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My Dog is Like American Express, I Don’t Leave Home Without Him!

My Dog is Like American Express, I Don’t Leave Home Without Him!

I chuckled when I heard the above response about American Express when I asked my cousin about his adorable Golden Retriever, Chloe. It was funny because it’s also so true in my life with Sanchez. He goes almost everywhere with me, much more so than I’ve done with any dog in the past. I’m not sure if it’s because so many public places near me are dog-friendly, or because he grew up as a Guide Dogs for the Blind puppy in training and he was bred and raised to be calm in social settings. In his Guide Dog puppy training days, he even went to indoor restaurants and San Francisco Symphony concerts.

Honestly, it’s pretty rare that he’s left at home alone. Sanchez prefers an active social life of going to work with me and greeting students at my music school, going on errands with me (I think half of the town knows him by now), and just riding in the car to go anywhere. A variety of local venues (in Half Moon Bay, CA) have treats for him – my bank, the UPS store, and the local hardware store. I’ve been taking classes at my Apple Store lately and dogs are invited into all Apple Stores. If I had known that sooner, I probably would have bought a Mac years ago. (Not to mention how much I love the computer and the service.)

When I posted this on Facebook recently, an entire conversation started regarding what big chain stores in local communities welcome their well-behaved dogs on leash. The list included Home Depot, Nordstrom’s, Macy’s, Lowe’s, Walgreens, The UPS Store, and Crate & Barrel. Also mentioned were many locally owned stores in many dog friendly towns such as Carmel, CA and Myrtle Beach, SC.

When I asked Nordstrom’s on Twitter what their dog policy is, they tweeted this: “We don’t have a dog policy for our stores. Service dogs are always welcome. For pet dogs, we try to use our best judgment.”

It may be different in every community, but I love it that more stores are welcoming friendly, well-behaved dogs on leash. Are there any stores in your community that you’d like to share? Please click comment below and let others know. Also, please share your stories of your experiences bringing your dogs into stores.

By Lisa Spector, Canine Music Expert, Juilliard Graduate, and co-creator of Through a Dog’s Ear. Click here to receive a free download from our latest release, Music to Calm your Canine Companion Vol. 3. Simply enter your email address and a link to the free download will be delivered to your inbox.

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Lisa Spector

Lisa Spector is a concert pianist, Juilliard graduate, and canine music expert. She is co-founder of Through a Dog's Ear, the first music clinically demonstrated to calm the canine nervous system. Their new high-tech pet gadget, iCalmDog, is the portable solution to canine anxiety. Lisa shares her home and her heart with her two "career change" Labrador Retrievers from Guide Dogs for the Blind, Sanchez and Gina. Follow Lisa's blog here.


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7:33AM PST on Feb 22, 2012

Just got back from a 2 week car trip with my pomeranian.She(and I) had the time of her life.We had no problem finding pet-friendly motels,

6:06PM PDT on Nov 1, 2011

I didn't know Walgreens or Home Depot allowed dogs. Hmmm....maybe I'll check out the local stores, especially Walgreens, as I go there a lot. I would take my dog everywhere if I could but there are way too many places that aren't dog friendly. :(

7:03AM PDT on Sep 2, 2011

I take My dog wherever I can always on a lease. I enjoy his company more than I do most people. If I get invited to a friends house and he's not welcome then I don't go. He's well behaved and friendly and I enjoy him being with Me.

3:42PM PDT on Aug 1, 2011

Sadly, GSD's are not accepted everywhere.

10:33PM PDT on Jul 31, 2011

I take my dog with me everywhere I can...:))

5:56AM PDT on May 29, 2011

I guess that I was following the tangent that you gad taken the thread Diane. Having said that surely the answer to your question is apparent, if somewhat implicit, I take my dog with me because like Toussenel "The more one gets to know of men the more one values dogs". One might consider that commenting on the type of people that April associates with was, on the other hand, somewhat less than pertinent. April has her view and, just like the rest of us, has the right to express it.

12:40AM PDT on May 29, 2011

And, Howard, your point is WHAT? The discussion is about taking dogs everywhere with you "because".

2:56PM PDT on May 28, 2011

I love dogs and my little darling (at 22 kg he isn't actually that small) comes almost everywhere with us. I am mindful of his doggie habits and respect these, I guess that in this respect I agree with Diane but ...... although I hope that most of my friends wash their hands after they've been to the loo, I've seen many humans who didn't; I don't believe that I have friends who inject drugs (with dirty needles) but I know that there are people who do; I don't think that I have friends who rape and kill others but I know there are people who do; I don't know people (I certainly don't have friends) who torture others of their kind (and other species) just for fun but I know there are those who do. I could go on but I can sum this up by saying that I have never known a dog (or any other animal) who did these things. In conclusion I would say that there are worse things that humans do than dogs could even conceive of so, in summary, I'm sorry Diane, I understand where you're coming from but dogs start behaving as badly as humans do (this includes deliberately spreading HIV, and btw humans can spread rabies as well) I cannot agree with what you have said 100%. Incidentally, try fostering toddlers who have suffered at the hands of their human parents (I have helped many), this could be a real eye opener for you regarding what human beings can be like.

10:21PM PDT on Apr 23, 2011

April, if you have dogs cleaner than the humans you associate with, you associate with some fairly unclean humans. I've yet to see a toddler who licks his/her own butt and then licks a person. Dogs walk all over in DIRT, then walk in the house and lick their paws as well, then lick people.

I'm as much, if not MORE of a dog lover than most, but I'm also realistic. After handling my dogs, I wash my hands. As for when was the last time a human got sick from a dog? It happens all the time. Dogs carry fleas which bite people as well, and that can result in disease. Dogs can pass worms to humans (not often, but to kids who play around them in the dirt, it has happened). Dogs carry diseases such as lyme disease, which can also be passed to humans, and let's see, rabies can also be mentioned, as some dogs are not kept UTD with their vaccinations. There are MANY diseases which can be passed to humans, so don't kid yourself.

9:31PM PDT on Apr 23, 2011

St Pete, Tampa and Clearwater (FL) are all extremely dog friendly. Dogs are invited inside stores and restaurants. I love that. Having spent a lot of time in Paris (which is the most dog friendly place I've ever seen), I always wished America would lighten up a bit when it came to our dogs. And now I've found a place that DOES just that. I hate when people refer to dogs as 'dirty' when I don't see them as any less clean than children are. I actually think dogs are more clean, since so many kids seem to crawl around on the floor, put anything into their mouths and often seem covered in snot...? When was the last time you heard of a human getting sick or dying from something from a dog?

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