Have Fido Will Travel

By on 15 February, 2013 in Carole King, Pets with 1 Comment

Emma held court at Capitol Books for years.

Being a dog lover, I am always on the lookout for canine-friendly business establishments. As we travel to out of town dog show sites with our Scottish Deerhounds, we like to support dog-friendly businesses in the towns we visit. Our big dogs are well behaved and a pleasure (most of the time) to travel with. We travel with bowls, water and lots of poop disposal bags. Our dogs are always on a leash and have a collar with our cell phone numbers. No self-respecting, seasoned traveler would subject themselves to being on the road with a mischievous, ill-behaved canine. There lots of publications and websites that can assist you in finding accommodations when you travel with dogs.

Here in Midtown, we have a number of dog-friendly establishments where dogs go to work with their people. We all remember and miss fuzzy little Emma who used to hold court in an armchair at Capitol Book and News on Woodley Terrace. Currently, Willoughby, who owns Jessamyn Boyd, is a regular customer there. Odie, short for Office Dog, accompanies Sandra Nickel to her real estate office on Fairview Avenue, and Halley, a feline abandoned in a rental property, can be seen perched in her window watching the crowds go by. If you have blueprints or copies made at Alabama Graphics on E. Jeff Davis Street you may meet Abby, a shiny black pup who was abandoned in the nearby parking lot. Lots of local businesses are beginning to see the advantages to welcoming customers who have their dogs in tow. If you need a photo or painting framed, Stonehenge Framing will be glad to visit with your pooch as you select a mat and frame style. Apropos, a gift and accessory shop on Cloverdale Road, offers delectable treats to shopping canines. If you need copying done or office supplies you can take your canine friends in with you at Kwik Kopy Shop on Molton Street in Downtown. And of course, the Midtown pet store, Pet Supermarket allows, encourages and entertains your dog while you shop for supplies.

Willoughby frequently visits Capitol Books with Jessamyn.

The Chamber of Commerce Visitor Center located in Union Station welcomes visitors seeking touring information and their dogs into the beautiful foyer area. If you have out-of-town guests and need to house them elsewhere, the Lattice Inn welcomes canines with notice.

Local food ordinances hinder our dogs from accompanying us into local eating establishments, but dogs can be seen resting on the sidewalk with their people at Café Louisa and Tomatino’s on Fairview Avenue. Over in Zelda Place, canines can relax around the fountain while their people enjoy pizza and beer at Midtown Pizza’s outdoor dining tables.

Being a dog-friendly establishment is easy and endears your business to us, your local market. These are some suggestions that we have for operating a dog friendly business…

  • Let people know that it’s okay to bring your dog into your store. Post a “We welcome you and your pooch” sticker on the door.
  • Keep a dish of fresh cool water visible. At Old Alabama Town, watering bowls are provided in the summer months for our canine visitors.
  • Display a jar of dog biscuits on the checkout counter.
  • Also, offer cute canine gifts for dogs and people to entice your customers.
  • Bring your dog to work. In Oxford, MS., a downtown high-end clothing store had a row of plush dog beds lined up for the employees’ fluffy dogs to rest while their owners worked.

As our community becomes more and more of a walking city, we hope more businesses will consider being “Pet Friendly” for those of us dog lovers!

Carole King (not the singer, just the hummer) enjoys midtown living from South Capitol Parkway in Capitol Heights where she has lived for 25+years. Carole has been the historic properties curator for the Landmarks Foundation that manages Old Alabama Town for 28 years and is passionate about neighborhoods, their architectural character, their people, and their preservation!

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  1. Jim Yeaman says:

    Thanks for including The Lattice Inn on your list of pet friendly businesses. We will also take cats in addition to small dogs, but with the caveat that there are already two mature feline siblings on the premises and we don’t want any “cat fights” (between animals anyway) if we can help it! 😉

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