Atlanta has gone to the dogs

I don’t think I have ever seen so many dogs in one city as I have here in Atlanta. Every morning, there is a parade of people with their pets: from the tall, curly haired woman with the massive wolf dog to the mild-mannered man with two tiny dachshunds.

And we see them wherever we go. When we bought our Christmas tree, this friendly yellow labrador greeted us.

In London, dogs would appear en masse in parks on warm, rainless days, which were few and far between. Occasionally, you would come across them in pubs.

One of the charming aspects of British pubs was that many allowed owners to bring their dogs. There would be a bowl of water on the floor for the four-legged patrons.

Here, I have yet to see a dog in any drinking or dining establishment. But they seem to be everywhere else: on Christmas hayrides, school runs, Halloween trick or treating expeditions, and jogs in Piedmont Park.

I have never owned a dog, which some of my neighbors are seeking to rectify. One sends me pictures of orphaned and abused dogs who are looking for homes.

They are adorable, but I worry about my kids: my daughter screams and cries whenever she sees one (I am therefore keenly aware of dogs’ omnipresence in this town); and I wonder how the dog would amuse his or herself while we’re all at work/preschool.

One friend sends her two rescue dogs to doggie daycare while she’s at work during the week. I’m glad to know that such a service exists, but feel that we already spend a lot of money on human daycare.

Maybe when the kids are a bit older, we’ll join the masses of Atlantans with dogs.

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