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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.

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


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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