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?