Friday, December 30, 2005

The Politics of Dog Culture

I haven't had a good rant in here in a while, and I've been building up a few - so you better batten down the hatches because here they come - not only have I been thinking about my "Charlie loves Halifax website" and why it exists and the philosophy behind it - I've also shut down my "Skip Guysborough" website - and that's going to take some explaining - and let me tell you, I've got an earful to give.

But first, I'm going to give you some thoughts on my "Charlie loves Halifax" website - why I made it, why I continue to maintain it, why I think it's important to local dog culture, and who I think it's for - is it for the businesses that it's generating revenue for? Do I get anything out of making the website? Is it making any difference in the dog community? What DO business owners think about it? What do owners of dog-related businesses who aren't listed think about it? Why aren't they listed?

"Charlie loves Halifax" is looking at nothing less than world domination in terms of changing the way people look at dog ownership. It's rather unfortunate that I happen to live in Halifax, Nova Scotia - because I know that my ideas are never going to come to fruition in my lifetime - but you never know! I might get enough people seeing things my way to make things happen. I truly see my dogs as my lifetime companions - I want to take them with me everywhere that I go - on my daily errands, to my friends' houses - and almost all my friends at this point in my life share my passions, so they let me bring my lifetime canine companions with me. I want to take them shopping with me, I want to take them with me everywhere - because they are my heart and soul and they want to be WITH ME TOO! When we are at Canadian Tire however, they are not there to play with other dogs - they are there as my companions, they are also not there to pee on the merchandise - they know that they only pee on grass, or outside, or on specific things - because as a responsible dog owner - I've taught them that.

I want people to know what stores locally they are allowed to shop at that they can take their dogs in with them - so that they can spend their money there if they want to. Because I think it's really important politically to spend our money judiciously that way. Even if I don't have my dogs with me I go to the Canadian Tire on Quinpool Road because they allow dogs in their store. And I have written them and told them that. When I get takeout Chinese food I always go to Hop Sings on the Herring Cove Road because they let me bring Buttercup in when I pick up my food. It's as simple as that. And I list all those stores on my shopping page.

Now when it comes to stores that CATER to the dog community you'd think it would be a given that they'd allow dogs into their stores, wouldn't you? Well, this is a real dilly of a pickle - those stores are just dropping off like flies and they've got a MILLION excuses as to why they won't let dogs in their stores. The dogs are peeing on their merchandise and they're losing too much money. They can't properly supervise the dogs in their store. Blah blah blah. Do you know what I say to that? BULLSHIT. A store that caters to the dog community that isn't dog-friendly is not going to get one cent of my money. Period. End of story. And I say that in several places on my website and I'll say that as plain as day here - I don't know if I can say it any plainer, or more plainly. There is absolutely no excuse for not allowing humans and their canine life companions in your business if you are trying to sell them items that pertain to those companions. That is absolutely ridiculous - you can give me any excuse you want, I do not buy it, and I am certainly not going to buy your product. What if a human comes into your store and spills their coffee on something - you've got to take the loss of any product that might cause? Or a bratty child pukes on something?

Simply because you are allowed to have a negative view of pet ownership - the very thing that you are trying to PROFIT from - ooh boy - my blood is boiling now - I've got to go make myself a coffee.....

Okay.... so I WANT businesses who DO along dogs in their stores to make lots of money because they do that - to know that their increases are because of that. I would love to build up a whole niche market of dog owners - in fact a whole tourist trade of dog tourism - I think that Halifax would be the perfect spot to have dog tourism - people coming here simply because it's a fabulous place to visit to have a vacation with their dogs - there's places already where they can come to a hotel that caters to people and their dogs - the Westin, or B&B - the Pampered Paws Inn. There's all the outdoor cafes that they could eat at with their dogs, there's the Silva tall ship they could go on, there's lots of places downtown they could go shopping in that allows dogs - and if we had dog tourism worked out properly - even more places would allow dogs, there's doggie day cares that we could have that would allow tourist to drop off their dogs for the evening so that they could go out dining and dancing. It's such a huge dream - but it's such a great dream of what Halifax COULD be - the dog tourism capital of North America - wouldn't that be awesome?

And all it takes is taking away that nasty negative view of pet ownership - just think about the benefits that it would also have for local pet owners too - because of all the positive things that we'd be doing for other people's dogs we could have them for local dogs too.

Anyway, I went off on a tangent and got off my dog culture thing....

For the owners of businesses who cater to the dog community who don't allow dogs in their stores - it seems like they don't like dogs very much - like Carnegy's (Four Feet on the Floor), B&R's, Willows - even places like Old Navy have no reason why you can't take your dog in with you so that you could try their dog coats on - but you can't. It's stupid. And there's no reason for it. And for that reason I will NOT spend any money there. And for that reason I tell other people not to spend money there - and I tell them why I don't spend my money there - and then they can make their own decisions based on that.

Category: [Dog Culture]

Category: [Charlie loves Halifax]

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