Dogs at the Shops is a blog where people send in photos of dogs at the shops. It's the kind of wonderful thing that makes the internet worthwhile, and it's creator, James Macek, was more than happy to answer some pertinent questions about it
Tell us a bit about your blog? How did it get started?
I went to the shops on the way to work and saw a border collie outside Woolworths and took a photo of it. As I walked to work I thought about how great it would be if there was a blog just full of these dogs. When I got to work I discussed the idea with my friend and as soon as I got home it became a real thing.
Do you feel sorry for the dogs?
I don’t think I feel sorry for the dogs. I think some of them would probably enjoy sitting there, seeing different people walk past, smelling different smells, maybe people coming up to them to say hello and give them a pat. It’d be great.
How often do you pat them when you see them in real life?
I have never given a dog at pat at the shops. Though there’s one dog at the shops near work that I see every now and then and I want to pat the absolute shit out of it.
Do you sometimes give the dogs names and invent a backstory for them? EG. I think I will call that one Fluffy O'Fluffagans and she comes from a long line of Irish owners who feed their dogs spicy sausages.
Hahaha when my friend sends me dogs he usually includes the dog’s backstory including the owner’s occupation and reason for being at the shops. Sometimes I try to work out who the owner could be while I’m in the shop.
What breeds of dogs are your favourite?
My favourite breed of dog is probably the Labrador. My dog is a Labrador so maybe I’m a bit biased. A couple of my friends have King Charles Cavaliers which are incredible. And Border Collies. They’re great too.
Why do you think people take their dogs to the shops if they only intend to tie them up to a bench or a pole?
I think the owner’s intentions are good. They need to go to the shops and the dog needs to go for a walk so I guess it’s killing two birds with one stone. The dog probably gets really excited because it gets to go for a walk and then even more excited when it sees the owner walk out of the shop.
When you see a dog at the shops, do you ever talk to the owners of said dog? What do they say?
I’ve never spoken to one of the owners yet. If I’m taking a photo of the dog I get it done and I keep walking. I’d feel really uncomfortable if I got caught taking a photo of someone’s dog. Though a couple of my friends have spoken to some owners while they take photos and the feedback has positive.
Do you know all the people who submit photos to the blog?
Not at all. When it started I guess it was mainly myself and direct friends contributing photos but within a few days I had dogs coming in from everywhere. There was a girl who would send dogs from Paris and Venice but I haven’t received anything from her in a while.
What are your three favourite photos from the blog?
This was really hard! (see photos to right of interview for three selected photos)
If you had to be a dog for a day what kind of dog would it be?
I’d definitely want to be an outside family dog. I’ve always wondered what my dog does when there is absolutely nobody at home. I assume he just sleeps, walks around, lies in the grass and chews on things but it’d be so exciting when the family comes home one by one and you get to see them all again.
Describe your ideal shopping environment in relation to including dogs in said environment.
Probably a reasonably sized local shops where it’s the same people (mostly pensioners) and dogs there every day. Everyone pats the dogs and gives them treats and stuff. There’d probably be some shops that leave little plastic containers full of water out the front as well. Also my friend Josh says the IGA in West Pymble, NSW has just the perfect little set up for dogs at the shops.
Can you tell us about your recent run-in with a possum? What happened?
Hahahahaha. My friends and I were sitting on this hill after the footy, having more beers and my friend started patting a possum and I got kind of jealous I guess. A possum started checking out a Twix wrapper I had left on the ground and I thought it would be my only chance to pat the thing. I went for it and it bit me on the finger and it really hurt. Then I spent four or five hours waiting at the hospital to get a tetanus shot. It'll be funny forever.
If dogs could talk they would say...
“Wanna watch a DVD?”
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