FRIDAY FRUMP: Honolulu is Going to the Dogs

It’s important that you understand I am a dog lover. Though we’re currently between dogs, I carry doggie treats in my car, I volunteer at the local Humane Society, and I’ve been known to stop complete strangers on the street to fuss over their pooches.

However, there are a couple of current canine trends that set me off.

First is the current practice of guests bringing their dogs along when invited to other people’s homes. This has happened several times this year at functions hosted by friends and family. The hosts seemed OK with it – perhaps they’d actually invited the dogs, too – but I was nonplussed. However, this is only mildly irritating (so far) because it doesn’t happen at our house or with our guests.

Second – and much more irritating – is the trend I call “Dog As Fashion Accessory”: the Paris Hilton-spawned practice of carrying one’s small (and often yappy) dog everywhere as though it was an appendage.

So it was with mild horror that I read the following excerpt from a news release I recently received (my comments in bold):

The OHANA Honolulu Airport Hotel is happy to announce that they have opened their doors to guests of a different breed. Effective December 1, 2009, pet lovers can now relax and enjoy a vacation with their favorite (canine) companions.

OHANA Honolulu Airport Hotel rolls out the red carpet for their furry, cuddly, loyal and lovable guests by welcoming them with a “doggie welcome basket” filled with treats and goodies that include rolled up sheets and face cloths (Face cloths? FOR A DOG?), a plastic water bowl, doggie-do bags for waste pick up, and a welcome bag with doggie biscuit and an accompanying welcome letter (Yes, TO the dog. If you’re unclear on the concept, read Chapter 19 of James Herriot’s “All Creatures Great and Small” about the letters to and from Tricki the Pekingese). Furthermore, guests will not have to go very far to walk their best friend as located within the premises is the “Doo Drop Inn”, an enclosed grassy field transformed into a doggie park especially for the hotel’s newly welcomed friends.

To maintain a safe clean hotel, a $10 service fee, per day, per animal (limit 2 pets per room, limited to 50 pounds each), will be assessed to each room (no exceptions) and important house rules must be obeyed at all times.

As I said at the outset, I like dogs as much as the next person and even sought out pet-friendly hotels when moving cross-country with our dear, departed Max. And I understand that it is probably less stressful for the dog to stay with his or her people than to be cooped up in a kennel. Finally, if I see a dog sharing my hotel, I’m quite likely to fuss over him or her, and probably pull a treat out of my pocket.

No, my issue is not with the dogs but with their owners. People barely control their kids when visiting hotels. During recent hotel stays we’ve heard kids running up and down the halls and (not quite) yelling back and forth, having choir practice early in the morning in the guest room down the hall, and jumping on the bed in the room above us as though it was a trampoline -- at nearly midnight!

For the sake of the OHANA Honolulu Airport Hotel and its patrons, I sincerely hope its guests do better with their dogs.

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Photo courtesy OHANA Hotels & Resorts
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