Blogging About Critters Since 2007

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Pet Cafes for Humans

The Bau House Cafe in Seoul is a place where people can come in and have more than coffee and a bite to eat.

The first thing that hits me at the door is the smell -- unmistakably of urine and dogs. Then it's the sound of all the canines yelping their hellos to me, followed by the brief sensation of being the center of attention as all eyes -- canine and human -- check out the newcomer.

Things settle down quickly and now a beagle named Anny won't leave my side. As closing time nears, and I'm on the last few sips of a $5 Diet Coke (I pass on eating dinner here; fried rice with shrimp is on offer), it occurs to me that I'm lingering, happy to be surrounded by mutts as they vie for attention, sniff for treats and stage playful sneak attacks on one another.

The 20 or so other customers seem reluctant to leave as well. A few of them have brought their own pooches, who mix with the resident dogs, but many people are here because they can't have their own pet for various reasons: Their apartment building bans animals, their urban lives are too hectic (or transient) or their living spaces are too cramped. Some cafe customers are considering buying a pet, and visits serve as a sort of a trial run.

I'm not really sure what to think about this idea. The article has information about the pet "rental" boom in Japan as well. Let's hope they don't start selling puppies in vending machines over there...

Photo by Lazlo-photo

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