Sunday, February 28, 2010

Dog-friendly in San Francisco: A Lesson

San Francisco is a city with more dogs than children. The SF Animal Care and Control estimates there  are 120,000 dogs in San Francisco while according to U.S. census figures from 2000 and 2005, there are between 108,000 to 113,000 children. When you think of the cost of living in SF and the sheer complexity of raising kids in big cities (quality of schools for starters), it probably isn't a surprising statistic.

With great weather pretty much 3/4 of the year, San Francisco is also perfect for dogs and their people. So - if you open a business in SF and you do not factor in the dog crowd, you are making a tactical error. Perfect example: a business not to far from us recently added outdoor patio space for dining. "Yeah!" I think... but as we walk by I notice this sidewalk patio is accessible only by entering the restaurant and they tell us service dogs only on the patio. Um. Hello? You have a great sidewalk patio with wind-screens and all, in an area with wide sidewalks (so rare) and you choose this as you plan? Guess what? Empty patio for them today on a gorgeous sunny Sunday afternoon. Just a couple blocks away every outdoor patio on Fillmore was filled - and more often than not with dog owners.

Lesson here? Look around your neighborhood and think a little. Sheesh. 

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