By Zachary Michael Jack — Lately I’ve begun to cast an envious eye on the treatment given our furry companions. It’s clear to me that in many places on the Monterey Peninsula canis familiarias, not homo sapiens, is the favored species. Even I notice that when I’m traveling with my four-legged friends, I often get the best seats in the house and the brightest smiles. I certainly can’t blame our dog-friendly businesses for drooling over their four-legged guests. The pooches are consistently cuter than I am, and boast a far superior pedigree to my mongrel mix.
At times over the wet and wooly winter now past, I’ve succumbed to what can only be called canine envy, a full-blown inferiority complex that would surely have me in therapy; if only I could I afford it. Fortunately, any recent psychoses have birthed a radical new concept—the people-friendly business.
The premise is absurdly simple: take the accommodations joyfully given our four-legged BFFs and extend them to we service humans. For me it’s a matter of creed, even dogma, that lowly homo erectus receive a whiff of the same fringe benefits reserved for hounds-about-town.
For starters I would like a small bowl of savory treats available to me at point-of-sale—some mozz sticks or tapenade will suffice. I would also like a right-sized door to aid and abet my entrances and exits—an even six feet tall with extra width cut around the middle for any added winter girth. If it could be engineered to swing smartly shut behind me, and thereby cut the cold winter drafts, all the better.
But really, why should we stop there in our desire for true homo-canis equity? If in my commercial zeal I inadvertently pee on the floor of some trendy, spendy boutique, I would like for the shopkeepers to smile winsomely at me, and, laughing musically at my little accident, commence cleanup with a cheery swipe of a paper towel. No more body-shaming for me! Should I sniff my fellow shoppers in an urgent need to discover their provenance, I humbly request my advances be chalked up to “human nature” and suffered with the same good-natured glee one typically reserves for the peccadillos of man’s best friend.
And give me freebies, please…freebies of all breeds. In the hot summer months hominids like me would be ever so appreciative if the human-friendly businesses of Monterey County would provide us with a bowl of cool clean water when, in the midst of some especially heated shopping, our tongues loll out and we begin to pant. Might I also suggest a communal drinking fountain for my people friends similar to the famed Fountain of Woof in the Carmel Plaza. I’m told Diggidy Dog provides 2000 square feet of doggie rumpus room complete with a small grassy spot just outside the front doors where dogs can relieve themselves. If Spot can have his own small outdoor spot to pee, mayn’t we?
Long ago I grew envious of the children in my life for the mac and cheese, grilled cheese, and other affordably-priced savories exclusively available to them on their kiddie menus; why should we already responsibility-laden adults be deprived of the sublime economy of the children’s menu? And by a similar logic shouldn’t we be able to save a buck or two by ordering from the doggie-menu at some of Carmel’s finest restaurants? Maybe we’re hankering for some low-cost kibble, biscuits, grilled chicken, or steak tartar. The dog’s life could be great for our bottom line! If the President takes our Obamacare, could we turn to the Peninsula’s vets for first-class care? If we temporarily lose our grip on reality in Donald Trump’s America, could we save a few bucks on a people shrink by visiting an area pet psychologist instead? And if being allowed to order doggie services at doggies prices is too predictable a demand coming from whiny humans like us, may we at least be allowed to sit, unmolested, under a corner two-top to graze quietly upon table scraps?
Would Canine-by-the-Sea, the number one dog-friendly town in America, likewise supply free toiletries for we humans the way they graciously provide biodegradable bags for my pup’s doggie waste? We could all save ourselves a line-item in our monthly Safeway bills if Carmel-by-the-Sea would provide us with unlimited complimentary T.P. at dispensaries conveniently located throughout the Village in the Forest. After all, when we humans have to go on Eighth, what good does it do us if the nearest bathroom is on Scenic Avenue?
I, for one, could learn a thing or two about the good life from the higher-minded dogs in my life. I could use the “Yappy Hour” and room service menu offered my friends at Doris Day’s Cypress Inn. I could stand more off-leash time, more doggie deep tissue massage and doggie cones and scones delivered to me for free or at a fraction of retail. Call me a needy human, but I want to be met at area patisseries with the same broad and beatific smiles (not to mention free pastries!) with which the merchants of our fair Peninsula greet my more hirsute friends.
I entreat you, fair Monterey County, treat us like dog-people we are!