While this is something I hadn’t really thought about until recently, it is now playing on my mind almost all the time.
During my recent trip to US, I saw people pretty much everywhere, including the airport with a dog [small or big], on a leash sometimes, in the bag sometimes, holding them in the arms or in a crate. We saw them pretty much everywhere.. Out on the streets, at restaurants, cafes, parks, beaches, and even in malls. Not a single soul was shrieking out aloud upon seeing a dog nor where the places of business kicking them out. Yes, it is true we did not see any strays, and these were all pets, but still was such joy seeing them all around. The only place where I didn’t see a dog was at the movie theatre.. Heck, the dog parks are beautiful – near where my uncle lived, there were not one but three parks – you take yours to the one that suits their personality & size.
Anyways, coming back to why this post happened – we were back in India and have since adopted a puppy, There are times when my partner is not around and I am with Chewy and I want to go out to a cafe but there is almost nowhere I can take him to..
I find not too many places are pet friendly out here.. Yes, there are a few cafes that call themselves ‘pet friendly’ but their definition is to keep your dog on a short leash, next to you, while you dine/carry now with your meeting. There are no cordoned off spaces where they can run around or be free, nor did the place have a dog friendly menu. The only place where we take our pup , on a leash but he can walk around to a certain level, and not be held under the table is one cafe called Rustle Nest [the owner has a Husky who’s there are the restaurant almost always]
We keep wondering why this is so.. Few months back, I also joined a book club here in Pune and we have been meeting on Sunday mornings. Since the members know about Chewy & that at times on Sunday am home alone with him, and will step out if I know the place is pet-friendly, it has now become a norm that they pick a place where he is welcome 🙂 One place they had picked sounded lovely, but when I wrote to them on Insta, they replied that unfortunately they don’t allow pets [ came to know later that the landlord had issues and so the business did not want to fight on it and therefore it wasn’t allowing pets] .
At one cafe we met is where I saw the staff offer water to a dog in a dog bowl and not an aluminium foil or plastic container.. Felt good to see that~
In our apartment complex, there are so many families with dogs and when I asked them where they went with their dogs, there was near silence. Yes most of them went on holidays, to home stays and hotels that welcomed dogs, but that was pretty much it. Funnily, in our apartment complex, there is a dedicated space for pets but it is not cordoned off and looks quite neglected..We’ve been toying with the idea of writing to the management asking them to put a fence so people who take their dogs for walk, have a small space for the dog to run about [without worrying about them running away] ..
Earlier this month, we went on a drive to Mahabaleshwar, when we stopped at Mapro enroute. InitialIy my partner suggested I go ahead, explore and they will be in the car. I wouldn’t hear of it, I wanted them along. Therefore, I went ahead and ask if dogs but allowed and the guy at the reception nodded in affirmation. Felt good to hear that! We then took Chewy along on the leash, he happily enjoyed the open space and there were so many other families with kids who came over to pet & talk to us. We went inside the cafe to order, where the guy at the counter very politely told us [after taking our order] that we can be seated outside as dogs weren’t allowed inside [food, dog hair etc] .. We didn’t mind. Found a table and waited for our order to be delivered, walked around the store and back to the road.
My partner and I keep talking about this.. we would love to open up at Cafe with a dedicated menu for pets, & a place where pet parents can chill/ have a meeting, work/ hangout.
We often wonder why the situation is so different in India.. if cafe owners themselves are not comfortable with pets or they worry if businesses will suffer [incase there are patrons who are scared of animals and steer clear of the place]… I mean aren’t pets like babies – sometimes they are loud, high energy, want to explore, are curious and sometimes they just sleep or sit silently.. Rules should be the same for both right?
Do cafes and restaurants require any special permit or licence if they say they are pet friendly or have a dedicated space for pets??
Let me know what you think