By Elisha Gupta

The symptoms are clear: You follow hundreds of pet pages on Instagram. You stop every few seconds while you’re walking down the street to confess your love to a stranger’s dog. You meet new friends, and the first thing you ask them is “can I see pictures of your cat?” You’re a pet lover.

As a dog-lover with no dogs, I understand how tough it is. Thankfully, there are some great places and events in Southern California for petless pet-lovers to interact with our fluffier counterparts. These places are tried and true, and they are now my favorite destinations to meet dogs and cats:

Moon Cat Café
You might have heard of cat cafés in other countries and secretly wished that someone would open one in California. Well, cat-lovers of Cal State Fullerton, the day has finally come.

An adorable kitten sits on a wooden floor with sunlight in the background.Moon Cat Café is the world’s first mobile cat café, serving the Los Angeles County and Orange County areas. This café operates out of a renovated truck, bringing cats and coffee to shopping centers and parks. The owner, Janet Pao, drives the café around to various locations in Southern California.  Clearly, this is not your usual coffee shop – it has cats. And wheels.

At this unique café, each event will feature different cats. Pao partners with local rescue shelters to draw customers to interact with cats that are looking for their forever homes. Visitors can meet and play with the adoptable cats, all while enjoying a cup of gourmet coffee and pastries. If you happen to fall in love with one of the cats, you might just be able to take one home – after filling out an adoption application, of course.

How to get there: First, check the calendar on their website for event dates and locations. Then, follow your cat-like instincts (or Google Maps).

Corgi Beach Day
They call it “The Biggest Corgi Pawty On The Planet,” and it’s true. With hundreds of guests every year, SoCal Corgi Beach Day has become a popular event for corgi-lovers all over the country. You know when it’s happening because your Instagram feed will be flooded with pictures of your friends petting dogs that look like little loaves of bread.

This event not only features more than a thousand adorable corgis but also other friendly dogs. While you’re there, you can also enjoy corgi contests, photo kiosks, food trucks, and an Instagram celebrity meet and greet.

Corgi Beach Day already sounds like heaven, so what could possibly make this any better? The price: it’s free.

This summer, SoCal Corgi Beach Day is on Saturday, June 23, 2018, in Huntington Beach at Beach Boulevard and Pacific Coast Highway. It’s pretty difficult to miss a beach-full of corgis. You’ll find it.

The Dog Café

Spend a delightful afternoon with coffee and canines at The Dog Café in Los Angeles. Though the café is a bit of a drive from Fullerton, it’s worth the trip!

A black dog sits on the ground at the Dog Cafe in Los Angeles.

While great coffee and other drinks are already reason to check this place out, most people go there for the joyful day that awaits them on the other side of the wall. The Dog Café is a two-part facility where you can get coffee in one section, and play with the dogs in the other. This is where the fun begins: from the second you sit down on one of the couches, rescue dogs are running up to you for sniffs, cuddles and belly rubs.

The Dog Café’s mission is to revolutionize dog adoptions by providing a comfortable and fun space for visitors to connect with shelter dogs. They rescue dogs from local kill shelters and bring them to the café to rehabilitate and showcase their best side to visitors. It’s not uncommon for visitors to fall in love with one of the dogs – the café facilitates adoptions for all of the pets in their care.

With a permanent location in Silver Lake, The Dog Café is open every week from Wednesday to Sunday. Admission for a one-hour visit is $15 per person, and drinks are sold separately at the café. All proceeds go towards helping the dogs.

This summer, gather your favorite humans and make a trip down to all of the spots on this list! At each of these events and cafés, it’s perfectly acceptable to hug a strange pet and not get weird looks. Isn’t that a dream come true?