After a few weeks of settling into our new home, a work-live loft in Toronto’s east end, I’m finally adjusting to this environment. Bob, my sheepdog, is more comfortable now and, thanks to a citronella collar, his separation anxiety-ridden barking whilst I’m away is slowing weaning.
During this time of transition, I’ve been taking Bob with me wherever I am able because of his separation anxiety. Through this journey, I have discovered what stores allow dogs, and those that do not. For instance, on one sunny Friday afternoon, we went shopping for items for my new home, and for my business, and I could not leave Bob home because of his separation anxiety – I had to take him with me. We went to Ikea and got kicked out (by a rude employee, at that) because apparently they don’t allow dogs due to having food in the store (we hadn’t noticed the sign on the door, apparently). Then we were booted out of Home Depot, where they once allowed dogs, because they allegedly once had an “incident.”
So, we headed to Canadian Tire on the Lakeshore. There, at the front door, is a big refreshing sign: “Pets are Welcome.” And they surely do because the store greeter gave Bob some much-appreciated doggie cookies. Ahhh…now my dog and I (plus my mother) are happy — and I’m content to shop.
After our pleasant Canadian Tire experience, we headed to the shops in Beaches; I like to support local business owners. In Toronto’s Beaches neighborhood, where I lived for many years, which is one of the biggest hoods for dogs, many of the stores along Queen Street welcome our furry friends — but some do not. So we pop into the wonderful Mendocino outlet, which has become a favourite shop of mine because Bob can come with me, and there I made a purchase. Other retailers that welcomed my dog included Walking on a Cloud and Corso shoes stores, where I have purchased shoes. But for the others that did not allow me to shop with my dog, like Posh boutique (again, we were told dogs weren’t allowed because of “an incident”), I was not willing to tie-up my dog and leave him alone outside in order to shop there – so bottomline, no purchase there.
Toronto is home to some 250,000 dogs (2007 stats). That means a good percentage of the population owns at least one dog. Dogs are everywhere. It’s time more retailers and other businesses wake up to the 21st century and truly recognize their customers’ lifestyles and needs.
It’s about consumer choice. And through this experience I realized how much power there is in that choice. When I can bring my dog with me, it makes my life easier and therefore I am more willing and able to spend my hard-earned money. At the end of the day, where possible, I will choose to spend my money where my beloved doggie is welcomed.
No hard feelings.