So we’re continuing with yesterday’s post on dogs and dining. Having waded through all 169 comments from the Pensacola, FL and Albany, NY blog posts, what I want to know is this: What is it about dogs and dining that so polarizes people opinions?
Some of the angst seems directed at the notion that “nicer,” indoor-seating-only restaurants will be the targets of pet owners’ savage beasts. But frankly, most of us are just looking for a few bars, cafes, and outdoor doggie dining options to enjoy with our well behaved, leashed companions. If that message were better communicated, would some of the anxiety dissipate? For the rest of this post, let’s imagine that’s what I’m talking about.
Points and Counterpoints –
The most gracious pro-doggie dining comments simply pointed out that it’s all about having a choice:
#1. We just don’t understand why you can’t leave your dog at home. You’ll only be gone a short time … sheesh! It doesn’t matter if you don’t understand. Your comprehension of why and where people want to be with their pets is not relevant to the argument. And note that I didn’t pull out the “kid card” here.
#2. It’s inconsiderate for pet owners to foist their dogs on people who prefer to eat without dogs. Maybe. But you have so many choices where you can eat. People with pets don’t.
#3. Dogs are unsanitary. They lick themselves and do their business in plain view. Hmmm. I’ve seen people pick their noses and resume eating. Stick their gum under the table without a second thought. Watched parents rest their baby/toddler on a table wearing an exposed diaper. Ever wonder why employees need to be reminded to wash their hands before returning to work from a trip to the bathroom? Also, dogs walk on the same ground we do and track in the same detritus we do, albeit on four feet instead of two. To convince me of this point’s merit, I need to see statistics that support claims of humans catching diseases from dogs … in restaurants.
#4. Your dogs are not well behaved. This is one issue I can’t disagree with – because, generally, I concur. My experience is that too many people don’t take the time to properly train their dogs. It only takes a couple of barking/snarling/ growling incidents for non-pet lovers to believe all dogs should be left behind.
#5. People are allergic to dogs. Yes they are. According to one website, about 10 million Americans (3.3% of the 300 million population) are allergic to dogs. Another site says: From 15 percent to 30 percent of people with allergies have allergic reactions to cats and dogs… Cat allergies are about twice as common as dog allergies. Note that this statistic is not 15-30% of the population, just 15-30% of the subset of people who have allergies. And again, if you’re allergic, you can choose to eat inside or at a completely different restaurant.
#6. A dog might bite a customer, and the restaurant would be liable. That’s an issue for the owner to consider and protect against, not you or me.
#7. It’s against health code regulations. True. But not all laws make sense, and some bad laws are made as a result of special interests, misconceptions, or lack of good information. And let’s not imagine that Europeans are less sanitary than Americans (or Canadians) because they allow dogs inside restaurants, whereas we’re still talking about outdoor doggie dining.
Tips for People Dining With Dogs –
Tips for People Dining Near Dogs –
So what do you think? Please share your thoughts and comments with us!
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