In the land of lovely, leash-free beaches!

Au Contraire!  This is a story where the dog could well be asking for an “owner’s bag”. What?! Yes indeed.  This is a story about a town, which carries its dog-friendly nature to extremes.  It encourages you to pack your dog’s bags, with yours and bring them along on your vacation!

Ann Tatko-Peterson reports of going on holidays with her sister-in-law and their two dogs.  The trip was planned specifically to cater to the dogs – Daisy and Misty.  The town we are talking about is Carmel-by the Sea.

This town has a reputation for eccentricity.  For example, they once banned ice cream cones so as to protect the pavements from “drips”, and keep them clean! 

There was even a rule requiring permits if you wanted to wear high heels!

Many of us have heard of this town in connection with Clint Eastwood and his famous one-liner, “Go ahead, make my day!”

Now, however, Carmel is most famous for is its being selected as America’s most dog-friendly resort by the Internet site dogfriendly.com.  Carmel has 25 hotels, and other accommodation of varying sizes. 

More importantly, there are over 40 restaurants, bars and coffee baristas, where dogs are permitted.

If you don’t like dogs this is not the place for you.  Why? This is because, Carmel even has a leash-free beach – among the very few such remaining beaches in California.

Shops and art galleries in this esoteric community welcome dogs with water dishes and biscuits!

The inn where Ann stayed had 44 luxury rooms and more than a third of the guests had brought their pets. 

When guests check in, their dogs are received with a great big bowl of dog biscuits!  
The rooms are clean with a mattress for the dogs, and no trace of the previous guests’ “pet stops”.

For dinner, those guests who don’t go out to the city’s numerous dog-friendly restaurants can opt to stay in the hotel and dine in one of the hotel’s on-site restaurants.  This eatery has a special area where dogs are welcome.

If you think this is the height of luxury, wait till you hear of ‘Diggedy Dog’, a dog and cat boutique designed for the upscale, well-heeled pets!  It stocks run-of-the-mill homemade treats as also toys and pet-strollers and prams!

Would you believe the Carmel Church allows pets?  There is a floral gallery in Carmel called ‘Twigery’, whose owner made the point about the canine visitors best when he said, “When I die, I want to come back as a Carmel dog!” Indeed, it’s a dog’s life and the life of a man’s best friend is not to be sneezed at, at least in some parts of the world.

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