A Pint and A Bowl of Water For My Friend, Please…
There’s an old blogging maxim (that I’ve just made up) which states that if you’ve got a good idea for a blog post, 98% of the time it’s been written before – and usually better. That was certainly the case this time – as I pondered a subject close to my heart: Dogs in Pubs.
Keith Wildman over at the excellent Sabotage Times posted this tribute to four-legged punters earlier in the year, and I’ve been forwarding it to like-minded mates for a few months now. I agree wholeheartedly, obviously. Dogs in Pubs make me feel warm and welcome – even before I was a dog owner. As Keith says, there’s nothing that gives a more comforting, homely feeling to a pub than a pooch wandering around, getting up to mischief, or spread out under a table following an afternoon’s amble.
For me, Pubs should aspire to be ‘the third place‘, and it follows that seeing as though Wilson (my dog) is a part of my home, I’d like him to be a part of my chosen drinking place too. One of the reasons we bought a dog, in fact, was to have a companion to walk with – and when I’m involved, weekend walks normally culminate in a pub visit.
Dogs in Pubs are (or at least should be) a vital stitch in the fabric of our Pub culture – suburban and country pubs, anyway. They break down social barriers, provide shared interest and amusement, and make connections with your fellow drinkers. All these factors contribute to that sought-after ‘third place’ feeling.
Of course, not everyone will agree. I’m aware of that. Some folk simply don’t want a dog within earshot or eyesight whilst enjoying a beer, in much the same way that I feel about children. Some pubs – the more food-orientated, perhaps – don’t or can’t go there, either. Fine. I can’t take Wilson everywhere with me – but trust me, I’ll sit there wishing he was there.
Reading Keith’s piece, it’s great to see so many pubs out there welcoming dogs with open arms and a fresh water bowl. Personally, I have an array of Market Town Tavern pubs to rely on, a pubco who have never let me down. The first time I visited The Grove in Huddersfield, the first thing I noticed wasn’t the fantastic bar – it was the bloke in the doorway holding his Border Terrier. The Rising Sun near Swinsty Reservoir is a regular little stop-off for us whilst walking; a sandwich and a pint of Theakston’s amongst the Bikers out for a weekend ride; always friendly, always laughing.
Where do you go with your dog? Anyone out there who deserves a special mention? If you’re planning a trip out and are unsure, there’s a fantastic – and most importantly, up to date – resource over at Doggie Pubs.
So come on, pub owners – as warmer weather approaches, open your arms and welcome us all. Let’s get those pubs filled with the sound of glasses clinking, laughter and beer flowing – and get the dog treats stocked up.