Each Saturday when Jennifer Claudet makes her regular trip to Social Coffee, she’s greeted with a resounding “Toby!”
That’s because Claudet’s mini schnauzer, Toby, is always in tow, ready to sniff out breakfast sandwiches and steal sips of lattes.
In fact, Toby commands the attention at many local businesses around town. Claudet, who takes Toby just about everywhere she goes, says people usually stop and “aww” over her pup.
“He is very outgoing and very vocal,” she laughs. “He will do anything for food and attention.”
At almost every place the pair goes—her office and hardware stores to restaurants and antique shops—Claudet snaps an adorable photo of Toby, which she shares on the playfully named Instagram account, @TobyTravelsForTreats.
Though Claudet and her pup are inseparable these days, she admits that she was not looking for a dog when Toby came along. She was still grieving the recent death of her foster dog from Companion Animal Alliance when she learned about a miniature schnauzer in need from Cajun Tales Rescue. Claudet was only supposed to keep Toby for four days, but he quickly claimed her heart—and his forever spot on her couch.
“I got him at 10 o’clock at night, and he was screaming like a fool in his crate,” she recalls. “I got him home, and I knew once he got out of the crate that he wasn’t leaving my house.”
In fact, she says, he hardly leaves her side now.
On their outings, Toby sits patiently on top of Claudet’s lap, lays quietly and even perches in shopping carts. Claudet says she loves the way her precious pooch has helped her meet new people and explore her hometown more.
“Having him has just changed my life because it kind of forces me to get out more,” she says. “He really enjoys the experience and other people enjoy seeing him, so it really helps me. Especially if I’m having a bad day, because I know he’s such a joy and light—and I love sharing that with people.”
Take it from Toby
The mini schnauzer’s pet-friendly picks
Toby is no stranger to local restaurants, coffee shops and stores. Though his good behavior and petite size help him get into most businesses, he also knows plenty of spots that surely allow animals. Here’s a list of places around town that have earned two paws up from Toby himself.
Barracuda Taco Stand
2504 Government St.
This outdoor taco spot is ideal for pets who like to sunbathe or bask in the shade. Toby patiently waits for tortilla chips to fall from the sky here, Claudet says. eatbarracuda.com
Baton Rouge Blues Festival
Downtown Baton Rouge (April 19-21)
Toby and Claudet attended last year’s Baton Rouge Blues Festival, where the pair enjoyed listening to music and meeting new friends. brblues.org
4158 Government St.
This local burger joint has an expansive pet-friendly outdoor area. When he visits, Toby enjoys a plain patty and a few fries. curbside-burgers.com
D’s Garden Center
2544 Government St.
After gobbling up chips at Barracuda, Toby enjoys a leisurely stroll through the plants at this shady garden center. dgardencenter.com
Gail’s Fine Ice Cream
3025 Perkins Road
Claudet says the bustling sounds of the Perkins Road Overpass are sometimes too overwhelming for her pup, but Gail’s is one of his favorite spots, especially when whipped cream pup cups are involved. gailsfineicecream.com
Leola’s Cafe and Coffee House
1857 Government St.
After sniffing through pieces of the past at Circa 1857, Toby can work up quite the appetite. Luckily, he can stroll to the patio of Leola’s to get some sun and sneak a few pancake bites. leolascafeandcoffeehouse.com
Mid City Beer Garden
3808 Government St.
The outdoor patio at this Mid City favorite almost always has a few pooches seated below tables patiently waiting for pets or fallen crumbs from the meals above. midcitybeergarden.com
Pelican to Mars
2678 Government St.
This pet-friendly bar includes plenty of outdoor, turfed space for dogs, cats and even reptiles to roam while their owners enjoy a drink. pelicantomars.com
2912 Valley St.
Toby loves seeing all the leafy plants and vibrant blooms at this recently opened nursery, Claudet says. Find them on Facebook
Reve Coffee Lab
8211 Village Plaza Court
When Toby walks into this coffee shop, people pause their work and conversations to catch a glimpse of the white furball as he trots to the counter. After Claudet gets her drink, the duo usually finds a shaded spot on the patio. revecoffee.com
521 N. Third St.
This downtown shop earns a weekly visit from Claudet and Toby. Check out his Instagram to see countless pics of the pup seated for breakfast. socialcoffeebr.com