I‘ll never forget the first few times my husband and I visited the little enclave village of Carmel-by-the-Sea; we were mesmerized by all the pups that ruled the town. Everywhere we went, darling dogs were present at hotels, restaurants, beaches and shops. Carmel reminded us of a recent visit to Paris, where pooches were welcomed almost anywhere. Several years later, we officially became fur baby parents, and homeowners in Carmel-by-the-Sea. Carmelites cherish their furry friends; folks here think you’re strange if you’re not a dog lover.
Most of us locals who are canine fanatics know all the local dogs by name – oh yeah, and then we might remember the owner’s name. It’s a known fact that pet owners consider their pets a member of the family, and here in Carmel we embrace the concept: Dogs are welcome almost everywhere. In fact, many local businesses cater to dogs, and Carmel is recognized as the #1 dog friendliest place in America.
My friends wonder what’s up if they see me without “Oreo,” my black and white Shih-Tzu, in tow. Oreo is truly a one-of-a-kind dog that you can take any where; she has a beautiful temperament, and loves people and all doggies big and small. Oreo is quite the working pal; she loves to tour homes along the Monterey Peninsula and go to the office. Dogs rule our town and we have an abundance of activities we can enjoy with them. Some of Oreo and my favorites include:
Morning tennis at Spanish Bay Club – Oreo enjoys observing from her courtside doggie condo.
A walk along Carmel beach to enjoy the splashing surf, and doggie socialization.
A walk along Ocean Avenue to shop, and collect doggie treats from the proprietors.
Doggie shopping for a new toy at “Diggidy Dog.”
A doggie spa day with Todd and his team at “Suds and Scissors.”
A relaxing brunch on the outdoor patio at “From Scratch” in the Barnyard.
Afternoon cocktails at Terri’s Lounge at the Cypress Inn, to doggie and people watch.
Our devotion to our doggies is serious business — they are our companions when shopping, on dining adventures, and daily outings. Haven’t you noticed how folks always seem more approachable when a dog is by their side? It’s no wonder a dog is a man’s best friend.
In closing, I share a quote (author unknown) “It came to me that every time I lose a dog, they take a piece of my heart with them. And every new dog who comes into my life, gifts me with a piece of their heart. If I live long enough, all the components of my heart will be dog and I will become as generous and loving as they are.”