No, I’m not complaining about the fare I’m being served up here during lockdown… I’ll leave that to the Son and Heir.
It’s just that my dog-mad extended Irish and American family have been preparing for the reopening of restaurants by flagging up how their pets have been coping in lockdown.
Well, is the answer if Harry and Coco are anything to go by.
Few are as barking about their pooches as the Americans and the Japanese but where they lead (sorry) the way we have followed.
So here’s my five top of the pups (there’s more of this!).
New Bark, New Bark
The Wilson NYC, New York: And where I first encountered puppy pampering and pedicures down on the block on Rockville Center in Long Island when I first visited the Big Apple in my first summer after school.
And only in America as they say because puppies never got their nails painted in Glasgow!
I’m glad to say that the New Yorkers still treat their pets as Top Dogs.
And Halloween gives them the perfect chance to dress their pups up as Superman, Batman and other superheroes down on Battery Park.
This Chelsea favourite sees the maitre d’ (for dog) put your pet up at the high table and treat them to a distinct dog menu.
With fancy options like a 16-ounce grilled ribeye steak for $42, pan-roasted salmon for $28, and grilled chicken breast for $16.
Indian pup trick
Puppychino, New Delhi: The Indians have a religious love for their animals which is endearing but surprising for those not brought up around animals.
Such as my Dear Old Dad who baulked at the bus driver who stopped the No. 52 while a cow ambled across the road. Before getting off his coach to do a dump in the street and get back on.
This is Puppychino and it is one of many cafes and restaurants around India where the animal is put first, rather than in some establishments I’ve been in where you’re treated like an animal.
Mame-Shiba, Cafe, Harajuku, Tokyo: Now Japan’s culture of low tables and sheer eccentricity lends itself admirably to dog cafes and restaurants.
And these guys are in doggie heaven…
The entry fee covers entrance, a drink and a time slot of 30 minutes with your favourite furry friend. Get there early to avoid long queues. See http://brangista.j-server.com/BRAOWLCATF/ns/tl.cgi/http://owls-cats-forest.com/free/mameshiba-harajuku?SLANG=ja&TLANG=en&XMODE=0&XCHARSET=utf-8&XJSID=0 and https://www.gotokyo.org/en/index.html and https://www.japan.travel/en/uk/.
Don’t mess with Le Toutou
Le Toutou, Brussels: So Le Toutou means doggie, but you knew that, right?
And there’s no distinction between doggies and humans here.
With both being treated to a choice of dishes from pasta or rice to vegetables, beef or chicken, all being high in fibre and low in salt.
The pooches though get their own beer, as they should, Red Dog.
Edinburgh Chihuahua Cafe: Billing itself as Scotland’s first dog cafe its owners are barking about two things…
Cakes and dogs, and chihuahuas to be precise.
They advertise that resident Chihuahuas will roam freely amongst guests.
For you to pet, cuddle, play with, take photos or simply observe and enjoy.
Just what Edinburgh’s most famous doggie, Greyfriars Bobby, would think of the Chihuahuas getting all this pampering…
Don’t worry though Bobby, you’re still No. 1.
And we’ll never stop patting you, although kissing his nose has left it to wear away!