The Dog Days Are Over (or just begun)


Nurah Lambert | Staff Photographer

A pupper strikes a pose being a goodboi at Dat Dog.

Ask around the world and you’ll be hard-pressed to find many people who don’t like dogs. Ask around New Orleans and you’ll rarely encounter anyone who isn’t a fan of Dat Dog’s flavor-packed array of hot dog combinations.

On August 26, Dat Dog joined dog lovers across the country in celebrating everybody’s favorite four-legged furballs. At both the chain’s Magazine Street and Freret Street locations, patrons who brought their dogs along could purchase half-priced well drinks and select $5 hot dogs from the Hot Dog Happy Hour menu.

While many customers found the deals on food and drink attractive, most were even more excited by the opportunity to spend time with loved ones, both human and canine. Bridget Falgoust, who attended the event with her husband and three of her dogs, came from Kenner, Louisiana, just to celebrate the special day at Dat Dog.

“I love hanging out with my dogs,” Falgoust said. “They’re like my family, so it’s just a fun outing to bring them to. Anything that I can do to get [my dogs] involved. I normally try to get [my husband] to come.”

Though Dat Dog has held this event for several years, many Magazine Street diners said they had never celebrated Dog Day at the restaurant before. None were strangers to the establishment, however, and several were regular customers.

Amanda Alch, originally from Dallas, has made going to Dat Dog with her dog, Dixie, a tradition.

“I come to Dat Dog a lot,” Alch said. “It’s so fun, and it’s perfect for [Dixie] because she can be outside, you know. She can come with me.”

Alch, like other dog owners at the event, said she planned to visit the portrait station situated near the center of the outdoor courtyard, where local Magazine Street Art Market painter Steve Mercer sat creating portraits of people’s dogs from photographs. Though he also paints pictures of people on commission, Mercer said his is a more pet-centered business.

In the middle of all the action was Nicole Ordoyne, Dat Dog’s Magazine Street general manager, who said her favorite part about the National Dog Day event is interacting with all the dogs that drop in throughout the day.

“I can see the dogs. I can take pictures with the dogs. I can feed them their little Milkbones – that kind of thing. Plus, when they do [pet adoptions in conjunction with Zeus’s Place], it’s also for a great cause. [The animals] get to find their homes,” Ordoyne said.

Dat Dog is known for catering just as much to their “doggie customers” as they do to their human customers year-round, and Ordoyne says there’s even more to come this fall.

“We do Barktoberfest, which is going to be in October,” Ordoyne said. “It’s where we do a doggie costume contest. A week or two ago we did Dine and Donate for … the Belle Chasse animal shelter.”

Events like these are a win-win for both Dat Dog and the canine population of New Orleans. They not only generate business for the restaurant but often generate proceeds that go toward serving animals in the community.

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