I Fell In Love At A Bar In Hong Kong On Valentine’s Day

Filed Under: Travel

Last night I landed in Hong Kong at around 9:15PM (you’ve gotta love a 90 minute delay due to strong headwinds), and met a few friends for drinks.

We ended up at a bar, and I’ll be the first to admit I was tired and a bit buzzed, and really just wanted to sleep.

But then something walked in that caught my eye. A poodle. Perhaps the most sophisticated poodle I’ve ever seen.

He sat across from us on a chair, and his “godmother” (at least that’s how she explained their relationship) bought him a plate of shrimp, which she proceeded to feed him with a fork! She explained that it was his “midnight snack,” and that he only eats human food.

I don’t think I’ve ever seen such a sophisticated and discreet dog. He’d sniff every piece before deciding whether he wanted it, and whenever I looked at him he’d look away and not eat.


Ugh, I’m not going to lie, seeing him made me want to give up living in hotels and just get a goldendoodle and a white picket fence. Or simply get a dog and move to Kimptons.

  1. For companionship, a dog is the most economical decision you could make. They don’t argue and are always happy to see you!

  2. Dress code in a lounge got you in an uproar? How about no animals in a restaurant? Good god that’s disgusting. And unsanitary. And disgusting. And gross.

  3. exactly I won’t enter a restaurant that allows animals to muck about and using restaurant utensils on a filthy animal

  4. I think the latter is more likely. I have a minature poodle and have thought many times with us to Kimpton properties. Sadly, Mariachi isn’t a fan of traveling, so he always stays with a sitter. He’s more of a filet mignon kind of poodle than shrimp, however.

  5. I love to travel. But my dog makes me happier than any trip I’ve ever taken. Hope you can work a dog into your life sometime soon.

  6. anyone who is an animal lover would gladly welcome dogs in restaurants. i LOVE it when i walk into a place and people have been allowed to bring their dogs. sorry you all feel it’s disgusting. that says a lot.

  7. Our Scottish Terrier, Miss ZZ, LOVES the Kimptons! They treat her like royalty. We favor the Alexandria VA locations. Would love the Inn at Perry Cabin with our princess but the pet fee is crazy! ($100)…..

  8. Ben I gotta admit that I was kind of hoping that you were referring to a human. As to the dog eating human food from metal utensils, that’s revolting. Whatever my personal estimations of the sanity of the owner, she could at the very least feed the dog with disposable utensils. As for love, just call it the one that got away…

  9. That poor dog has issues. Maybe he was sniffing to make sure the shrimp was not the sashimi dish called dog penis.

  10. That’s so cool. And you “disgusted” people really need to get a life. Geez.
    My favorite part of France is the dogs in cafes.

  11. @mbh – The fact that there was a dog in a restaurant is odd by U.S. standards, but less so in France. Personally, my only real gripe is that the dog is eating off human utensils, from a human plate. They are almost certainly properly sanitized, but would you choose to drink out of a glass that had previously had, say, a cigarette put out in it, if it had been washed?

  12. If it’s been washed, I don’t care if someone peed in it. Any decent dishwasher sterilizes the dishes/cutlery in it. I’d rather kiss a dog than a person with a cold. Same with a fork.

  13. In HK if you have a dog as a pet you are wealthy and they go anywhere the owner goes. The smallest handbag dogs you ever did see. Oh if you are poor in HK then the dog is dinner. Food poisoning in HK is common in all classes of restaurants.

  14. You should go to Boston and spend some time at the Fairmont Copley. They have two dog “ambassadors” and guests can take them for walks and spend time with the pups.

  15. I’ve been in HK for over a year now and I must admit that my biggest gripe is with the dog owners here. Far too many of them have absolutely no idea on how to socialise or train their precious dogs and treat them (as seen in this post) like they are humans. Several have praised me on how well behaved my dogs are but then continue on to ask how much it cost to get somebody to train them!!! They can’t believe that you can do it yourself with just a little time, patience and consistency. The fact that dogs here spend their time in cages in pet shop windows when they should be undergoing socialisation only further contributes to the problem.

    I have my two dogs here and we can not go for a walk without several ill-trained ankle-biters trying to attack them. The vast majority of their owners just watch and laugh as their little dog tries to attack a big dog, without realising that 1) that behaviour is bad and 2) they are only reinforcing its aggression and insecurities. It most certainly is a small dog issue – however there’s a Rottweiler that we encounter daily that tries it on too!

    @Duncan – I agree with your statement about handbag dogs but the rest of your statements are factually incorrect and, in addition, one is just plain offensive.

  16. No, I don’t feel it’s disgusting. I have cats & dogs around me at home. They don’t travel with me so I enjoy having other peoples pets around me when I travel. Socializing with someone’s dog or cat is a great way to break down communication/social/cultural barriers.

  17. BTW: Some people here just assume that Lucky needs a boyfriend.

    That’s being truly presumptive.

    Perhaps he does have a special someone in his life. I like to think that he does.

  18. db says: What about a girl friend? Are you guys sure?

    Unless it’s an extremely elaborate hoax Ben has made it pretty clear which team he plays on. The only part I can’t comprehend is making the Middle East his surrogate playground. Seems like asking for trouble. If I swung that way I’d probably settle down in a more open country and avoid deeply religious cultures adhering to ancient customs based on stale scriptures.

  19. I have a standard poodle and he is also an extremely picky eater. I do make him a special plate of human food and eat with us on our dining room table every evening. He does exactly like the dog mentioned above. He is quite good with folk and chopsticks. It is my house and it is also his house. We can do what we please. I wouldn’t be doing that outside of my private zone though.

    To those “disgusted” people, that says a lot about you. The one type of people I don’t trust is the type that do not love animals. I think there are something wrong with them.

    As for Ben’s sexual orientation, why does it matter? Yes I think he is a nice looking man. But I’m here because of his reports.

    Ben, don’t get a doodle – as in any type of @@@@doodle. They are glorified Mutts!!!!

  20. Completely agree with you Tony. I don’t really get what is “disgusting” and I neither trust those people. I also don’t get why some need to deep snitch into Ben’s personal life. I am also here because of his reports.

  21. I think the “disgusting” comments are hilarious. I think most people don’t realize just how many bacteria, mites, and other microorganisms are on and in even the cleanest human bodies and homes.

  22. I think the issue with the dog eating off the plate with a fork is that it’s seen as unclean and uncivilized to do this in a public restaurant in the West. I don’t recall seeing anyone do this in France but perhaps I simply missed it. Simply having a dog with you on or near the outside of the restaurant would probably result in a less severe reaction. As for the actual cleanliness, sometimes ignorance is bliss while true knowledge is equivalent to suffering. Feel free to consult a microbiologist on the cleanliness of the average restaurant (or basically anything with which you come into intimate contact) and you’re likely to be in for a rather unpleasant discussion. That being said human digestive systems have been slowly trained to handle most of what we encounter. With seven billion people flooding our home humans have become the mammalian version of the cockroach.

  23. “The one type of people I don’t trust is the type that do not love animals. I think there are something wrong with them.”

    What a stupid conclusion to arrive to. People with pets or who love bets aren’t better than people who don’t care for pets. Also assuming that people who don’t feel pets should be brought to restaurant tables don’t like pets in general is also a pretty stupid conclusion to arrive to.

    Do whatever you want with your pets in the private of your own home. The rest of us are under no obligation to indulge you or them in public places like restaurants.

  24. Feeling sorry for all the folks here who are “disgusted” by this supercute dog. You obviously have never experienced the unconditional affection of a furry four legged friend.

    If you are that germophobic, you probably should just stay at home, cause there sure is lots of stuff circulating in aircraft air. Also, that would leave more award seats available for the rest of us. 😉

    Enjoying all the comments.

  25. “You obviously have never experienced the unconditional affection of a furry four legged friend.”

    Again, that is a stupid conclusion to arrive at.

  26. @wwk5d +1

    I love dogs. I’ve had dogs. I wish my current job/apartment situation let me have a dog now, but it’d be unfair to the dog given the hours I work.

    All that said, I recognize a dog is a pet, and not a child, and I don’t want one sitting next to me at a restaurant.

    Sorry folks. A lot of odd assuming going on here.

  27. You had us conjecturing with that headline Ben, but then you knew you would. I’m sure one day that story won’t be about a poodle (and as a result, probably won’t be told.) Happy belated Valentine’s Day! 😉

  28. For the people who are disgusted by dogs, do you feel the same way about children? They tend to run around planes, restaurants, and other public places, touching everything they see, thereby introducing cross-contamination all over the place.

    I’ve seen kids in restaurants sit there and pick their noses and wipe their fingers on the seats, tablecloths, and napkins. The drop their lollipop on the floor, where it gets coated in dirt, and then put it back in their mouths, or maybe rest it on the plate.

    One could go on and on about all the nasty things kids do. And kids have much more access to the things you come into contact with on a daily basis, so they are going to contribute much more to the spread of nasty things that disgust you.

    So maybe think about that before you call dogs disgusting.

  29. Ben,

    What an interesting story. That dog looks awesome and bring back fond memories of my dog who passed away several years ago at the age of 16.

    I am heading to Hong Kong next week for the first time and since this seems to be one of several destinations you frequently visit, I was wondering if you knew whether the arm’s in Hong Kong charge a service fee for their use. My bank here in the states doesn’t have an atm surcharge for using other banks arms and also doesn’t charge a foreign transaction fee either. But will I incur a fee by the bank that own’s the atm is the question. When I travel in Europe I haven’t run across an atm that charges a fee by the atm operator while in Canada and the Caribbean, I have run across numerous that do.

    Also, I am going to Abu Dhabi this year as well, do you know if the arm’s there or in South Africa charge any atm surcharges for using their arms.



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