Yesterday afteroon we checked into a hotel in North Adams, Massachusetts, where we’ll be getting our culture fix at the Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art (Mass MoCa). Last night, when we returned after a really fine dinner and let ourselves into our building, we heard a dog begin to bark furiously in one of the other rooms.
The dog’s frantic barking continued as we walked up the stairs to our room, entered it, and closed the door. I could still hear the barking as I sat down to read in our room, and to make matters worse another dog joined in. Given the long history between humans and canines, we’re conditioned to hear dog barks — and once you notice them they are impossible to ignore. You can only hope they stop.
These days more hotels are allowing people to keep dogs in rooms. I am fine with that, so long as the hotels makes sure that the rooms are fully cleaned of dog hair after the visit.
But not all of the responsibility for a successful dog-hotel visit lies with the hotel. To the contrary, most of the responsibility should lie with the guest. If you know your dog is a barker, you simply cannot leave it alone in a hotel room to bark itself into exhaustion at the random movements of other guests while you are out with friends. It’s not fair to the other guests like us, but it’s also not fair to your pet.
If people want to travel with dogs, basic consideration requires that they know their dogs’ barking tendencies and do what is necessary to keep them quiet in a shared setting. If that means staying with them to keep them calm in strange surroundings and missing a night out, so be it. A person who leaves a dog prone to barking in a hotel room, to the loud misfortune of both the dog and other guests, is providing telling information about the kind of person they are — and it’s not positive.