The radio news carries a story this morning about the dog nicknamed “Lucky” who fell from a cliff in a British seaside resort and escaped without a scratch.
Someone in the newsroom decided this was a good yarn, maybe because we are a nation of dog lovers or maybe because dogs are having a moment right now, especially in marketing.
Have you heard about the bank, the first new bank to hit the high street in a hundred years, which not only welcomes dogs but gives them biscuits?
Or the doggy ice cream van K99 which offers gammon and chicken sorbet with biscuit sprinkles?
What about the pub chain which has put dogs dinners on the menu? With a choice of delicious liver and garden veg or chicken and beef they hope to lure dog walkers inside for a pint and maybe some lunch of their own.
As a dog owner myself I have never refused the offer of a pub lunch for fear that my dog would go hungry so I see this for the gimmick that it surely is. Strangely though, these doggy tales are reeling in the press, especially when accompanied by winsome pics of dogs making deposits at the bank (no, not that kind.)
I think the dog-friendly ticket can be double-edged. If you push your dog-friendly credentials too hard you risk putting off people who dislike them.
I book holiday cottages that take dogs because I have to but I am always fearful that the place will be shabby and smelly. Just because I have a dog that I love doesn’t mean that I’m not sniffy about other people’s!
Actually I have always been lucky with my choices, even the dog-friendly villas in Centerparcs are smart and fresh. The only problem there is that they put you on the outskirts, miles away from the action.
When we first got our dog I was distraught because I thought we would never be able to go to a stylish luxury holiday cottage again but there are a surprising number of places that discreetly welcome your pet. This is good. I want this service.
What I don’t want is doggy ice cream, banking or lunch.