Putting out the Welcome Mat – Sort of

August 14, 2008 at 4:41 pm 2 comments

The Wall Street Journal’s Travel Watch column recently featured a piece called “Where Dogs are Welcome.”  One of the businesses featured in the column was the Grand Traverse Resort and Spa in Traverse City, Michigan.  They recently opened “The Dog House,” a facility they refer to as “the ultimate dog retreat,” marketed “so guests and their pets can vacation together.”

I like to vacation with my pets, so I decided to look into the resort a bit further.  From their website:

Grand Traverse Resort & Spa has become a dog-friendly travel destination! Introducing, “The Dog House – The Ultimate Dog Retreat” located on the grounds of Grand Traverse Resort & Spa. Bring your beloved dog on your next vacation and relax knowing that they’ll spend their time in a Resort-caliber dog boarding facility with a professional, trained staff to look after them.

It’s a great idea.  Offer high-end pet boarding at a luxury resort.  But – it’s not what I’d choose.  I’m pretty sure that my dogs’ idea of the perfect vacation includes sharing a room with husband and I – not staying in an adjacent boarding kennel, no matter how luxurious it might be.

I wrote the Grand Traverse Resort and asked if I could have the option of keeping my dogs in a guest room with me.  They very politely replied that all pets must stay at the boarding facility.  Unfortunately this “no pets allowed” policy is becoming increasingly prevalent in hotels, motels and resort facilities across the country — and it isn’t our dogs’ fault.

Entitlement-driven, rudeself-absorbed pet owners who appear to have a deep-rooted need to flaunt their disrespect for society have a mounting presence in public places today.  Apparently rude is the new cool — and the increasing ‘coolness’ of American society tears away our rights faster than a power chipper ripping through pinewood.

I find it maddening that, instead of holding rude people accountable for their actions, most businesses and political entities now choose to simply lower their standards to a level attainable by the lowest common denominator.  If some pet owners choose not to train or clean up after their pets – no pets should be allowed.  If some people will throw trash out irresponsibly – no one should be allowed to bring food or drinks to the park.  If some parents refuse to require polite behavior from their children in public, no children should be allowed in fine restaurants.

It’s completely asinine.

For what it’s worth, I don’t have a problem with the Grand Traverse Resort’s pet policy.  Some people want to vacation in a place where there are no cats and dogs, or in a situation where their pet is close, but doesn’t require their immediate care and attention – and it’s fine that they want to cater to that crowd. 

I won’t, however, be staying there myself – if i can’t find a hotel that will take my pets, I’ll sleep in my van.


Entry filed under: dogs, pets. Tags: , .

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2 Comments Add your own

  • 1. jan  |  August 15, 2008 at 10:25 pm

    This is one of my on going complaints of life. At one time I could take my dogs any place, but people have ruined it for all of us by the way they behave and allow their pets to behave. It is so unfair that we all have to suffer because of the rudeness of the few.

  • 2. SmartDogs  |  August 15, 2008 at 11:16 pm

    I travel a lot with my dogs. These days, when I’m complimented on their behavior, more and more I find it depressing. Hotel owners, store owners and park staff seem to be amazed that dogs can be clean and quiet; not lunge after guests or staff; sit/stay where they’re told around distractions and that they’re owner will pick up their crap.

    As I’ve posted here before, I’m also beyond disappointed at the behavior of many people who travel to compete with or exhibit their dogs. I’ve seen college rugby players with better manners.

    If we’re going to have more pet-related laws, can’t they be for IMPORTANT things like being an irresonsible owner? And then – can’t they be ENFORCED?

    Deputize me. Please.

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