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But, Can You Bring Your Dog To Your 12-Step Meeting?


Washington State's considering allowing dogs in bars. Lucy has been quite a bar (and restaurant) fly for years, thanks to her many trips to the city on the Seine. Rachel La Corte writes for the AP:

Soggy dogs waiting outside a downtown Olympia pub inspired state Sen. Ken Jacobsen to propose a way to get them in from the cold and rain.

"There's all sorts of places you can bring animals now," said Jacobsen, who doesn't own a dog. "You can take dogs into hotels. My God, some people are carrying dogs in their purses. Why can't we have them in the bars?"

The Seattle Democrat's bill would allow bars and restaurants with liquor licenses to welcome dogs, as long as they accompany their owners and remain well-behaved and leashed. Establishments wouldn't be required to allow dogs, except for service animals.

Janna Goodwin with the National Conference of State Legislatures said she could not find any states that allowed dogs in bars, or any that were considering similar legislation.

A slightly different law that went into effect in Florida last summer allows restaurants, approved by local governments, to permit dogs to eat with their owners outside.

Health officials said the ban on pets in restaurants and bars is based on Food and Drug Administration regulations.

"Animals don't use the toilet and they shed and they sometimes drool, and those are potential issues with food," said Joe Graham, public health adviser for the Washington state Department of Health.

Yeah? I could say that about a number of humans I've seen in bars. Adult dogs don't spontaneously do their business inside, they don't leave piles of hair all over the place (and besides, the dog isn't going to be sprawled across the bar), nor will it be running around the kitchen licking the food before it's served.

And, on the plus side, no dog has ever tried to impress me by telling me he's a "producer," or asked me if my rack's real.

Posted by aalkon at February 5, 2007 1:42 PM


Dogs are allowed in most British pubs, and I don't like it but I tolerate it. Restaurants are another matter -- I boycott any restaurant that contains a dog, whether leashed or not. And yes that does include restaurants in Paris.

Posted by: Stu "El Inglés" Harris at February 5, 2007 7:18 AM

"I boycott any restaurant that contains a dog, whether leashed or not.."

Moi aussie, Stu.

(Like the founding fathers said, I believe in the separation of pooch and steak!)

Posted by: Jody Tresidder at February 5, 2007 7:42 AM

..and I'm sending that stray 'e' in aussi straight back to the kitchen (must have been thinking of Imelda..!)

Posted by: Jody Tresidder at February 5, 2007 7:45 AM

I see dogs at AA meetings all the time. Sometimes people even bring children.

Posted by: Lena at February 5, 2007 8:05 AM

I work in a very dog-friendly area of town, and we welcome dogs in our store. We have some regulars who swing by once a walkie to get a treat and some attention. The dogs don't scream, cry, break stuff, or run through the store screaming, crying, and breaking stuff while Mommy pads behind them cooing "oh, Snotleigh, won't you please behave?" I'd certainly rather eat dinner next to a dog than a toddler. At least I won't have to worry about about the parent deciding to change their dog on the table (like the one who decided to change a dirty nappy on our $3000 coffee table).

Posted by: amh18057 at February 5, 2007 8:17 AM

Why would someone bring a dog into a bar?

Posted by: William at February 5, 2007 12:48 PM

To become a pickup magnet?

When my boyfriend walks my dog, women he swears would never even deign to look his direction run across the street to talk to him and pet Lucy.

Even a scruffy mutt can be a tool for conversation.

Posted by: Amy Alkon at February 5, 2007 1:11 PM

Ooo... "producer", eh? Does anybody ever fall for that? And if so, how could it be in one's Darwinian interest to risk splicing their genes to such an imbecile? Therefore, God must exist.

Posted by: Paul Hrissikopoulos at February 5, 2007 1:14 PM

>Why would someone bring a dog into a bar?

In the UK, at least in henpecked homes, "I'm just going to walk the dog, dear" is a euphemism for "I'm just going down to the local to have a few pints and chat to my mates (and get away from you, you nagging old bitch)". Having used the dog as part of your strategy, I suppose the least you can do is find a place for it at the bar.

Posted by: Stu "El Inglés" Harris at February 5, 2007 1:27 PM

You know, I'd link to you, but my boss says you have to keep your boobs to yourself.
Where I grew up in Montana, people brought kids
and dogs to bars.

Posted by: KateCoe at February 5, 2007 3:20 PM

Amy, bear in mind the huge proportion of pet owners who are every bit as bad at pet discipline as the parents with out-of-control kids you often complain about are at parenting.

Very few people I know who have dogs own little, concealable ones like Lucy. Most own big slobbery things that like to jump up on you, and as someone who's allergic to most pets, this is a bit of an issue for me.

And just like those disinterested parents, pet owners just can't conceive of the fact that not everyone adores their animal's behavior.

Posted by: LYT at February 5, 2007 4:16 PM

Kate, are you serious -- is there yet another venue in this town my boobs are banned from? They don't hurt anybody. Not unless I turn around real fast. I've only given four or five guys a black eye, and all but one said they enjoyed it.

Posted by: Amy Alkon at February 5, 2007 4:27 PM

My ferrets ride teh metro busses no problems. Similar situation. We do get soem odd looks though.

Posted by: Edi at February 5, 2007 5:51 PM

Hysterical. This from the girl who made a federal case out of someone speaking loudly on a cell phone.
Sur bring kids, dogs, cats, ferrets, shitmakers and pisspuddlers of all sorts, human, animal, protozoan. The hell w ith my right to a nice, clean, quie meal.
And I certainly hope the health inspector isn't at some fancy Venice resto at the same time as your famously flea-bitten
cur-lette. Well maybe the cehf can chalk up the fleas in the tunafish to some innovation in Calif cuisine. Or better yet, maybe your widdle doggie can charm the authrorites with his/her genderbeding rendition of the Will and Grace theme song.

Posted by: Mao See Tung at February 5, 2007 11:33 PM

I Love Lucy!

This thread is too funny. In Europe, dogs are allowed almost everywhere. Some restaurants prohibit them, most don't. It's not a problem. Healthy adult pet dogs have nearly always been reliably house-trained. It's plain ignorance when people assume a dog is going to soil in a restaurant.

Having said that, a bar is usually quite stressful for a dog. Mine would rather stay in the car.

Posted by: Marie at February 6, 2007 12:18 AM

Mao clearly knows nothing about dogs. Or spell-check.

Marie gets it. And if a bar is stressful for a dog, your dog should be left home. Lucy just likes to be with me, and is trained to be perfectly behaved in public -- unlike so many American children. She sleeps quietly in my lap; she doesn't take a walk across the bar.

Posted by: Amy Alkon at February 6, 2007 4:19 AM

Note that the article is about allowing restaurants to let in dogs, not requiring it. I think it should be case by case. Amy's quiet potty-trained dog can come in, but noisy, messy dogs and/or children can't. Oh look, out popped the kid hater in me again!

Posted by: christina at February 6, 2007 8:42 AM

Both bars and restaurants should be allowed to allow dogs in. They should also have a strict pet-behavior rule, just like restaurants should have a strict child-behavior rule - your rights end where someone else's begin, and if your dog bothers others, including other dogs, you're 86'd.
Yes, some assholes would bring in untrained aggressive dogs; management deals quickly and firmly with them, word spreads, ta-daa!
I would have to research the liability issues, however - however well trained your dog(s) are, letting them in wouldn't be worth skyrocketing insurance premiums.

Posted by: Cat brother at February 6, 2007 5:19 PM

To my knowledge, you can't spell check a comments post. If I'm wrong, I stand corrected. And if I'm in the kind of restarant that allows dogs, I'm standing corrected in a puddle of petpiss.

Posted by: Mao See Tung at February 6, 2007 11:22 PM

I don't believe any establishment would be forced to accept dogs. If you don't like establishments that do, go to establishments that don't. And again, if you think dogs just let loose wherever they are, you know nothing about dogs. Furthermore, you sound like kind of a priss.

Posted by: Amy Alkon at February 7, 2007 2:34 AM

Oh yeah, and if your spelling makes your post look as if you've just thrown letters into the form at random, you can write it in a document that does have spell-check, then paste it in. If you care. Some don't.

And I'm with you, Christina. I'd love to see more "parents" thrown out with their brats. Thrown out of restaurants and airplanes (ideally before they've left the ground). I just endured 20 minutes of a kid playing on a whistle at the Rose Cafe while his mommy shopped in the gift shop while talking on her cell phone. She never said boo to her brat. And, you can probably guess this, she was knocked up again. That's right, when you already have one you can't handle, what's the best thing to do? Have another!

Posted by: Amy Alkon at February 7, 2007 2:37 AM

Didn't you mention once upon a time, Amy, that the rose cafe had posted rules about loud people/children? Or was that somewhere else?

Posted by: christina at February 7, 2007 8:55 AM

That wasn't The Rose, but I wish they would. This very nice, quiet woman who runs the gift shop was forced to intervene yesterday -- and still the mother let the kid keep it up.

Posted by: Amy Alkon at February 7, 2007 9:52 AM

The difference between a small, obnoxious child and a large obnoxious dog is that while the former may annoy you with a whistle for 20 minutes, the latter can physically hurt you in an instant. It's too late for management to intervene once the dog has jumped on an elderly person (or a child, although you'd probably enjoy that) or slobbered all over someone's pant leg or chomped on someone's hand because it was holding food, which hands will be doing in a restaurant. I say this as someone with a small child and a huge dog, both well-trained within an inch of their lives. But each as her place in public and I try not to overstep in either case.

Posted by: ProudMama at February 7, 2007 1:06 PM

I guess by that same logic, you could have your coffee at a joint that prohibits cell phone conversations.
Your argument makes it seem like your convenience and taste trump evenhandedness.
And I think someone whose wee cur-lette looks like some fetus Liberace aborted during his contract player period should think twice about calling someone else a priss.

PS. And no, I'm not gonna copy and paste a comment to a blog. Blame Safari, blame my achin' eyes but I'll risk appearing illiterate.

Posted by: Mao See Tung at February 8, 2007 2:27 AM

But, I don't have a "large, obnoxious dog," and it would be rude to bring one to a public place, just as it's rude to bring a child who can't keep quiet.

Your argument makes it seem like your convenience and taste trump evenhandedness.

No. That's really silly. See above. Also, your argument makes it seem like you're a sheltered priss who doesn't have any experience with dogs.

If I don't tell you I have my dog with me, you're really not going to know. My dog is perfectly behaved, and listens to all commands, such as "lie down," "stay," and "no noise." She'll lie in my lap perfectly silent under a shawl. Can you say that about your children (at least the "perfectly behaved" part? If not, they should be left home with a babysitter, not brought to adult places.

This works quite well in France. Nobody brings their large, vicious dog to a bar or restaurant. By the way, a vicious dog is probably more of a threat to you when you're walking down the street.

Right now, in California, or maybe New York, I believe people already bring dogs to outdoor or sidewalk cafes. I could be imagining that, but I see it in France. When I'm in France, people's dogs lie down under the table or they're not brought out. People don't bring out large, vicious dogs. Also, when somebody's brat gets out of line in France, others step in to say something. Here, if you do out!

once the dog has jumped on an elderly person (or a child, although you'd probably enjoy that) or slobbered all over someone's pant leg or chomped on someone's hand because it was holding food, which hands will be doing in a restaurant.

This just doesn't happen.

Underparented brats, however, cause a great deal of noise and sometimes, damage, to the place.

Unfortunately, nobody has the guts to say "no underparented brats allowed."

(or a child, although you'd probably enjoy that)

Um, so you assume I want children to be hurt by dogs simply because I like to enjoy my breakfast in an adult cafe or ride on a plane without hearing the tantrum of one? Wow. Next assumption?

FYI, when a brat is screaming in public, it's the parent's fault. I wouldn't wish the parents to be hurt by dogs, either -- but I would like to see them dragged out by a bouncer and left on the sidewalk, with their children neatly deposited with them.

Posted by: Amy Alkon at February 8, 2007 2:55 AM

The more I think about Mao and Proud Mama's arguments, the more ridiculous I think they are. Bars and restaurants are not going to allow angry German shepherds, mountain lions, or wolverines in the door. Read the article. Note the words "as they accompany their owners and remain well-behaved and leashed. Establishments wouldn't be required to allow dogs, except for service animals."

And, as for your sniping about my doing something about people shouting into you like this sort of thing? Find it pleasant, and an enhancing part of your cafe or restaurant experience? Do you think other people do?

Posted by: Amy Alkon at February 8, 2007 3:17 AM

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