Stroll down Ninth Street, and you might see labs lounging at the feet of coffee drinkers at Lakota or huskies on leashes, ambling toward Poppy. What was once thought to be humans-only territory is now becoming a pet’s paradise as Columbia businesses open up their doors and patios. Who’s in the doghouse now?
Several downtown establishments are keeping the kibble life from feeling repetitive. Turn your Lakota Coffee run into a morning walk for your pup or hit Uprise Bakery when in need of a late night pastry. Main Squeeze owner Leigh Lockhart says that allowing pets in the area outside of her business has fostered a community feel for customers (when they remember to bring a doggie bag) and the downtown area as a whole. Lizzi & Rocco’s has even pitched in by providing a water bowl for furry customers. The vegetarian nature of Main Squeeze’s menu aids in allowing pets, as Lockhart notes that caring for a pets can be a stepping stone to a plant-based diet. She argues that pets are the great equalizer amongst dividing aspects of culture saying, “Dogs are the political glue that will hold this poor country together.”
Sit, Sniff, Shop
Running errands with your pet makes for a fun change of pace for owner and animal. Poppy owner Liz Tucker says employee’s days are brightened when they get to spend time with pet-owning customers. For Makes Scents owner Christina Kelley, the opportunity to be pet-friendly came in response to more student and rental housing complexes allowing pets. The increased presence downtown in addition to animal-toting travelers made the decision easy. Happy pet often leads to happy owner, and satisfied customer, Kelley says.