Tuesday, 3 February 2009

A dog of a day

Warning to dog owning readers: this posting may be inflammatory.

I live in a well-to-do area whose post code regularly features as number one or two in Australia's wealthiest post codes. My contribution to this ranking is modest, if not invisible and I hasten to add that this ranking comes from the Tax Office and therefore relates only to admitted taxed earnings.

Apparently with this wealth comes a predilection to owning animals, particularly animals of the four legged variety. Again I am not really a member of this club. I do not own an animal.

My neighbours, in the suburban rather than apartment building sense, are seen in great profusion around the neighbourhood walking their dogs. It is a fine scene which adds to the atmosphere and I love seeing it.

These 'dog people' congregate at a local 'shopping village'; an upmarket name for shopping centre where they and their dogs establish an obstacle course for those without dogs who are actually there for shopping as distinct from animal accompanied socialising. I don't love this aspect.

I don't shop in the 'village' other than at two food stores (one chicken oriented, the other pasta oriented) for take away meals. I do it far too often for my health but the meals are to my liking and of good standard for 'fast food' outlets. I don't shop at the other stores in the 'village' because their prices are well above what the equivalent stores elsewhere in the neighbourhood charge.

So what have my food buying habits got to do with dogs?

Well, for as long as I have been alive - which is a very long time - health regulations in Australia have barred dogs, other than guide dogs for vision impaired shoppers, from being brought inside food stores. But in my neighbourhood, many of the dog owners don't see regulations or laws as being applicable to them.

This flouting of health regulations irritates me. The considerate owners leash their dogs to nearby posts on the footpath whilst they shop but the inconsiderate ones, coincidentally often the most garish in dress and appearance, stride around the stores with their four legged 'children' in tow, even in hand.

I try to discipline myself and remain civil but occasionally I lose it and make some tart comment to the offender risking pet rage in response. Today, Society Madam had her dog in tow inside the chicken store and when I politely commented to her that I didn't think she was permitted to bring her dog inside Society Madam blithely informed me that it was OK as it was her dog.

If I had been quick enough, I should have responded tartly "Oh what a surprise, you look like a down and out who picks strays up in the street". Instead I simply pointed out that ownership was irrelevant, it was against regulations for the dog to be in the store.

Society Madam glowered at me, then stepped outside the store with dog in hand and continued her purchasing from the footpath shouting her instructions across the store from outside all the time muttering darkly to passers by. I imagine she was pointing out the Dog Hating Old Queen to everyone whose attention she could muster.


  1. I hate seeing dogs in shops, and even more so sitting under tables at cafes.

    Leave them at home people...

  2. Don't really see it in Melbourne. Maybe I have not noticed it. But it is wrong. I guess they are concerned about dognapping, which is a problem. Fifi being ripped apart by a training greyhound is an unpleasant thought.

  3. Well, it must be said. Here in France dogs are allowed most everywhere. Cafés, restaurants, shops, and hotels. If you've been to France, chances are a dog has been there before you. And you've lived to tell about it.

    Frankly, I'd rather have dogs in most places than children. We all have our preferences.

    Vive la différence! :)

  4. You should have reminded the silly old bint to stop being so preposterous and to show a little human decency to the poor shop assistant she was now making life a misery for.

    I find the same problem with cyclists who refuse to dismount in those areas they are supposed to. Entirely different thing, but at the end of the day we've all got to share teh same space so a little understanding people. PLEASE

  5. Victor, we have to put up with dogs in restaurants here. Deep joy. Old bags who bring in their pooch, then sit him on the banquette next to them and order food for him off the menu....which is served on normal china - i.e. the humans eat off the same plates as the dogs.

    Horrible (pronounced in a pouty Parisian kind of way, he he)

  6. dogs are aloud in a lot of places down here in southern california. But I always think its weird when they are like walking around in a department store. IDK why but people feel the need to bring dogs only into department stores.

  7. I love our 2 corgis but I agree there are places dogs shouldn't be. Even assuming the dogs are excellently trained and very clean, people are allergic. Dogs are always shedding. Take your dogs when you go for a walk; leave your dogs at home when you're running errands.