The dog days of summer are still months away, but is becoming a canine-friendly town? According to livability.com, the most pet-friendly city for Fido is Portland, Ore. with more than 32 dog parks. That got The Ticker thinking, just how dog-friendly is TC?
The D.O.G. Bakery, which opened in 2004, has seen steady growth each year, prompting owner Karry Barolo to double its retail space in 2011.
She says TC is a dog-friendly community, but says there’s still room for improvement.
“It would be nice to have an area of beach accessible to dogs, we could use another dog park and some dedicated hiking trails would be great.”
Speaking of dog parks, TC’s first-ever dog park, located on Division Street, has been quite successful since opening in August. Lauren Vaughn of the TC Parks and Recreation Department says he has heard reports of up to 30 dogs and their owners enjoying the park at the same time. While there are no plans for a second dog park in the city, Garfield Township recently adopted a park development plan for the existing Silver Lake Recreation Area, which will include a 2.5 acre dog park. Officials are hoping to open it later this fall and are currently seeking volunteers and donations.
At area businesses, there are plenty of “no dogs allowed” signs, but several employers actually encourage bringing dogs to work.
Such is the case at Bare & Clough, which on any given day can have up to four dogs in the law firm- including Polar, a golden retriever. In fact, when negotiating a lease, a “pets allowed” clause was a must.
“When clients come to see us, they are very nervous,” explains partner Cici Clough. “Once they see our dogs, I think they instantly feel a sense of relief, and they often come back with their own dog!”
And at Venus on Front Street, lipstick and mascara aren’t the only staples at the beauty store. Frankie, a French bulldog, has been accompanying his “mom,” Susan Ruoff, to work since the store opened almost 13 years ago.
At Plamondon Shoes, you and your furry friend are both invited in, as long as your dog is clean and well-behaved. Manager Ansel Bowden says the store has been dog-friendly for years, and it has never posed any problems. He adds, “It would be nice if there were a dog-friendly window sticker that businesses could place at their entrance to indicate whether dogs are welcome.”
Canines also have their own roles in TC’s festival scene, including the Cherry Festival’s Ultimate Air Dog competition, the Winter Comedy Arts Festival Monster Dog Pull and the annual Thanksgiving Turkey Trot, which welcomes dogs to participate.
And, it’s not only area canines that can enjoy a dog’s life in TC. Several TC hotels, including the Park Place Hotel and Holiday Inn West Bay, are now pet-friendly.