Is it okay to eat with your dog? Is it okay to take your dog to restaurants? Is it okay to bring your dog into a dressing room and ask them if those jeans make you look fat? Is it okay to take your dog to Home Depot and-Oh my God!
Hey! Stop! Your dog just took a crap in aisle 7!
Are you really not picking that up? There’s a Pet Smart next door where you can buy poop bags. I’ll wait here while you buy them. You’re not coming back, are you?
Phew. The man in the orange Home Depot vest is walking over. He’s probably going to go pick it up. Bet that wasn’t in his job description. I wonder if it’s more fun than helping someone like me find a 3/4 inch screw.
Oh, he’s not picking it up? He’s putting a caution cone next to it and a sign? I can’t read the sign. What does it say? I’m walking up to get a closer look. Oh my God! It says Caution Dog Poop. Home Depot, you think of everything. That’s why you wear the orange vests.
When I was little, we asked my parents if the dog could join us at the dinner table. This is what our dog looked like.
Regal. Irresistible. Makes you want to pull her up on a chair and eat with her, right? Invite that bitch to dinner.
Recognizing a long battle at its inception, my mother agreed to our request to eat dinner with the dog. “Fine,” she said. “We can try it, once.”
When my sister and I told our friends on the phone later, they were shocked. “Your mom let your dog eat the table! You are so lucky!” They hadn’t batted an eye when we told them we were selling weed out of the pantry.
We set our dog up an orange fiesta plate, like ours. We gave her silverware, fork on the left, knife, and spoon on the right. She got her own water glass. Obviously. She’s a dog. Dogs love water.
We didn't know it at the time, but we were ahead of our time. Trailblazers rarely know what will transpire on the path they have blazed, but we were on to something. Dogs being humanized.
Forty years later, people are dining with their dogs in public.
I am in a couple of mom Facebook groups. It keeps me in touch with what gets people’s panties knotted up. This dog appearing in restaurants phenomena is as polemic as politics today.
People are either vehemently for or adamantly against it. People are either grossed out completely or feel scratched on just the right part. Personally, my dog's mouth smells like her butthole, so she’s not going to any fancy restaurants. I’m not going to inflict that on people who don’t love her.
I’m pretty sure she’s not the only dog with questionable breath. But I get it. We’re lonely. We need constant therapy. We want to bring our unconditional friends everywhere with us. How dare we not? How can we possibly leave our best friend at home while we go out for a fancy dinner?
This brings me back to the dog of my youth. We propped her up in a dining chair because that’s where animals who were once wolves like to be.
She accommodated us, but Golden Retrievers can’t hide their disgust at humans. She looked at my mother like, “I’m picking my battles too, sister, so I’m only letting this happen once.”
She ate her pasta off her orange fiesta plate and proceeded to jump onto the floor as gracefully as a dog. Then she laid on her back, belly up, under the table, and waited for us to spill.
That’s how dogs do it. It looks like a great idea. The next time you invite me to dinner, I’m laying on the floor, mouth open, waiting for you to spill. Fewer dishes for you to clean up. Nothing to sweep up after I leave. You’re welcome. Ruff.