The Times got in touch with Mummy yesterday and asked her if she thought the UK is dog-friendly. Well, you know how that touches a nerve!
She told them what she thought and about our experiences when dining and travelling around in the UK and to other countries. They quoted her verbatim. LOL!
Be a little more contained, Mummy dearest, when you talk about those horrible places that do not like dogs. LOL! BTW, she disagrees that the French excel in being dog-friendly. That’s what people often assume. We’ve been in Paris so many times, and the south of France. All too often, I, a 9.5kg dog needed to be carried in a bag to be allowed in taxis – about 25% of the time. 50% of the time, they won’t even take us. Not so friendly. We think Germany is much more accepting of us. They consider us to be a part of society.
May’s comment: As I had mentioned in an earlier blog, the UK varies in being dog-friendly. There are vast differences from dog-friendly neighbourhoods in London vs. other UK cities. And interestingly, there is a difference between the city dog and the country dog due to our habitation and environment.
Having travelled with my two city dogs and doing our own local explorations, I can understand why dogs are not always welcomed in places in the countryside. In the end, dogs are not the problem, it is down to the owners. If we, owners are more considerate of the places we go to with our dogs, maybe they would be more welcoming.
Some tips that would help in promoting dog-friendliness:
- Don’t go to places with dirty, muddy dogs.
- Do not allow your dogs to bark inside restaurants – as the bark is jarring to other diners, like screaming children.
- Keep them on a leash and close by, preferably under the table so they don’t trip others or have to overstep them. The same we think of children running around or lying on the floor having a tantrum.
- Be considerate of others who maybe afraid of dogs. Ask the next table if they mind being seated next to them. Do not let them jump on others in stores or in restaurants.
We were at a rather proper restaurant and there was a large table of several families with children. Darcy and George were under the table or right next to me – looking longingly at me for hand-me-downs. The children at the other table were speaking loudly, howling and screaming – one after another!!!! It was jarring to the ears. The restaurateur commented to us, “Dogs are not the problem.”
Another very established Italian restaurant, when I asked why they don’t take dogs – the manager said, “We’re a proper Italian restaurant.” I listed all the other even more proper and equally proper Italian restaurants – at least eight that I know of, that allow dogs in. They were surprised. Their response after a bit dumbfounded, “That’s our policy, Madam.”
All that said, there is still a misconception that dogs are filthy, they carry diseases and will contaminate our food. I often tell restaurant managers that I am still alive and well – they are in the kitchen when I am cooking. And thousands of people who have eaten in restaurants with dogs are probably happier people.
So is the UK dog-ist? I think it’s down to ignorance. Britain claims to be dog-lovers – to a certain extent, but they haven’t yet accepted them as a part of society. A large part of them are still bred for game or working dogs – not so much a family member.
Here is a prime example – in another part of London, we found this signage … and it’s a One Pound Shop.The Times article – Grrr! French excel at hound hospitality