I was in the Barnes & Noble in Georgetown this morning, when I noticed a dog out of the corner of my eye. No big deal, I figured, as I kept flipping through the magazine I was reading. It's probably just a seeing-eye dog.
Then it occurred to me that while hardly outside the realm of possibility, someone who needed a seeing-eye dog probably wouldn't be browsing inside a bookstore. Then when I actually glanced over at the dog and its owner, it further occurred to me that white foo-foo dogs typically aren't used as seeing-eye dogs. So it wasn't a seeing-eye dog. It was just a dog.
Who the hell brings their dog into a bookstore? Even in Georgetown?
So I was observing the two of them, wondering how long it would take until an employee noticed the dog, and politely asked the woman to leave, when I saw there was one just a few feet away, with her back turned to them. A moment later, she actually bumped right into the dog, and let out a loud, "Ow!"
It was more out of surprise than pain, but she got a really annoyed look on her face, stared right at the dog's owner, and...walked away.
As she passed me, she was muttering under her breath, but gave no indication whatsoever that the woman had done anything that would get her the boot from the store. When I walked by the woman a couple of minutes later, I heard her quietly explaining to the dog that not everyone likes dogs, I guess in case its feelings were hurt by the employee's shout of surprise.
So there you go. Apparently, you can bring your dog into the Georgetown Barnes & Noble.
Now, I used to work retail, at a store that while not on par with, say, Tiffany's, wasn't exactly Wal-Mart, either. And had someone brought her dog into the store, I not only would have kicked her ass right out of there, but I probably would have made her cry, too. Harsh? Maybe. But I can't think of many more things as disrespectful to other customers or the store's employees.
After all, had the dog from this morning relieved itself on the floor, would the owner's reaction have been:
A) Find an employee, apologize profusely, insist on cleaning it up herself, and offer to pay for any damage to the carpet?
B) Find an employee, mention the mess, apologize, and walk away?
C) Leave without saying or doing anything?
B is possible. C is far more likely. A? Not a fucking chance in hell.
If Barnes & Noble wants to accommodate the eccentric Georgetown housefraus who frequent the store, as well as their sense of entitlement, that's up to them. But I hope they keep enough in petty cash to cover the cost of replacing someone's shoes when they step in a pile of dog shit.
And if the dog happens to bite someone while in the store? Well, I hope Barnes & Noble has a lot in petty cash to cover that one.