I really just do this to post pics of my dogs

Ed Murrieta writes about the doggie hospitality in the News Tribune of Tacoma, Washington.

As for the health department regulations that prohibit dogs in taverns and restaurants? The owner of the Shamrock Tavern on Pacific Avenue was quoted as saying, "Well, they came in once and told us to keep him out or they’d fine us."

Mike Davis, a food safety supervisor for the Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department, said his department doesn’t go looking for dogs, but “we cite them when we see them. They have their pet sitting in the corner. The code says ‘no.’”

Murrieta then lists the local spots that are doggie friendly. It may be better to lay out some rules so everyone is playing on the same field.

Awesome alliteration: Denver doggie dining

Denver is the latest big city to pursue doggie dining.

In response to a petition on behalf of a local café, Denver Department of Environmental Health spokeswoman Ellen Dumm said the meeting was pushed back to Sept. 13 so the city can research possibilities for a variance or a rule change, "We would rather have a rule change. That would allow restaurants that are interested in doing it to pursue it."

We say, the evidence suggests that dogs can and should be allowed on restaurant patios — but only at the discretion of restaurant staff and only if staff and owners follow the Florida protocol.

Doggy Dining

Pictured: Restaurant in Nîmes, France

In France dining with your dog is a part of every day life.  Dogs go in restaurants, grocery stores, and even on trains with their owners.  The other night at dinner at a table next to us, a couple sat with their ‘tween son and a tiny doggy that they passed from person to person until the food came.  Then he was expected to sit calmly under the chair.  He started yelping quickly afterwards when a very big dog came wondering around the restaurant’s terrace looking for handouts (see above photo).

We are the owners of two dogs and two cats who live with us in Kansas.  Our lives would be more convenient if we could live like the French and both walk our dogs and sit in restaurants with them on the patio.  We used to be able to do this at one of our favorite restaurants in Manhattan, but the management there recently changed and they told us we would have to attach the dogs on the outside of the railing rather than have them at the table with us.  They even brought us cups of water for the pooches so they wouldn’t get too hot.  Sadie, who was a puppy at the time, dug up their herb garden, and we decided we’d better leave.

Around the same time that rule changed last fall, a reporter called Doug and asked what he thought about the doggy dining laws in Florida.  My reaction was that I would frequent a restaurant that allowed me to bring my dog, but if I were a restaurant owner, I would not allow dogs on the patio.  Beyond the liability issues of “What if a customer’s dog bit one of my staff or other clients?” I see people do all sorts of strange things with their pets.  I confess, I too am guilty of letting my dog lick my plate, but some people even share their food while they’re eating it.  As a restaurant owner, knowing I am liable if someone gets sick in my restaurant, and knowing that dogs do often eat poop and live to …err.. tell about it, I wouldn’t trust that a customer wouldn’t sue me for their E. coli poisoning if they got sick from their dog’s germs.  The U.S. has strict liability laws when it comes to food safety.  If I served the food with poop, I’d be hard pressed to prove where it came from.