|Image: from daveandcharlotte.com|
Until now I never quite knew what was missing from a typical café experience - the coffee, ambience and baked goods may all be quite excellent, but what would make it so much better? Sausage dogs, of course; dozing, playing and roaming free around the room. Have you ever walked past a sausage dog and not smiled? Exactly.
The Sausage Dog Café, planned to open in Brixton once enough funds have been raised, is set to be a haven for any stressed-out dog lovers who can't have a pet of their own, with plans to have a knitting corner, opportunities to take the dogs out for a walk and all the tasty treats you’d expect (including sausage rolls).
|Image: Sex and the City, An American Girl in Paris (HBO.com)|
The popularity of the urban animal café is the latest manifestation of a universal truth that any self-respecting animal lover already knows: pets = escapism.
Pets are the ultimate antidote to our first world problems, blessed as they are with a trusting nature and an appreciation for the simple life. The best we could manage post-university was to buy two little dwarf hamsters, the late Mr Bingley and Mr Darcy; we would play with the little fellas as soon as we got in from work and enter an almost meditative state as they ran over our hands on the spot, like a mini-treadmill.
|Mr Bingley was kind of a big deal|
Even academic types have started to cotton on, with one Canadian university offering a 'puppy room' where students can take a few minutes between exams to de-stress with the furry friends. (Boris, please note - every London office, department store and tube carriage should have one of these as standard).
London life does not however lend itself well to pets, largely due to 9 to 5 jobs, no garden space and Cruella de Ville landlords. But when life gets stressful, Londoners need cuddle time - perhaps more than most.
Animal cafés like Lady Dinah's and the Sausage Dog Café will therefore offer the ultimate convenience for the city's 'generation rent' culture - part time pets, whose poo we do not need to deal with, but who we can be assured are being well looked after by the owners.
It's also great news for London's dating landscape. Animal-based activities, such as London Zoo and Mudchute Farm, can function as perfect quirky first date venues, so expect the new wave of animal cafés to be full of nervous couples, filling awkward silences with 'Oh look, that cat looks like Harry Styles!' or similar.
|Image: from pethealthinfo.org.uk|
Where will this craze end? After a day from hell, will a quick post-work puppy cuddle replace the need for a large glass of wine? It's certainly healthier. And, as long as we all remember that a dog is for life, not just a nice accompaniment to coffee, I am very much on board.
Make mine a Labrador.