For the Love of Dog
Since 1893, we have welcomed guests from around the globe … royalty, heads of state, celebrities, the hoi-polloi, and of course their pets. The Waldorf Astoria Hotel has a long history associated with the love and care of animals such as elephants (yes elephants!), cats, and especially dogs. Perhaps counter-intuitively, our guests most affiliated with luxury living can often be those most likely to desire lodging and indeed bespoke service for their pets. Possibly because their pets’ love relies not on power, money, or fame. But we digress…..
When John W. “Bet-A-Million” Gates (pictured above) took residency in our first hotel on 34th Street and 5th Avenue in early 1900′s, he was always seen entering and leaving the hotel with his faithful dog by his side; the same can be said for other transient and permanent guests during that time as well.
The Duke and Duchess of Windsor; residents of our Tower’s Suite 42R (our Royal Suite) from 1941-1961; often traveled internationally with their pack of pugs. Every bi-annual trip to New York City, the Windsor’s and their pooches always arrived in style at the Waldorf Astoria. It was rare for the Windsor’s to attend social occasions sans pugs. These pooches partied with presidents, royalty and film stars — if only they could talk! As the couples’ health deteriorated, their walks with the pugs to visit Cole Porter in his suite were exceedingly common.
Our association with “Fido” is so deep that even a book was written about it! “The Dog Who Lives at the Waldorf” (c. 1964, 2009 by James Brough and Rosalind Cole) is a non-fiction children’s book which stars “Jingabo”, a Towers resident with her owner. Jingabo’s interesting adventures take place throughout our hotel and even include a run-in with the Windsor’s pug pack and an announced entrance on a ballroom event! Indeed Ms. Cole appeared with her like-named dog on the Today show. The book today is highly regarded for the illustrations created by the artist Vasiliu.
Though dogs are required to be leashed, it was not until 1966 that we required pets to officially register as guests by “signing” their pet registration card with their owner using pet-friendly ink. The use of this card lasted for nearly two decades – the photo below shows “Sandy” from the hit Broadway play “Annie” signing his registration card in 1978!
Though this card is no longer in use, pet registration is still required by pet owners. Dogs have always been known as “man’s best friend” so it is time to treat your best friend to a night of luxury with us! For more information on our pet-friendly policies you may contact our Guest Services team at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Erin Allsop, Archivist of the Waldorf Astoria New York
Erin is a graduate student in the Masters program of Library and Information Science at the City University of New York – Queens College, where she is focusing her studies on Archival Management and Preservation. You may contact her by email at email@example.com with any inquiries or questions you may have.