogs. It’s ubiquitous. Everywhere–in hotels, in high-end stores, outside of coffee houses, and on planes, dogs are now welcome. At the root of this phenomenon is what has been at the root of most trends: money and self-indulgence.

Stores fear that the person who trots her little Yorkie through the cosmetic aisle at Nordstrom at the end of a pink sparkly leash and bejeweled collar will shop somewhere else if the store has a no dogs policy.

Airlines fear that turning down eccentric (and selfish) people who want to carry their little Poodles in a paisley plastic carrying case with netting for windows might result in canceled fares. Never mind the paying customer sitting in the seat next door dealing with the by-products that emanate from dogs.

The hotel industry knows that most people who travel with their dogs leave them in the rooms when they (the people) go out for dinner. Never mind the whining or barking dog. Never mind dog dander, fleas, or odor left in the room. Steam cleaning will sanitize the place for the next unsuspecting guest (sneeze and itch).

This past weekend in Oregon, I began to notice just how many people took their dogs along wherever they went: to a classic car show, where the temperature hovered around 90 degrees. Canine tongues fell out of slack mouths, whitish from the heat, and found relief in a community dog bowl outside a shoe store. Floating saliva bubbled around the dish until another muzzle plumbed its depths. To a farmer’s market, where hound noses sniffed tomatoes and kettle corn: to a restaurant, where heavy panting under a redwood table competed with conversation.

Most of these people assume that everyone not only loves dogs but also loves (and is interested in)  their dogs. They stand on street corners, extending their dogs’  leashes and talking baby talk to Ginger or Georgie or Slugger or Bowie. They look at you, hoping that you will ask what breed Ginger is or why Slugger’s eye is missing or who Georgie is named after or why Bowie has one leg missing.

Don’t get me wrong. I own a dog. I love my dog. She lives on our rancho with us and sleeps in the house, but I leave her home when I travel. It’s just common courtesy.

But then there’s a guy like Chip.

Natural Balance Duck and Potato was not his food, but who cares?



About Cheri

Writer, artist, cable television host, grandmother to four!
This entry was posted in Life and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

23 Responses to Have Dog, Will Travel, but why?

  1. T E Stazyk says:

    Thank you. This needs to be said.

    • Ladybugg says:

      You are welcome. I hope all is well in New Zealand and with your project. I think of my dad and Joe’s trees out there…

      • T E Stazyk says:

        Thanks! The trees are doing great and the forest is growing up around them. Check out the what’s new section of http://www.cuehaven.com to see what we’ve been doing. I’m off line for a while because I broke my leg last week during one of our planting days–those trees can be mean! I’m fine but have to stay off my leg for 6-8 weeks which is frustrating when there’s so much going on.

        Hope all is well with you and the ranch! And you guys be careful out there.

        • Ladybugg says:

          I am so sorry to learn of your accident!! Ron talks about this type of thing often and is constantly reminding mr to watch where I walk, what I pick up, etc. Last year he crushed his middle finger when his hand got in between a boulder and the tractor bucket.
          It is still swollen. Farm and ranch life is not for sissies!

          • T E Stazyk says:

            Thanks. Also, to add insult to injury (literally) the nurse at the ER told me “at your age, these things are more likely to happen.” I think Ron would agree that the only solution is bigger, fancier machines!

            • Ladybugg says:

              Yes. The Indian doctor who sewed Ron’s finger up in ER looked about 15 years old. When he saw me come in with Ron, he said, “Is that you Mrs. Sabraw ? You had my sister Mina in Honors English. What happened to you sir?” We felt like old relics left over from the Norman Conquest.

              Ron has not bought any new big green and yellow toys for a awhile, but he just bought a chipper so that he can cover the olive orchard with chips. The olive fruit fly arrived 6 weeks early this summer. Let’s hope the organic spray we are using works…please take care.

        • Ladybugg says:

          I haver visited the What’s New section of the website. What great pictures. I also went to the memorial page…wow…so many people and pets remembered. One tiny correction: Joe ‘s last name ends in an “a” not an “o.” Tranchina…

  2. Christopher says:

    I, on the other hand, see no reason why a dog can’t go anywhere its owner can, be it office, restaurant, hotel, bar, shop, apartment, or wherever. Dogs are a civilising influence wherever they are, being for the most part more gentle and more pleasing to speak with than most people.

    That businesses are becoming more and more accepting of their customers’ dogs is testimony that more and more people now live alone, and have a dog who is in effect their family, and which they consequently love as much, if not more, than any human relative or friend.

    The times they are a-changin’………….!!

    • Ladybugg says:

      Interesting angle and response to the post, Christopher. What I have noticed is not single people traveling with their dogs but married couples, usually with more than one dog. I agree with you that “…dogs are a civilizing influence…” but having animals in food establishments and farmers’ markets is not sanitary. Same with dog dander and other things in hotel rooms. My concerns have to do with impingement on others’ space. The debate can be likened to the smoking in public places debate.

      • Christopher says:

        >i>”……having animals in food establishments and farmers’ markets is not sanitary…….”

        I’ve often wondered if allergies – of which everyone seems these days to have at least one – are the result of our current obsession with sanitariness.

        I, for what it’s worth, seem unique in having no allergies at all, and have never had any. This could be because where I grew up (in Africa), no-one worried much about sanitariness.

        Dirt can be salubrious, it appears.

        • Ladybugg says:

          You are correct. I remember reading a news article last year that said that kids who lived in houses with dogs were less likely to be allergic. I grew up with dogs in the house and like you, do not have allergies. Then there is poor Dinah, allergic to everything on the Rancho. I bathe her with an oatmeal shampoo…you see, I love my dog.

  3. Brighid says:

    I’ve had a lot of dogs, I loved, love them… but they are NOT people, and I’m getting just a bit tired of all the things we are expected to tolerate in the name of PC or what ever. Thank you for this post.

    • Ladybugg says:

      I saw a sign last summer on a highway outside of Las Vegas, Nevada, which read, ” Dogs are People Too!”
      This belief seems to be fueling the startling number of people traveling with their dogs.
      In Camas, WA this past weekend, we could hardly walk down the sidewalk because of so many dogs with owners.

      • Brighid says:

        You were in Camas! I love the hardware store there and Camas Antiques and the quilt shop, and the decorator shop, and the pizza place, and my son is close to in Vancouver… Oh, you were talking about dogs…

      • Christopher says:

        “…….I saw a sign…….which read, ‘Dogs are People Too!’………”

        That sign might better have been, “Dogs and People are animals, and so feel the same pain, and feel the same sorrows”.

        While admittedly not as pithy as the sign you saw, it’s………truer……..

  4. shoreacres says:

    Well, no dogs here, but I never would think of traveling with my cat for pleasure. We’ve done a couple of hurricane evacuations together, but that was a matter of necessity. Bless her heart, she stayed penned up for fourteen hours and was as happy as we were to get to a motel, not to mention a litter box. When I travel, she doesn’t even go to a boarding establishment. I have a kitty sitter who comes twice a day, allowing her to stay in a familiar environment.

    I’m all in favor of dog parks, and appreciate the pleasure people take in the social aspects of walking their dogs and such. But I will not dine in an establishment that allows dogs, and don’t appreciate shopping around them either. For one thing, I’m nervous around dogs — always have been. It got a little worse the day the Jack Russell terrier came out of nowhere and latched on to my ankle.

    Beyond all that, there’s something just slightly unnerving about our growing tendency to draw an equivalence between dogs (or cats) and people. I do love my kitty. I talk to her, provide for her, and enjoy our companionship. But I’d never impose her on someone else, and I know quite clearly that she’s an animal, not a person. I’ll grieve when she dies, but I’ll not be spending hundreds or thousands of dollars to extend her life.

  5. Ladybugg says:

    I agree with all you say in this comment.
    Perhaps the dissolution of so many relationships these days, the harshness of society (its cruelty, at times, as Christopher alludes to), the loneliness that social media cannot fully satisfy–perhaps these reasons and more contribute to humans bonding as closely to a pet as to another human.

  6. Richard says:

    Is Chip a Dachsund?

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