I realize that with what I am about to type I am not going to make many friends, and in fact may make some people angry. However, one of my most annoying personality traits is that even if my opinion will make me unpopular, I'll still voice it. Feel free to yell at me in the comments...
We're a Bookstore, Not a.....PetsMart
One of my biggest pet peeves is animals in people places. Unless that place is specifically designed to cater to animals, or has expressed some sort of pro-animal, pet-positive attitude, I really feel that the furry things should stay outside.
Now- to clarify – I do not hate animals. I currently live with a cat, and my roommates and I are puppy shopping. I tend to make ridiculous, high pitched noises in pet stores at the various small furry things that I want to take home and cuddle. I regularly shopped at a bookstore that owned one very well-behaved cat, and I liked browsing the bottom shelves with the shop cat on my lap. And I enjoy seeing dogs out on walks and playing in the park. It's adorable. So please don't think I spend my spare time kicking puppies and throwing things at kittens. I don't.
However- when I am at work in a bookstore I should not have to clean up dog poop. I shouldn't have to shout over the sound of your dog barking, or on one occasion, someone's parrot squawking from their shoulder. And if your dog is being carried around in a purse that cost more than I make in a month, I should be allowed to openly laugh at you. Then perhaps kick you. Not everyone likes animals, and most people assume that going in to non-pet related stores means that they won't have to deal with the huge dog in the cooking section getting too close. I had one little girl leave the store I worked at in tears because she was scared of dogs and the other customer refused to leave her “baby” giant lab out in the car.
The incident that turned this annoyance into a rage-inducing pet peeve was when a customer came up to me for help with a giant snake wrapped around his body and slithering out of the neckline of his shirt. I am not ashamed to admit that when the snake popped his head out and started angling towards me I screamed like a little girl and ran to the back room as the snake's owner laughed at me. I refused to come out until he was gone and have had a strong(er) resentment towards animals in people places ever since.
Now- I will make an exception for service animals. That's a completely valid reason to have a dog with you at all times. I will also allow any animals that possess the ability to read for themselves. If your cat needs a copy of Crime and Punishment to round out his Russian collection, then by all means bring him in. (Then explain to me how you haven't capitalized on your pet's amazing abilities.) However, I have yet to find a justification for Princess FiFi, your incessantly yapping pet cotton ball with legs, spending time in a bookstore.
And – in case it was unclear – there will be no (non-service) animals allowed in Bibliophiles. (Except for the basement full of attack ponies.)
BookWench just finished reading Throne Of Fire – The Kane Chronicles 2 by Rick Riordan, and I'm now in the library looking for more books on Egyptian mythology.