Subscribe to our Newsletter

click to dowload our latest edition



Your brak and my brew just don’t go together

Avatar photo



I don’t want to brag, but I do consider myself “gutsy”. Gutsy as in brave, not as in flabby in the region of the stomach. I have dangerously little fear of conflict, and I’m not generally concerned about the reaction to an article, statement, or social media post. And yet, this column has me worried. So much so that I’m tempted to write under a pseudonym. And whereas I mostly feel that my family can handle what negative attention I invite into their world, I’m concerned about the impact this might have on them.

But needs must. And what we need is for dog owners to accept that not everyone loves their “furry friends” like they do. What I need is for pet owners to consider that not everyone wants to have a coffee with their pooch when out, and that some of us meet friends at coffee shops to get away from domestic squabbles. They need to know that competing hounds reminds us of children squabbling. Which, if we wanted it in the background, we could have stayed home for.

It’s worth remembering that we aren’t Capetonian. Well, the ones of us that live in Johannesburg aren’t. The same applies to pets. And so, where sandy, wet, and enthusiastic pets after a walk or game of fetch on the beach is perfectly appropriate in Sea Point or Bantry Bay, the same doesn’t apply in the City of Gold. Johannesburg dogs don’t have the “live and let live”, free spirited, dope smoking, chilled vibe of Capetonian dogs, who prefer to make love not war. No. Johannesburg dogs are the sourly, rough, tattooed, potential mugger types who on a Sunday morning would rather be home nursing their hangover than sipping a flat white with other irritable hounds.

Bottom line is that having other people’s dogs at a coffee shop isn’t nearly as much fun as pet owners might think it is. Patrons might “coo” and smile, even ask you what their name is and how old they are. They might even ask what breed it is. But they mean none of it. Not so. Deep down, they are resentful and angry and see no good reason why anyone should be licking the table on which they have just placed their cortado.

I was complaining to a friend about the “dog situation” one Sunday morning, when he told me that he had just experienced the same thing, saying, “We had coffee at a great place just after our run. But there was a dog fight, and the one owner refused to put her dog on a leash. It was insane!”

I’m not suggesting that we leave our pets in the car with the windows up  – like we used to – or tied to a pole with a metal chain just long enough to taunt them. I’m not suggesting that we throw rocks – or even little stones – at them or that we rely on the kindness of strangers to hydrate them. I’m just floating the idea that dogs are best left on Instagram where G-d intended them.

Unless of course your dog is a fully fledged Capetonian with the accent to prove it. In which case, I would like nothing better than to share an artisanal almond latte after a game of fetch.

Continue Reading
1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. Peter Bayer

    Feb 15, 2024 at 12:23 pm

    As usual, a fun column which will blow wind up the skirts of the poodle-and-chihuahua Northern Suburbs brigades, leading them to demand that their husbands put down their Ping putters, fire up the old Landcruiser, and go and sort out the uppity Jewish man who so demeans the rights of dog owners. I personally have little issue with dogs in bistros (not restaurants). I had an oversized German Shepherd (Sun Blenheim von Konig Schloss. true) who travelled everywhere with me. He never bothered a soul. If he had been a roaming, butt-sniffing, unleashed lapdog I wouldn’t have taken him out in public. But he was Simon (his username) and he behaved. I’d love to share a bagel with you and your cat (I’m guessing) and discuss civil/dining rights for quadrupeds. Bring your own water dish.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *