Pet Products: "At Fideaux, a pet supply boutique in Healdsburg, Calif., just a few of the offerings include leather collars imported from Switzerland for $60 to $100 each; 'Cab-bone-net' and 'Char-dog-nay' wine-flavored treats for $9.95 a bag; and brightly striped beds for summertime, and red and green beds for the holidays that cost $60 to $150."

The pet biz. I only noticed this because I have been spending time around a dog lately. This has caused me to notice something else, or be reminded of it: I've never been in a restaurant in this country that doesn't treat its patrons worse than dogs. By that I mean dogs in restaurants are treated like long lost friends turning up after all hope of ever seeing them again has gone. Waiters as a race are hard and sullen. Bring in a dog and there is a magic transformation. The bowls of water lovingly brought out, the stooping, the tilted head, the petting, the baby-talk, the cooing. You want good service? Get on all fours, wag your tail and beg and we'll see about it.

Steve | 11:45 |