No Dogs Allowed
It's three little words I hate. Actually, let me clarify that, I don't hate them -- I despise them. And, sometimes, it's not even the words, but instead a picture of a dog with a circle around it and a line through it: No Dogs Allowed.
Boy, do I really hate seeing that. But, in some cases, I also understand it. At the rest area on the highway where all there is inside is rack cards advertising hotels, attractions and tours -- who cares if a dogs is there. At the rest area on the highway were there is food services -- completely get it.
Many people are allergic to them, or have a fear of the four legged balls of fur and I also get that some pet owners are not as considerate as others. In fact, until I started getting allergy shots, I too was allergic to dogs, cats, horses, pretty much everything.
Yes, I can pick up Toby and just carry him in my arms while I browse the rack cards to find a hotel, but that's not the case with a 75 pound dog who also decides it should bark at everyone. As much as I would love for Toby to be welcomed everywhere, especially when I'm traveling, I also completely understand that in some places, it's just not possible -- especially when it comes to indoor locations.
(Although I still can't understand why I couldn't even sit near the Olympic bobsledding track with Toby outside on my lap while my Dad and Aunt when on a tour, because that area had plenty of space even for a big dog -- not that I'm bitter about being kicked off the property... ;-) )
I do take Toby to the places I can, but being a courteous dog owner, I also respect that he's not allowed in places like food stores, shopping malls, rest areas, inside restaurants, etc. So, I make other arrangements that usually means leaving Toby at home. Leaving his sad face while I run to Lowes to pick up gardening supplies breaks my heart, but I do it.
It's also the reason I came very close to calling a store manager the other day when I saw a girl carrying her puppy while her mother shopped in a local supermarket and why I got so annoyed when I saw a woman walking her very large black lab down the aisle of a local hardware store last week.
My first thought/words out of my mouth were, "you've got to be kidding, My dog is stuck at home, while this one gets to go out and have a good time." It may sounds silly, but the reason why I was upset was because I know how much Toby loves going places, and I felt he was being punished because his "mom" was following the rules.
I know this may annoy some people, but it takes a lot of nerve to know your dog isn't allowed somewhere, but just take them anyway. It also reflects badly on *all* pet owners. I can't express how upset I was when I saw that dog in the supermarket. I don't get to spend every waking moment with my dog or even spend as much time as I would like to with him, so when I see other people bringing their dog someplace I deliberately didn't take mine, because it was against the rules, it kills me, and makes me sad for Toby.