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Dogs As Stimulus?
A relief package with four paws and a tail.
These models make shopping with a dog look elegant.

Only weeks after we blogged about some Oregonians’ efforts to rollback what they consider a too-dog-friendly attitude in stores, a Southern California community is heading in the opposite direction. Merchants in Escondido, Calif., want to welcome dogs into downtown shops (and a park where dogs are currently banned) in the hopes it will spur traffic and sales in a down market.

Will it work? While a day shopping with my dogs isn’t my idea of a good time, I would like to be able to combine dog-walking with errands. What stops me now? Leaving my dogs tethered on the sidewalk. Plus, I’m guessing there might be a loyalty bonus. I know I feel a certain allegiance to shops and shopkeepers who demonstrate a little dog love. The coffee joint on my regular morning loop, Café Javasti (plug intended), has fresh water in a bowl, treats behind the counter and one barista who, when business is slow, delivers snacks to my waiting hounds herself. The espresso is good, which is important, but dog-love is an equal draw for me, even when it’s being showered on someone else’s buddies.

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Lisa Wogan lives in Seattle and is the author of, most recently, Dog Park Wisdom. lisawogan.com

iStockphoto.

CommentsPost a Comment
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Submitted by Shira | September 15 2009 |

This is a fabulous idea - there's no question I'd browse in stores a lot more if I could bring even one of my dogs with me.

Submitted by Dobelover | September 16 2009 |

Absolutely! I would be encouraged to come to this shopping area more frequently with a "Dogs allowed" policy. In Europe, they are very very dog-friendly and it shows people how to interract with different breeds.

Submitted by Anonymous | September 17 2009 |

I'd love to see more stores in the States become dog-friendly. I can't wait for the day when I can take my dog shopping and to dinner.

Submitted by Carolyn | September 19 2009 |

I love taking my dog with me everywhere. Any merchants reading this? Yes I do tend to buy and frequent establishments where my dog is also welcomed.

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