As a dog parent (Yes. I'm one of “those” people who uses a word “parent” versus “owner”.), I wish I could bring my fur-baby with me everywhere. Unfortunately society frowns upon bringing her into restaurants or supermarkets or just about any public place. I get it. I'm used to seeing a dog lick her behind while I'm eating, but can imagine the image may make others uncomfortable. Often while taking my pup on our daily stroll, I wish I could run into Dunkin Donuts and grab a coffee. Tying Alyssa to a pole outside isn't something I am willing to do.
Imagine a secure dog house outside of your favorite coffee shop or market? Instead of leaving your pup at home, or in the car, you could “park your pup” while you run an errand. Chelsea Browridge has made such a dog house a reality with her company “Dog Parker”. By late Spring 2016 as many as 100 Dog Parkers will be available in New York.
These innovative dog houses are placed on the sidewalk outside of cooperating businesses. Each Dog Parker is created with state-of-the-art technology including radius signal capabilities, web cameras and is temperature controlled. It's like a tiny suite for your pup! Using an app you can reserve your Dog Parker up to 15 minutes in advance. Of course Dog Parker isn't free; nothing is free but personally I think the service is priceless.
Dog Parker is a membership based service. For $25 a year you will receive a membership card which will allow you to “park your pup” for up to 3 hours. An additional cost of either 20 cents per minute or $12 per hour will be charged to your account depending on the length of time you utilize their service. While you are utilizing a specific dog house, only your membership card will unlock the tiny suite. Once you have become a member, you will be able to locate, reserve and monitor a Dog Parker with your smart phone.
While I think the concept of “doggy parking” is genius, many do not share my opinion. Those opposed to Browridge's company feel the innovative dog houses are cruel. Why leave your dog on a sidewalk when he or she would be more comfortable at home? The reality is that dogs are often left in cars or tied to a pole on the very side walks where Dog Parkers are becoming available. The risks to leaving a dog in a car is incredible. Too often dogs die after being left in a vehicle for even a small amount of time, especially during warmer months when the temperature inside of a car rising rapidly. When left outside they could be stolen, escape, eat something toxic, be injured or worse.
I look forward to a Dog Parker coming to Rhode Island in the near future. While not all dogs will do well in a dog house on a side walk, if given a choice to tag along for a ride or go for a walk and hang out in a Dog Parker, or stay home, I'm certain my pup would grab her jacket and leash and head for the door!
Not only do I think Ms. Browridge's company is going to be HUGE, businesses who offer customers use of a Dog Parker outside of their business are sure to see an increase in traffic by dog parents like myself who are excited by the idea of spending more time with their fur-baby.
What do you think of Dog Parker? Would you “park your pup”?