Saturday, September 17, 2011

#Dogs in #outdoor #restaurants: #yes or #no?

Please let me eat with you.  I'll try to be good.

Chicago Sun Times, September 14, 2011: Q. I’m a waiter at an exclusive restaurant in a trendy neighborhood. We provide seating on the sidewalk for outdoors service and many customers take advantage of this, especially ones with dogs. We allow dogs if they are tied up and stay under the table. (This part of the city is very dog friendly and there must be as many dogs as people.) But I have a problem with customers who bring their dogs to the outdoor cafe because it seems cruel to the dogs. They have to sit confined in the heat. We’re busy enough with paying customers and can’t provide bowls of water for the dogs. Wouldn’t the panting, trussed pets be happier at home?                                                               A. Waiter! There’s a dog in my soup. The health department in New York City recently banned all dogs inside — and outside — bars and restaurants. Perhaps the end is near in your city too.                                                                                                             Sure, the sight of a dog panting and stowed under a table is not pleasant. One just assumes the mutt is miserable. Not always the case. Dogs enjoy hanging out with the people they love. And responsible dogged diners know best. Dog Lady gives them a break. If they’re savvy enough to eat at your establishment, they’re smart enough to accommodate their dogs’ needs.                                                                                              My answer: In May, 2011, in France, having lunch outside atop a cliff near LeCompte, where the Marquis DeSade had his home and hijinks, we saw a couple guiding two huge Great Danes to a small, very French table where they wanted to sit.  It took some effort, but the two monster dogs not only lay down under the table at the wall above the valley, but they were squeezed atop each other.                                                                        They were silent, obedient and didn’t bother anyone through their masters’ meal.  After a few minutes of staring at this rather amazing event, the patrons ignored them.  And they didn’t interfere with any waiter delivering a single plate.                                                                                    Say what you want about the French, they do know how to accommodate dogs.
“You want a friend in Washington? Get a dog.” Harry S. Truman

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