Pet Parenting
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Why I Wish My 70-Pound Dog Could Fit in My Purse

I envy pet parents who can take their dogs with them wherever they go. Here's why.

Wendy Newell  |  Mar 17th 2016


I have a 70-pound dog named Riggins. I adore him, but I sometimes wish he were a lot smaller so I could take him everywhere with me, tucked secretly away in my purse.

If Riggins was purse size he would probably look a lot like his buddy Louie. (Picture by Wendy Newell)

Riggins and Louie. If Riggins were purse-size, he would probably look a lot like his buddy. (Photo by Wendy Newell)

Let me back up: My name is Wendy, and I’m a dog-aholic. Due to this condition, I would like my dog to be with me at all times. Restaurants, bars, friends’ houses, the DMV. Anywhere and everywhere. He’s like my spirit animal, and I want him to stoically walk next to me down the street, sit at my feet while I eat, and curl up under my seat while I am at the movies — just to give you a few examples.

There are a couple problems with this dream, legality only being one.

First of all, Riggins is a big boy and takes up a lot of room. There is no way I can stash him in a purse and sneak him in someplace. He very much makes himself known. Then comes the real problem with him being out in public. First, he wants to eat everything. Second, he wants to be next to everyone, not just me.

Riggins is big enough that his friend Chippy can hide underneath him! (Photo by Wendy Newell)

Riggins is big enough that his friend Chippy can hide underneath him! (Photo by Wendy Newell)

Let’s talk about Riggins’ appetite. I’m confident that if I let him, he would eat until he exploded. He is never full and will chow down on anything within his reach. I once left two Subway sandwiches on the counter, turned around, turned back, and there was only one there. Riggins just stood at my feet with a smile on his face and a wrapper under his paws.

He once gobbled up part of a burrito, wrapped in aluminum foil, in a plastic bag that he found on a walk. It happened so fast I didn’t have time to stop it. I was on poop watch for almost a week and ended up having to pull a bag out of his bum during a weekend hike. It’s hard to balance on the side of a hill while trying to carefully extract a foreign object from your dog’s rear.

Riggins with his little friend Monkey (Photo by Wendy Newell)

Riggins with his little friend, Monkey. (Photo by Wendy Newell)

I even have to be careful when we go to dog-friendly stores like Petco, or as Riggins knows it, the open doggie buffet. I’m not sure whose idea it was to put out large baskets of treats uncovered and ready for the taking, but Riggins is a big fan of that person!

Now let us review his other social “issue.” He loves to love and be loved. Taking him places is a guarantee he will make friends. Not a bad thing, usually, but some people aren’t as happy to have a dog come talk to them as others are.

Riggins gets love from a friend he made on the trails (Photo by Wendy Newell)

Riggins gets love from a friend he made on the trails. (Photo by Wendy Newell)

I remember once we were are on a long hike up in our local mountains. We had a big group with us, and I had dropped Riggins leash so I could take pictures of friends and their pups. Riggins was drinking water, and I knew he wouldn’t go far. He didn’t, but he did make his way to the other side of the rest area to talk to another group of women who were sitting down and eating oranges. Of course, he wanted one of their delicious trail snacks, but more than that he was looking for some lovin’.

A common phrase that I utter while out and about with my pup is, “Everyone doesn’t have to pet you, Riggins.” Of course, I just say this so the person Riggins is leaning up against doesn’t feel obligated to give into his charming looks and sweet nature. Though I don’t know why she wouldn’t want to give him love. He’s adorable.

Riggins snuggles close to his human friend Leslie. (Photo by Wendy Newell)

Riggins snuggles close to his human friend Leslie. (Photo by Wendy Newell)

Currently, I work from home, but I always wanted to have an office job where I could bring my baby boy. I know he would love the human-heavy atmosphere and be quite the little social butterfly. I imagine he would make my desk area his “home base” and then spend his day doing rounds, checking on everyone and getting kisses before coming back to our area for a snooze. Much like the goon who shakes down local businesses for protection, Riggins would collect his kisses in payment for keeping less desirable folks away. You know there are a few people at your office you wouldn’t mind Riggins keeping from your desk!

Riggins has to hold the leashes of his little friends, Mikey, Sam and Shirley. (Photo by Wendy Newell)

Riggins has to hold the leashes of his little friends, Mikey, Sam, and Shirley. (Photo by Wendy Newell)

Then, of course, there is the legal aspect. I’m not admitting that if I had a little dog, I would sneak him into places tucked gently in my purse. That’s simply not something one admits in writing. I’m just saying it sure would be nice if I could. With Riggins, I don’t even have the choice to break the law. He’s too big to fit in a bag and too untrained to be mistaken for a service dog. He is just my baby, who I want to be with as much as possible.

Riggins and I would happily back any presidential candidate whose running platform included giving dogs the right to go into all business establishments. If that happened, Riggins and I would really buckle down to attack his whole “food domination” issue so he could take full benefit of the new presidential proclamation.

Riggins with his "little" friends, Chloe, Dot, and Louie. (Photo by Wendy Newell)

Riggins with his “little” friends, Chloe, Dot, and Louie. (Photo by Wendy Newell)

As for his other problem, I doubt I could get my sweet boy to stop seeking attention from his human friends. I don’t want to, anyway. He’s a ball of sunshine who makes people happy everywhere he goes. The world could use a little more of that!

Sadly, there is no such thing as a 70-pound purse-dog!

Do you take your dog with you out on the town? Tell us where in the comments!

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About the author: Wendy Newell is a former VP of Sales turned Grade A Dog Sitter. After years of stress, she decided to leave the world of “always be closing” to one of tail wags and licks. Wendy’s new career keeps her busy hiking, being a dog chauffeur, picking up poo, sacrificing her bed, and other fur-filled activities. Wendy and her dog, Riggins, take their always-changing pack of pups on adventures throughout the Los Angeles area, where they live together in a cozy, happy home. You can learn more about Wendy, Riggins, and their adventures on Facebook and Instagram.