My friends at the Dogs Trust charity have come up with a wonderful idea I want to tell you about. Next Friday week, June 21, is Dog Friendly Ireland Day, a day when all business owners are encouraged to open up their premises to us canines.
We’ve a lot of work to do in this area. Despite 40% of all households in Ireland taking the enlightened decision to have a dog about the place, we lag far behind the rest of Europe when it comes to dog-friendly facilities.
When I went on holidays to Devon and Cornwall a few years ago – come to think of it, it’s high time I went back – everywhere I went I was welcomed with open arms. Nearly every pub, café or restaurant had a sign that said ‘Well behaved dogs welcome’. I’m always well behaved and it was lovely to sit under a chair while my humans enjoyed a drink or meal and occasionally I even fell in for some scraps from the table.
So how about it, business owners in Clare? There’s still time to embrace dog friendly day and you can join the other businesses who have already joined up. You can check them out or sign up on dogstrust.ie. Do it as soon as you’ve finished reading the ‘Champion.
This is a real opportunity for us dogs to put our best paw forward and show that we can be trusted to behave well while out socially but there are a few things for our humans to keep in mind. If your dog is any way nervous about being with strangers or other dogs, maybe it’s best to keep them home. A supply of drinking water and some poop bags in case of accidents would be a very good idea and it’s vital that your pet is up to date on vaccinations, worming and flea treatments.
I have to accept that it’s best we be kept on a lead and maybe have something for us to chew on in case we get bored. Preferably nothing squeaky though. While we love the noise, it might irritate others after a while and that’s not what we want at all. It’s positive PR we’re after.
But there’s more good news – it has been proven beyond doubt that petting a dog, even if it’s not your own, reduces stress while owning a dog makes you walk further, lowers cholesterol and blood pressure and improves heart health.
What more convincing do you need? If you do decide to take part, whether as a business or pet owner, make sure to share photos with the hashtag #DogFriendlyIrelandDay. My tail will be wagging as I look at all your lovely posts.