If you’ve ever seen people driving around town with their dogs in the car, you may have noticed that most of the dogs seem to have smiles on their faces. If seeing a dog smile like that brings a smile to your face, then you’ll appreciate this story even more.
You may have read my previous article about my Schnauzer girl Dusty. If so, you know she’s a recent addition to our household. She’s been with us now for about two-and-a-half months. While I’ve had different-sized dogs in the past, I intentionally wanted a smaller dog this time so that I could take her with me everywhere I go. I made the assumption that she’d enjoy being with me wherever I went. Little did I know that my assumption would turn out to be 100 percent correct!
Going for a “ride,” as I call it, is her absolute favorite thing to do. Just mentioning the word “ride” makes her stop in her tracks, perk her ears up, and promptly run to my side, where she’ll sit perfectly still until I pick her up. She loves riding in the back seat, usually with my wife Kim beside her. Dusty has her own seat, which we call her “puppy basket.” When needed, we can close the top of it to keep her secure. But she can still see out of each of the mesh sides.
She loves the sights, smells, and sounds that surround her. She knows when it is a weekend ride compared to going somewhere during the week. Not because the routine is different, but because the sights and sounds are more varied. The weekend is usually filled with the sounds of motorcycles that have come out of the garage from their weekday hibernation. It is also when you see more people out and about with their dogs, their heads sticking out of the rolled-down windows, sniffing the breeze as they travel down the road. Nothing beats the sight of a smiling and slobbering dog sniffing the breeze as their human companions escort them around town.
In the short time I’ve had Dusty in my life, she’s been to parks, the groomer, the vet’s office, outdoor festivals, restaurants, home improvement stores, pet supply stores, department stores, and pretty much any other place that’s dog friendly. We’ve decided that it’s better to assume she can join us wherever we go than to ask permission first.
So far, we’ve been asked to leave only one store during our many trips. It was a small fudge shop in Dahlonega, Georgia. I’m sure it was due to some health code thing, but you would have thought by the store clerk’s reaction that we were bringing a pack of dirty dogs in the store instead of a five-pound puppy in her stroller. It wasn’t like Dusty was going to jump out of her enclosed stroller, raid the fudge samples, and finish off the visit by pottying on the floor! Anyway, enough of that rant …
Of all the places we’ve taken Dusty, her absolute favorite place to visit is Starbucks. My wife and I go there multiple times per week. Who am I kidding? It’s usually every day. It’s very convenient — Starbucks is only a couple of miles from my house. However, it can also be way too tempting! Heck, there’s even a second Starbucks located in the Super Target store that’s directly across the parking lot from the Starbucks standalone store that we usually go to! What more could anyone ask for?
Most of the employees at our local Starbucks know Dusty by name and laugh when they hear her bark through the drive-through speaker. They’ve even been known to reach out the window to pet her, or allow her to come in briefly to say hi to everyone. Naturally, they always wash their hands afterwards so as not to violate any health code ordinances. Of course, as far as Dusty is concerned, her puppy kisses are perfectly sanitary.
We don’t allow Dusty to drink any of the coffee or eat any of the marshmallow dream bars we order, of course. But she is allowed to have a small amount of ice off the top of my wife’s Mocha Frappuccino. It’s such a small amount, but she loves it!
She gets so excited when she sees the cup handed to me through the drive-through window. If it takes too long, she barks again to tell them to hurry up! And being a small puppy, her bark is ear shattering. However, that doesn’t stop us from all getting a chuckle on how insistent she is about getting her Starbucks treat.
I find it reassuring that we can take Dusty everywhere we go. She’s both crate trained and potty trained. We could leave her at home, and I know that she’d be fine. But what’s the fun in that? Besides, I’m now the guy walking around town with two beautiful blondes, one on each arm!
How about you? Do you take your dog with you to everyday places such as the cafe or supermarket? Let us know in the comments!