Every month or so when I’d run out of coffee, instead of taking my dog Trixie for her usual morning walk through Volunteer Park, we’d head down 15th Ave to Cafe Ladro where I’d order an Americano to go and a pound of beans. The staff was welcoming, and even gave Trixie treats on occasion. People waiting in line would fuss over her and initiate the usual dog conversations – what’s her name, what breed, how old, etc. It was a nice routine.
On Monday, we set off once again on our coffee run, but this time we were greeted by a sign on the door featuring a dejected looking dog with a note from the Ladro staff politely informing us unless Trixie was a service dog, she was no longer welcome.
Desperately in need of caffeine, I considered my options. Past attempts to leave her outside while I went into a store had been a catastrophe. Unlike those noble dogs content to plunk down on the sidewalk and gaze indifferently at passers by, Trixie would howl and whine and tug on her leash and create a big embarrassing scene. Leaving her outside was out of the question. Could I take her into Victrola, or would I have to endure stink eye from the staff and patrons, or worse, suffer the humiliation of being asked to leave? I didn’t know.
Then I remembered seeing the dog of the month picture outside the not-a-Starbucks down the street, and set off to give my money to “the man”. The people there made the usual fuss over her, one of the workers suggested she should be dog of the month, the barista complimented me on my vintage Blues For Allah T-shirt, the coffee was hot and good, and the price was several dollars less than at Ladro.
I don’t know why Cafe Ladro decided to ban dogs. Perhaps someone was bit, or more likely, they made a business decision to pander to Seattle’s noisy dog-hating mob. I understand how bringing in a dog for an extended period of time could cause problems. Some people are allergic, some dogs have accidents, and some dogs aren’t very friendly. But I can’t bring my dog in for a couple minutes for a to-go order? Really?
OK, so be it.