Kelly McCardy-Fuller is a freelance writer/editor residing in Westminster, Maryland with her husband and two children. She obtained a degree in Journalism, Summa Cum Laude, from Wayne State University in Detroit, Michigan. After that, she traveled extensively, working on United States Naval Bases as a Hotel Manager, all the while working on her freelance writing career. Settling down to raise a family, Kelly has been editing and ghostwriting for a Neuropsychologist at Behavioral, Medicine & Health Psychology in Ventura, CA for the past eight years. She has had articles published on various websites, in newspapers, magazines, and medical journals from coast to coast, and recently finished her first book, which is awaiting publication. To contact Kelly, please email: fuller.kelly@gmail.com
Years ago, every time we left the house we would ask my Dad, “Can we bring Max?” Max was our 180-pound Doberman Pincher. Most of the time my Dad said no. On those few occasions that he did say yes, he would add, “But only for the ride. He can’t come in with us.” The only place we ever got to bring Max in to, was the Vet. Dogs were not allowed anywhere. We were flabbergasted when whenever we saw a seeing-eye-dog walking through the mall. We thought it was just about the coolest thing in the world to be able to bring your dog inside. It was truly a novelty.

Back then, there was no need to post signs on businesses reading, “No dogs allowed,” because it was just understood that dogs can’t come in. Nowadays, however, business owners are smart to put up a sign if they don’t welcome pets, because more and more people are apt to bring their dogs in. As much as I hate to admit it, the whole thing may have started with celebrities like Paris Hilton, who helped make pets an accessory by bringing them everywhere. It only snowballed from there, because people figured that if little dogs can come in, then big dogs should be able to come in too.

I’m not giving Paris all the credit. Groundbreaking pet supply stores like the Pet’s Mart (TM) chain also played a big role by welcoming pets into their stores. The new status of our pets also contributed to the trend. Our pets are no longer just our pets. They are important, beloved members of our family. We wouldn’t assume our kids aren’t welcome in a business, so why should we think our pets wouldn’t be able to come in? Some people today even find it offensive if a business does not allow them to bring their pets in, and take their business elsewhere. Others, don’t even consider the fact that their pets may not be welcome, and just walk in without a second thought. Finally, there are those who methodically research to find places where their pets are allowed.

Research is easy when many cities offer pet friendly city guides. Almost all hotels now include whether or not they welcome pets, and Realtors are able to provide prospective home buyers with lists of pet friendly places in the areas they are looking to reside in. It’s really a new world. There are book stores in Boston that welcome your pets to browse. There are Bistro’s in New York and a British Pub in Houston that all welcome your pets to dine on their patios. There’s even an art gallery in California that welcomes your pets to view its masterpieces. Some hardware stores keep their doors open to pets, and almost every drive through window attendant has treats on hand for your passenger-side pooch.

Let’s not stop at retail. How about the workplace? We started with child care facilities available to employees, and now some businesses are extending that to allow you to bring your pet to work. I’m not talking about a designated bring your pet to work day. I’m talking about every day. Sounds crazy, but the logic behind it is genius. A happy employee is a better, more productive, loyal employee, and what makes an employee happy? His pet. So why not let him bring his pet to work?

Yes, it’s true. There actually are pet friendly workplaces. Studies have shown that employees work longer hours when they are accompanied by their pets. Employees who bring their pets to work also have lower stress levels, and there is more comradery among coworkers. The smoking break is being replaced by the potty break.


Max would have loved it. I almost feel sorry for all those earlier generations of pets. It’s almost like the women who were not allowed to vote, or the minorities who were not allowed to use the drinking fountain. It was just not fair. Thank goodness we are all becoming a more open-minded. It’s about time people realized that pets make us happy, and when we are happy, the world is a much better place. So bring your pet along, and not just for the ride.

Kelly McCardy-Fuller
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Bring Him Along, but Not Just for The Ride
                   
By Kelly McCardy-Fuller