Dear Restaurant Guru,
I like dogs, I really do, but there are just some places I don’t think dogs are appropriate. My husband and I went to lunch recently at a sports bar, a great spot near N.C. State. I was shocked that two tables inside the closed-in patio (not outside) had dogs sitting at their tables – one little dog was laying on the seat in the booth, the other big dog (lab size) was sitting in the owners lap barking loudly. And, no these were not service or anxiety dogs wearing service vests.
Again, I like dogs but I assume there are rules about animals in restaurants…Aren’t there?— Fed-up with Fido
Dear Fed-up with Fido,
Oh no… here’s where I offend about 75 percent of the readers of this publication. I’m not a dog lover. And furthermore, I’m not a big fan of dogs at eateries either. We, as Americans, are one of the few countries that have such a profound relationship with our canine community. Granted, puppies and the occasional droopy-eared beagle will melt even this icy-hearted writer, but those instances are few and far between the tables of a bistro.
Unless otherwise indicated, restaurants are for humans. Heck, if you ask some chefs, only adult humans. Don’t ask me about the time I watched an irate chef throw out all of the children’s menus during a Mother’s Day Brunch service.
Now the reason I bring up children’s menus, in an article about dogs, is because many dog owners will make the claim that their dogs are their children…. and there’s nothing wrong with that, as long as they know they are totally nuts.
Look, kids and dogs can both be irritating in the dining room. I get it. But, someday a child will grow up to be an adult, an adult that will enjoy restaurants on a weekly basis. So, by including your rambunctious juvenile along with you could be a form of ‘training’ for the future. But, correct me if I’m wrong, I don’t think Cujo, or Fluffy or dare I say Max, (sadly, one of the most popular dog names… sigh), is going to make a reservation to eat at the Angus Barn some day.
We already travel with dogs on airplanes, create fancy little parks for them to run and poop and even bake the occasional pup-cake. Yes, you guessed it… dog cupcakes.
Dog owners: please recognize that your emotional-support-pooch is sending the rest of us into hysterics. Let’s keep the dogs at home and present them with a nice little treat we like to call: the Doggie Bag.
— Max Trujillo
Host of the NC F&B Podcast.