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Health Dept. Reminds Diners to Keep Pets at Home

by ARLnow.com — December 13, 2012 at 1:15 pm 6,679 273 Comments

Restaurants around Arlington are starting to post stickers on their doors reminding patrons to leave fido and fifi at home when they dine out.

The stickers were mailed out on Nov. 26 as part of an ongoing Arlington health department initiative to remind restaurants that it’s against county code for animals to be in “areas where food is prepared, cooked or served,” according to Arlington County Department of Human Services spokesman Kurt Larrick.

Restaurants are not required to post the stickers, but a number of eateries, like Sawatdee Thai (2250 Clarendon Blvd), pictured, have already displayed them prominently for customers entering the establishment.

Larrick says the “no pets” rule applies to sidewalk cafes, too.

“The code applies to indoor and outdoor settings,” he said. “With the growth in outdoor dining in the County over the last year or so it seemed like a timely reminder. We started work on the signs this summer but it just took a while to get them done.”

The stickers note, however, that service animals, like seeing eye dogs, are exempt from the regulations. As for why your favorite fluffy friend is a no-no at restaurants, Larrick says it comes down to health concerns.

“The presence of animals would create a risk of people getting sick due to fecal contamination,” he said.

  • b-money

    I can’t believe that this was something that actually needed to be said.

    • CW

      Oh man, you should see some of the flames I have gotten in the past when I have advocated against pets in restaurants. People love their little fuzzy wuzzies and their poopie woopies, yes they do! You would think I cursed their mother.

      • tumblebum

        I never go anywhere without my poopie woopie.

    • awesomepossum

      About frickin time. Seriously, if this is the law, I’m happy. What’s the phone number to file a complaint?

    • darsasx

      Okay – 256 comments in, here’s the tally:
      d_r_a_x – 37 comments (14.5% of the total)
      n_o_s_t_e_v_e – 35 comments (13.7%)
      cpt_o_b_v_i_o_u_s – 26 comments (10%)

      so nearly 40% of the comments are by 3 folks (2 if you count the obvious bipolarity in the dr/ns singularity). Kind of like watching Mel Gibson talking to himself in Conspiracy Theory.

      • JamesE

        they are the same person, the flicker of a cigarette triggers the personality change.

      • CW

        I agree. Let’s see if this gets through.

        • CW

          So apparently a reference to oderationmay gets you orderatedmay

          • Quoth the Raven

            Yes. I’ve noticed the same thing. Or to specific user names; that apparently has the same effect.

          • darsasx

            Which is why you have to be creative – nothing worse than creating the perfect response and being CliffProuted – and I use the term reverently like he does for extra purity (I guess it’s kind of like being Munsoned but you get to keep your hand).

      • drax

        Who is stranger – someone who posts alot, or someone who sits there and counts up who posted what?

    • Stupid law

      Seriously, dogs in sidewalk cafes are common across the country. Unless you are eating off the floor the notion of “fecal contamination” of food is absurd. I agree with not letting them inside a restaurant. But if I’m sitting at a cafe, outside, there is absolutely no legitimate reason why a well behaved dog could not be there as well, just as they are in many other jurisdictions.

  • Chris M.

    You should point out that it’s perfectly fine to have your dog outside of the sectioned off outdoor serving area. (at least I think it is)

    • drax

      If food is served in an outdoor area, no pets are allowed there either.

      “it’s against county code for animals to be in “areas where food is prepared, cooked or SERVED” “

      • novasteve

        That means that dogs need to be banned from sidewalks because lots of restaurants serve food on the sidewalks. Streets too if food trucks are around.

        • drax

          In the area where restaurants serve food on sidewalks, yes, they should not be. Same for food trucks. Not the entire sidewalk or street.

          But you knew that.

      • Juanita de Talmas

        But if they are outside the sectioned off area like Chris M. says, they are on the public sidewalk and the restaurant has no jurisdiction.

        • UptonHiller

          I’m not so sure about that. Have you ever listened in on an Arlington hearing about allowing / expanding outdoor cafe seating? They seem to be able to put whatever restriction on the use permit they choose.

        • novasteve

          The leash would still be in the sectioned off area. And it’ still the sidewalk, not the sectioned off area. They just pay for the privilege of sectioning it off, but it’s the sidewalk that I’d otherwise be walking through but for them buying the ablity to use it from the county.

          • drax

            Dogs are banned, not leashes, steve. Food is not served on the sidewalk outside the area where food is served.

            You will try absolutely ANYTHING, won’t you?

          • novasteve

            The leash is an extension of the dog, thus the same thing. Like how I can be charged with assaulting you by kicking the car you are in.

  • dsgnchk

    Banning dogs from outdoor dining establishments will do nothing but cause me to take my dog — and my money — to other counties to eat out. This initiative, pun intended, is sh*t.

    • b-money

      And the rest of us who don’t want to put up with Fido while we’re trying to eat will have no problem with that.

      • novasteve

        How about children free restaurants? I’d rather have dogs around than screaming brats.

        • DCBuffs

          Then stop taking your dates to Chik-fil-a, Steve, and find a grown up restaurant.

          • Hank

            This assumes Steve is getting dates.

          • DCBuff

            Well, he claimed he was getting drunk with dates in the whole Moran thread. I guess I just assumed those were his dates.

          • drax

            Maybe he gets drunk with other people’s dates.

          • Skeptical

            While not a Novasteve fan particularly, let me say that no restaurant is safe from screaming brats now. Most of the places I used to like to eat are no longer attractive to me because people bring children of ANY age and make no attempt to curb their behavior. The same goes for most people who own dogs, alas.

        • Hank

          Women must love you!

      • Arling

        How about whining kids? .. ban them too – ban everything that would cause even a hint of diner discomfort.

        • I know right

          I’m not sure about kids, especially infants because they really do not know any better. But I sure could do with a lot less whining crybaby adults.

          • Skeptical

            If infants don’t know any better, then the parents need to find a baby sitter. See me comment above. No one seems to understand this any more. When waiters try to seat me next to families with infants, I walk out. It’s outrageous to expect people to pay money to sit next to a screaming, puking, pooping infant, whether the infant “knows better” or not.

          • Captain_Obvious

            yea its outrageous to think parents want to be able to leave the house. Its outrageous that infants don’t act like perfect adults. Its outrageous that parents are trying to take kids out to eat to teach them how to act respectful in a public setting.

          • John K

            Not outrageous at all. However, back in my day, parents got baby-sitters when they wanted to eat out at “adult places” and coached children in public manners at home. Now, get off my lawn!

          • Fuzzy

            As a parent of 2 young kids, believe me when I say it absolutely sucks going out to dinner with them…you never get to relax as I spend the whole time pleading w/ my kids to eat and yelling at them when they misbehave. However, you have to get out of the house on occasion and you don’t want to cook at home every night. For those who say get a sitter — you have a point, but it’s brutally expensive (upwards of $15-$20 per hour). That said, we never take our kids to restaurants that aren’t family freindly (Outback type places). Parents should never take young kids to adult oriented restaurants.

          • arlmom

            It’s about the time….pre 7pm—up until about 6:30pm is old people and kid hour. I have two of my own and I, as well behaved as they are, I don’t believe they should be in a nice restaurant in the evening. If you are at a big chain-type restaurant expect kids…fine dining–no way.

            Btw, I love to see dogs at the sidewalk cafes (well behaved ones, like children) and I am not even a ‘dog’ person.

          • Deadite

            I’m not sure where you all eat. I’ve never had a problem with screaming kids around here and I eat out about twice a week.

        • drax

          Disease from dog feces is more than “discomfort.”

          • novasteve

            Diseases from other people is also more than discomfort. Funny thing is that I get sick a couple times a year due to being around people, but not from dogs. Fascinating.

          • fido

            yes because dogs will always s–t in your plate

          • Rover

            It’s also far from prevalent.

          • drax

            1. You don’t know how you get sick, steve. You can’t trace it.

            2. Restaurants are made for humans.

            3. Humans usually follow sanitary rules that dogs don’t.

            There are rules that protect people from harm in restaurants. Get over it.

          • Hmmm

            I live with my dog in a studio apartment and yet to catch a disease from him. You’re more likely to catch food-borne illnesses from improperly stored salad dressing, e. coli tainted spinach or a waiter improperly washing his hands.

            People have lived (and eaten) in close proximity to animals long before sidewalk cafes let Fido sit under the table.

          • drax

            You choose whether to eat with a dog or where a dog has lived, unlike restaurant patrons.

          • novasteve

            Drax: Restaurant patients are free to choose to not eat at the restaurant. They aren’t forced to go there.

          • Ivy

            Humans do not get diseases from dogs……they pick up illnesses from other humans. Europeans certainy don’t get sick from eating in public places with dogs. Sure would be nice to at least live in the 20th century.

          • drax

            “Humans do not get diseases from dogs.”

            Absolutely false.

            http://www.cdc.gov/healthypets/animals/dogs.htm

            “Europeans certainy don’t get sick from eating in public places with dogs.”

            Sure they do.

      • dsgnchk

        Yes, my dog, who does nothing other then lay on the sidewalk under my table while I eat is really more intrusive then the screaming toddler at the next table throwing food.

        • dr seuss

          Who is actively pooping on himself. At dinner.

          Unlike our dogs.

          • drax

            Your dog could poop anywhere, not just on himself, at any moment.

          • Captain_Obvious

            oh, dogs don’t poop, totally forgot that.

        • Quoth the Raven

          I love these made up stories about devil children throwing food all over the place. Where do you go to eat where this happens? If you don’t want to eat near kids, don’t go to Joe’s Pizza.

          • nom de guerre

            How about simultaneously “screaming and blowing snot”?

          • I know right

            I’ve actually seed toddlers rubbing the handful of fries down their dirty diaper before throwing them across the restaurant.

          • Hick

            I seed that too.

        • Captain_Obvious

          too bad get over it. Your dog is not a person.

        • Arlington Cat

          We have been through this before; kids are not dogs, and more impoantly, dogs are not children.

    • Ralph

      Please do.

      • tumblebum

        Pooping, screaming, diaper seasoned fries, and blowing snot. Bon Appetit!

        • Captain_Obvious

          that never happened, But I do like fiction, so tell us more.

    • drax

      If you can find a jurisdiction that allows dogs in restaurants, fine. Meanwhile, this will do more than just make you go elsewhere – it will protect the rest of us from disease.

      • Joan Fountain

        Just what are these canine-borne diseases?

        • drax

          You can use Google as well as I can.

          Or you can ask a question without answering it and pretend it proves something.

          • Sweet Wilma

            Obviously, you are unable to use google given that you could not answer the question.

            Proof beyond all reasonable doubt commends you.

            And, you are still boring.

          • Quoth the Raven

            commends or condemns?

          • drax

            I can and did use Google.

            I’m just not going to do Joan’s work for her.

            She’s playing the game where you ask a question and pretend it’s an answer.

            I’ve posted a link to the CDC website elsewhere here. Go find it. Fetch!

      • Kevin

        Fairfax

        • NS4L

          Apparently someone can use Google.

      • Swissie

        It’s amazing that Europeans are still alive since they allow dogs in eating establishments.

        • Captain_Obvious

          its also amazing that Europeans still haven’t discovered ice or napkins in their restaurants.

      • Frank

        alexandria

    • Captain_Obvious

      go right ahead. You and your dog won’t be missed.

    • Nico

      I second that, dsgnchk! Even in ‘we love to regulate everything’ Europe they know such regs are nonsense.

  • Really?

    best line in article – “We started work on the signs this summer but it just took a while to get them done.”

    I can see how creating a sign that says no pets allowed takes 6 months………..

    • I know right

      They had to build the printing shop first.

      • CW

        No one can say they didn’t build that!

    • fedworker

      They should’ve had school children come up with the design. It would’ve been faster.

    • BlueSkies

      Must be the same folks building the bus “Super Stop”
      on Columbia Pike.

  • novasteve

    Clearly ARlington is applying Shariah. I don’t honestly see the big deal. I bet most people are dirtier than dogs are. In germany people bring their dogs to bars.

    • R. Griffon

      Clearly ARlington is applying Shariah.

      Oh how we’ve missed your hyperbole. Welcome back and thank you for adding some much needed color.

      • jackson

        Vibrancy. (It had to be said.)

    • Captain_Obvious

      so what? That’s Germany, this is Merica

  • al

    Sure hope the restaurants in Shirlington heed and comply.

    • Tom Whitley

      I agree! Humans are almost out numbered in Shirlington during the summer.

  • novasteve

    IN OTHER WORDS, Major Pup McPuppo Jr not welcome in any restaurant in Arlington.

    ARLINGTON = BIGOTRY

  • 1RLI

    I understand completely that service animals are exempt. No objection.
    But if the purpose of keeping animals away from areas where food is prepared, cooked or served is because the presence of animals would create a risk of people getting sick due to fecal contamination, wouldn’t service animals create the same risk?
    Not contesting or looking for a fight, just feeling a bit philosophical.

    • novasteve

      I’m sure they figure that there will be very few service animals, so maybe one every once in a while, not 10 dogs at all times. Also I’m sure they would be able to sue under the ADA if they tried to forbid service dogs. The thing is, with PCness, they’ll just expand in the future what constitutes a service animal and what conditions will allow one. Soon depression will be a reason to have one.

    • Hattie McDaniel

      You’re absolutely right. If there is truly a danger from animal fecal matter contaminating restaurant food, then the reason the animal is present has no bearing on the risk.

      Seems to me allowing the beasts on the patio would be a good compromise.

      • CW

        And the kids with norovirus too, while they’re at it. Seriously…

        • drax

          And adults with norovirus too.

        • Captain_Obvious

          and you’re dog licking his own nuts…get over it already

    • b-money

      Total speculation here, but I’d guess that Service Animals are better trained and know when/where to go about their business, whereas any random dog on the street could have any unknown degree of training.

      • Just Sayin’

        I’ve never seen a dog sh!t on a table in a restaurant.

        • JamesE

          Well, then you haven’t lived.

          • bum

            HA!

        • Captain_Obvious

          I’ve seen dog sh!t on sidewalks plenty of times…Even nova-steve complains about it on here…so obviously dogs crap on the sidewalk.

    • Arlington Cat

      Service animals are highly trained, and are providing a SERVICE for the handicapped. JEEZ!

  • Arling

    “The presence of animals would create a risk of people getting sick due to fecal contamination,” … Lame – You’re kidding me right?

    Like most people’s shoes are more sanitary? People sneezing and coughing, wiping their runny nose on everything and spreading their own germs? How about babies? Ban them in case they fill their diapers – is their fecal matter of a higher quality that we don’t need to be concerned?

    I didn’t know there was an outbreak of dogs defecating profusely near food. I guess I should leave mine outside while food is being handled in the kitchen least wayward rebel fecal matter find it’s way on counter surfaces or my dinner plate.

    • novasteve

      BRILLIANT! a bum ban because they are germy!

    • drax

      Babies usually don’t crap all over the floor either.

      • novasteve

        You still inhale the crap no matter where they crap.

        • I know right

          Fine. When dogs start wearing disposable diapers and/or wiping their ass with TP, then we can call this an apples-to-apples debate.

          • drax

            I think I see a compromise!

      • Ivy

        Been in a school lately? Kids are germ factories

        • Captain_Obvious

          right, and dogs rolling on the ground aren’t ?

    • Rob42

      What’s ridiculous is, if this was a legit risk, the exception for service animals shouldn’t apply. It’s not like a service animal’s s–t is more healthful than a regular dog’s. If the presence of service animals doesn’t cause a health risk, then the presence of non-service animals wouldn’t either.

      • CA

        Its a standard cost/benefit analysis. As in, is it really necessary for you to bring your dog to a dining establishment at the risk of getting other people sick? If it is necessary, then you get a pass. If not, keep the dog home.

        • novasteve

          So should sick people be banned from going to restaurants since they risk getting other people sick?

          • CA

            Dogs do not equal people.

          • novasteve

            So because dogs don’t equal people the health/safety stuff gets thrown out the door? I thought the issue was to prevent illness? But I guess it’s okay if a person gets you sick so long as a dog didn’t get you sick? That’s brilliant.

          • drax

            The point is to prevent illness AND feed people. But not feed dogs. It’s really quite simple.

        • Mon

          Across Europe they have been doing this for years. No issues there. Should not be here.

          • Captain_Obvious

            This isn’t Europe.

          • drax

            There are no issues with health in restaurants that allow dogs in Europe?

            How do you know?

            Did you do an epidemiological study, or look one up?

  • Hank

    I understand the reasoning behind this, but it was nice that there were some restaurants with outdoor seating areas where it was cool to bring your dog. Oh well, I guess public good wins out.

  • Sockmonkez

    Can they make a sign for young kids too? They are just as much of a fecal contamination risk and are much more disruption than my dog.

    • drax

      But kids are, you know, human.

    • dsgnchk

      And a sign for birds! Those birds that sh*t outside should definitely be kept away from outdoor dining tables.

      • dr seuss

        Zing!

      • drax

        Well, yes, they should – and we don’t even need a sign to tell us that.

  • johnny b

    If there was a health risk, wouldn’t France be in the midst of a ‘fecal contamination’ epidemic? Wouldn’t there also be health problems for all dog owners who eat with their pets at home?

    • Hank

      Yeah, France is a real sh!t show.

    • drax

      You do NOT want to uphold France as a paragon of cleanliness, dude.

      • 1RLI

        Touché!

        • johnny b

          My point exactly. France allows dogs in restaurants, has a poor reputation for cleanliness, yet no health problems. So here in Arlington, where we maintain a modicum of ‘clean’, dogs in eateries couldn’t possibly be dangerous.
          Unless the President is eating there, then it might be dangerous for the dog! :)

      • frenchie

        why not? At least we wash our bottoms.

      • Ivy

        Germany and England also allow dogs in cafes. Germany is spotless compared to US

        • drax

          Except for the dogs, sure.

  • Louise

    Yay! Just saw that today at the bagel shop. Thanks, Arlington!

  • novasteve

    Lobsters poomp in the lobster tanks. Should lobsters be banned from restaurants?

  • G Clifford Prout

    I prefer my dog in my bosintang.

    • Kim Jong-il

      Now we’re talking!

  • Sum Yung Mann

    Fortunately, my hearing-ear cat will still be able to accompany me out to eat.

    • prince philip

      Do you know they have eating dogs for the anorexic now?

  • Orwell

    Service animals > other animals.

  • arlgirl

    I agree with some of the posters above. This is silly. Dogs are never brought into kitchens where food is being prepared. Most restaurants in Europe allow well-mannered dogs to accompany patrons. I particularly can see no reason why dogs should be banned at sidewalk eateries — there are dogs walking all over the place anyway. Does the presence of a small railing create a barrier to “fecal contamination”? Other states allow dogs in outside eating areas. And I agree about babies’ diapers, germs and unwashed hands — these things are every bit as contaminating as any dog might be.

    This should be a decision made by individual restaurants that are willing to go to the trouble to get special certification and submit to heavier inspection. Then potential patrons would know whether they might encounter a dog inside/outside and can make their choice accordingly — and we dog lovers, who have taken the time to train our pets and enjoy taking them with us when we go out, would have places to go. What is so difficult about that?

    • ACDC Hack

      “Does the presence of a small railing create a barrier to “fecal contamination”? ”

      As long as it is a “magic railing”……be sure to check for the label !!!

  • PaulB

    Love that this is turning into another humans vs dogs debate. Remember the ban kids from dog parks movement?

    • dr seuss

      Seriously, I saw a little girl get completely taken out by two rambunctious pups yesterday. Then she screamed and got the rest of the park riled up. Revive the debate!

  • Mick Way

    But just fine for mom to sit junior in a poop filled diaper on the counter at Starbucks while she digs around for her wallet. Yum.

    • Mocha Latte Crappuccino

      Yum!

    • Captain_Obvious

      why do you assume every diaper has poop in it ?

  • novasteve

    This is another reason why I hate the nanny state, and believe the free market should decide. And why you should too. If you dont’ want to go to a restaurant that allows dogs because you fear germs, or barking, then go to a restaurant that doesnt’ allow dogs. Don’t ban it because you don’t approve it. Just choose to go elsewhere. Like an adult. Children need decisions to be made for them.

    • drax

      Here’s steve’s awesome version of the “free market.”

      Someone walks into a restaurant where a dog crapped an hour ago. He gets sick and dies. People who want to avoid that simply find out somehow that someone else got sick and died, and avoid that restaurant. Voila! Only a few people will have to die.

      Get real, steve.

      If everyone acted like adults, they would all ban dogs in restaurants and nobody would try to bring them in, because that’s a no-brainer. Unfortunately, the government has to step in and save lives sometimes. Get used to it.

      • novasteve

        Wow, the government is saving lives by banning dogs. Yes!!!!

        Now why doesn’t the government ban the restaurants from selling meat? They could save lives. And no doubt, ban alcohol from bars as well. Save lives! Fried foods? You don’t need it.

        There’s so much more life saving the government can do! You better write to them to give them ideas of things to ban so lives can be saved!

        • drax

          Cost-benefit analysis, steve. Look it up.

  • Mick Way

    BTW if I recall correctly the standards for a service animal is if you say your dog is a service animal the establishment is not permitted to question it.

    Rode on a plane recently with a guy who was allowed on with his “emotional support animal.” No crate either. Dog rode at his feet. Now my wife wants to know how our terrier can do this.

    • Robert

      LOL… I’m picturing a Jack Russel on an airplane:)

    • Mon

      You have to have a letter from your doctor/therapist. You also must pay to have your pet on board.

  • weeper

    How about we all agree it’s better to be considerate of people who have allergies to animals and not subject them to that while they’re trying to enjoy their meal? How about agreeing that everyone has a right to enjoy their meal equally?

    I don’t think it’s a stretch to say that your separation anxiety from your animal for 20 minutes isn’t as horrible as someone with an animal allergy.

    • Joshua Tucker

      everyone has a right to enjoy their meal equally

      Even those of us who can’t stand having whiney kids nearby?

      • novasteve

        Also would about loud conversations or cumulative loudness? I have to avoid loud noises.

        • weeper

          Then you should be adult enough to realize entering whether or not the location is too loud and leave. Or get something to order.

          You’re a smart guy. You can figure out what the social conventions are and how to deal with living in a populated area without being a gigantic tool about personal entitlements.

      • weeper

        Yup. People should be more bold about complaining about a disruptively loud child. And people should be more understanding about people complaining and address the issue.

        It’s not hard to be a decent human being, people just seem uninterested in doing so.

        • darsasx

          WHAT DO YOU MEAN? I’m 33 years old and have never lost at anything – I receive 50 trophies a year just for participating. My 6 and 8 year olds are AT THE TOP OF THEIR CLASS IN EVERYTHING THEY DO. What do you mean that there are things I do that are unacceptable to others?!

          • weeper

            Good effort! Way to be out there! Here’s your participation trophy for commenting in this forum!

            /fartnoise

            :)

      • Terry

        +1000000

      • Captain_Obvious

        do you know of any silent restaurants in the area ?

        • Flyover-country

          Yeah, those without kids….LOL

          • Captain_Obvious

            really? So adults don’t talk at restaurants ? You’re a genius.

    • janedough

      i think the allergy argument has more validity than the fecal contamination one

      • Dano

        So does eating inside if you are that violently allergic to dogs that you can’t dine with one 10 feet away in open-air. After all, let’s not forget that restaurants have indoor dining as well, generally. I doubt all that car exhaust will help such problematic allergies.

      • johnny b

        So whaddya do with the guy who hugs his animals goodbye b4 leaving for the restaurant, puts on his dander covered sweater, and sits next to you in the crowded place???

        • Dano

          Zyrtec? Works great for me in the spring!

        • novasteve

          Also customers aren’t required to wash their hands, so if there’s a buffet or salad bar, what’s to stop them from getting fecal matter over everything? Nothing. Then add in sneezing, couging etc.

          • drax

            Yeah, so we should just stop trying! Let dogs in, and let people crap on the floor if they want too. Since humans aren’t perfectly clean, we should all just let any crap from any human or animal onto our food. Poor some chickenshit on your steak – why not, since people aren’t required to wash their hands!

        • Captain_Obvious

          hugs his animals goodbye ? He needs a life, or maybe a girlfriend.

    • Robert

      If you have a pet allergy then don’t pet them. I’m allergic to pollen. Let’s cut down all the trees and rip up all the grass in the county. I’m allergic to truck and bus fumes. Let’s ban them in the county. To protect those with peanut allergies, let’s ban peanuts on all restaurant menus. Geez.
      Dogs are a part of life in Arlington and elsewhere. If your allergies are that serious I don’t think you can live anywhere except a sterile bubble.

      • weeper

        Pollen doesn’t come into a restaurant just because some entitled person thinks they can bring it in with them. So… apples and oranges.

        • robert

          Not so. Dogs in outdoor seating area. Pollen in outdoor seating area. Apples to apples.

          • weepre

            Hey, no complaint here about the outdoor seating areas. I’m all for that.

          • Captain_Obvious

            no, not apples to apples at all. I’m guessing you didn’t do so well on your verbal SAT section.

  • novasteve

    If you’ve ever been to Hurley’s in Montreal you might have seen a human poop at the bar.

  • fedworker

    It’s a bit more complicated

  • PaulB

    It would be nice if they could put the Arlington code reference in a little larger print, so the proprietors didn’t look like the bad guys. Because lets face it, a restaurant is well within its rights to enforce this type of policy on their own if the code was not in place.

    • novasteve

      That’s EXACTLY why the government should stay the hell out of people’s business. Let the business decide. Sick of the government treating everyone like children.

      • drax

        So a dog could crap in a restaurant and a few hours later nobody would know it happened. How do I get to decide then?

        Maybe the government could require the restaurant to post signs that dogs are allowed.

        Oh, wait, that’s the government requiring something – can’t do that.

        Here’s the deal, steve – when the burden is small (you have to leave your dog at home or outside) and the potential cost is huge (death), the government often laughs at your petty little whining about freedom, because it’s silly. I would rather the government treat me like “a child” than risk getting seriously ill or dying, or that happening to my kids, because you can’t bear to leave your dog at home for an hour or two.

        And it happens that a friend just had a kid in the hospital near death with a fecal-borne disease. It’s not pretty at all, and the kid may have permanent liver or kidney damage.

        Just leave the dog outside. And you’ll also be forced to eat food inspected by the government and handled by people with government licenses to handle it using government-approved facilities and procedures. If that makes you feel like a child, too bad.

        • Not dead yet

          And this feces was proven to be from a DOG? Not the cook, sous chef, waiter, bus boy, parent,CHILD who actually touched the plate or the food chair or the salt shaker that the child then touched??
          I have taken my dogs to eat in sidewalk cafes or eaten without them there or walked by these cafes and NEVER seen a dog poop there. I suppose it COULD happen, but certain not enough for it to be a real issue. It’s not really in their behavioral vocabulary.
          I also try to patronize places that allow dogs and always tip extra to the waiters since they’re usually happy to have dogs and bring water, etc. And while this isn’t Europe’ the dogs and the people aren’t any different physically (you know what I mean) unless you think we’re weaker since we tend to swaddle ourselves in ridiculous laws that stop us from creating normal resistance

          • drax

            I didn’t say it came from a dog. But there’s no good reason to add to the risk of disease by letting dogs in restaurants. It’s not worth it. Only a few people might get sick – but those people may die or have serious, possibly permanent, health problems. And its not just fecal transmission. That was my point. The dog can wait outside.

  • Robert

    This is absolutely idiotic. Let’s get real. Dogs sitting quietly under an outdoor dining table do not spread disease and I doubt dogs actually pooping happens often, if ever. I have personally witnessed small children coughing openly, touching everything at buffet tables with their sticky hands (that’s why I never eat a buffets), men spitting on the sidewalk just outside the outdoor dining ropes, vomit from the weekend revelers inside the roped area, and other assorted disgusting habits. Yet somehow we seem to survive all of these assaults on our health. Why are we picking on dogs? Like adults and children, if dogs are dangerous, noisy, or otherwise unruly, they should be asked to leave. Allowing well behaved pets to dine with their owners is part of a lively, vibrant, and liveable area that enhances quality of life for people and their pets.

    • novasteve

      People also sneeze at salad bars and buffets. i think the nanny state should outlaw buffets and salad bars because they aren’t sanitary.

      • drax

        Those sneeze-guards at buffets are a violation of my freedom! I should choose whether I want to eat food that’s been spewed with other people’s sputum. Stop treating me like a child, government!

  • Andrew Acker

    The hypocrisy in the ban is just shocking. I assume we, the consumers, are in the wrong when a bird poops in our food…? What’s next, a law requiring wait staff to wash their hands after they use the facilities?

  • drax

    Just saw this in a Starbucks bathroom:

    “Employees don’t have to wash hands–under our free market system, those who want to be served by employees who don’t have deadly bacteria on their hands can CHOOSE that.”

    • novasteve

      Let me know when I get to consent to other people driving after drinking when I wasn’t even in the establishment they drank in. Doesn’t matter legal limits. One drop slows your reflexes, endangering everyone on the road.

      • drax

        Keep throwing the crap, steve, something might stick.

        • novasteve

          What do you think poses a greater risk to society, dogs in a restaurant or people drinking and then driving? Even one drink can slow your reflexes. Just one drink. Would it be okay for me to wear glasses that makes my eyesight worse but still within the requirements for not neeing an rx to drive? Yet we allow that for drinking.

          What’s the bigger risk, dogs or booze?

          • Captain_Obvious

            wow, the ignorance is amazing.

          • drax

            Dogs in restaurants are illegal. Drinking and driving is illegal.

            What’s your point?

  • Saad

    What a shame…I enjoyed my weekly trips to Capitol Grill in Shirlington…they were very dog friendly and put out treats/bowls. Spending my money elsewhere I guess.

    • Jake

      Maybe Alexandria doesn’t care.
      I don’t have a dog, but I don’t have a problem with it in Shirlington. It makes for a fun atmosphere.

  • Dano

    The real loser here is Arlington restaurants, if they’re forced to comply. I know it will result in my dining out less often. When a dog is stuck inside alone all day when its owners are at work, only really awful dog owners would then leave it home for another hour or two to go eat dinner somewhere. I can’t understand why the government can’t just let restaurants decide. If they feel their patrons would prefer a dog-free experience on their patios (of course, a dog-free experience is already always available inside) and don’t mind losing business from dog owners, then that’s totally fine. No need for a law here.

    And it’s obviously not a legitimate health hazard. I have never heard of anyone getting sick because of dog feces in a restaurant. Hopefully Arlington County doesn’t think its residents are stupid enough to believe that line of BS.

    • Quoth the Raven

      If you leave your dog inside, all day, all alone, aren’t you already an awful dog owner? Why do you have a dog if you’re gone all day and there is no spouse/friend/kid there to take care of it. Sounds pretty selfish to me.

      And restaurants don’t decide things – the state/county does. If we let restaurants decide things, I’m thinking the cleanliness/inspection standards would be a bit lower.

      • novasteve

        Only the 1%ers should be able to have dogs here becaues only they can afford land for a dog to run around on during the day!

        How about you let the restaurants decide things, but have the inspectors come around and inspect and enforce based upon the same standard? Without having to ban anything? If they can have dogs and be within the cleanliness standards, then more power to them.

        • Captain_Obvious

          I prefer the all or none method, and in this case, none.

        • drax

          No, steve, can’t have inspectors – that’s the GOVERNMENT. The people must decide whether the restaurant is clean enough for them. Choice!

          “Without having to ban anything?”

          Major logic problem. Banning dogs IS a cleanliness standard. You can’t inspect for invisible bacteria and worms and stuff, steve. You can’t see them. And you can’t inspect enough to catch them being transmitted either.

  • Arlingtron

    Banning well behaved dogs at sidewalk dining areas is absurd. No real basis for it and it only panders to people with delicate sensibilities. In the UK many establishments allow dogs inside too. Please take your business to neighboring and enlightened jurisdictions until our nanny-state leaders come to their senses.

    • drax

      Please take your dog somewhere else and let humans have their eating establishments back.

      • novasteve

        Why is it so hard for you to go to a place that doesn’t allow dogs instead of just thinking dogs should be banned?

        • Captain_Obvious

          so by your logic, all restaurants should allow dogs and that means anyone who doesn’t own a dog shouldn’t go to restaurants. You know what happens then? All the restaurants close down cause their isn’t enough business to support them. Excellent logic !

  • DMD

    Interesting how the county finds ways to leave money on the table. We lived in Chicago for 7 years and saw how a dogs-on-restaurant-patios scenario could work.

    The city required restaurants who wanted to offer patrons a dog-friendly patio to apply for and to purchase an additional dog-friendly permit. The restaurants and their employees were required to observe some reasonable sanitary practices regarding the dogs (no dogs eating or drinking from human plates/utensils, no staff touching dogs, etc.) and the dogs were required to be under your table. Many restaurants chose to pay for the additional permit and those were the packed patios where restaurant owners had great business. Other restaurants chose to remain dog free and had the patrons who self-selected to avoid dogs.

    The city made revenue from the permitting and everyone had a choice, from the restaurant owners who decided whether or not to be dog friendly to patrons who could chose to be around dogs or not. It was never a big issue. Also, dogs in Chicago were allowed in/at city farmer’s markets since they were held in public parks and on public streets. People were a lot more laid back about dogs there.

    • janedough

      take your dog early and often……

      • DMD

        Well played, janedough, well played.

  • novasteve

    NANNY STATE MENTALITY = I know what’s best for you! Everything don’tI approve of needs to be banned! It’s for your own good, I know what’s best! No discussion, no nothing, it’s my way or the highway!

    • drax

      No, steve, more like it’s not worth letting people get sick and/or die for your silly notions of freedom and dogs not having to wait outside or at home for a few hours.

    • Captain_Obvious

      do you say the same thing about the FDA ?

  • Terry

    Soo when are kids going to be banned in areas where food is prepared, cooked or served? Most kids are dirtier than my dog (who I would never take to a restaurant either). They’re far more annoying too.

    • drax

      Kids are humans though. Restaurants are for humans.

      • Robert

        Says who?

        • Captain_Obvious

          says every restaurant that makes food for PEOPLE, not dogs.

  • nom de guerre
  • novasteve

    Say if I think I’m a dog. Will I be banned?

    • johnny b

      No, you’ll be sent to Montgomery County…..oops, my bad; that’s if you think you’re a woman and want to use the girls locker room! :) :)

  • novasteve

    Are children banned from swimming pools in arlington given how notorious children are for defecating in swimming pools? Oh, chlorine eh? maybe we can have chlorinated restaurants too to protect us from children and adults who aren’t clean, then maybe dogs?

    • drax

      Children who use daipers are banned from most pools, yes.

      Next try?

      • novasteve

        The wading pools as well? So there will be age limits at the new arlington super pool?

    • weeper

      If you’re so anxious to swim in shit filled water, the Potomac is, like, RIGHT THERE.

  • Jennifer

    Most entertaining comment thread ever.

  • YTK

    Let’s make SURE that the owners of these establishments understand that THERAPY animals and Seeing eye dogs are ALLOWED inside those premises, under the ADA act.

    • novasteve

      I have this disability where I throw food on the floor, so I need a dog to be on the floor to eat that food, due to my bad back. So I would need the therapy animal exception to this.

    • Tabs

      Bzzzt! “ADA Act”= redundancy ALERT.

      ATM machine
      6 a.m. in the morning
      PIN number

  • novasteve

    I think people should protest by bringing a projector to a restaurant and show My Life as a Dog.

  • soarlslacker

    I am glad I live close to Del Ray where dogs are welcome. The owner of the Neighborhood Pharmacy in Del Ray (Alex) asked me to bring my 3 dogs in the next time I get a script filled, so she can meet them. she makes meds from scratch (compounds)for one of my dogs.

    • CW

      Cool story bro.

  • Ralph

    Funny comment thread.

    Do you think drax and novasteve like each other?

    • BBMS

      I think drax is novasteve’s best friend

      • Kate

        I get it!

  • weeper

    Pretty much this whole situation and all the complaints can be dealt with by being civil.

    Bring your dog, bring your kids, whatever. But if it’s bothersome, I can address it with you, politely, and try to figure out a solution. You know, without you becoming a hostile dick.

    Is it *really* so hard?

  • Frank

    Lets remind Arlington County Health Department that the Commonwealth of Virginia has allowed for restaurants to have a variance on the current restrictions and our County should allow for restaurant owners to make the decision about what clientele they would like to cater to…

    Get with the times Arlington County Health Department. Do your homework, read the research, and start allowing businesses to do what they are legally allowed to do in the Commonwealth of Virginia.

  • Robert

    I guess my dog just became a therapy dog. Need to buy him one of those vests to make him look official. Now we can even eat inside in the winter.

  • Robert

    Does anyone remember Restaurant 3′s weekly dog happy hour on their outside patio during the summers? It was a wonderful social event for people and pets and was always packed. It was well publicized and I find it hard to believe the county health dept was unaware of this weekly event. Why was there no enforcement then if it’s such a health hazard? Sorry county, we are not stupid people and citing that the ban on dogs in outdoor dining areas of restaurants is a health issue insults our intelligence.

    • soarlslacker

      Old Town Alexandria still does this in many places in the warm weather. Lots of places in Del Ray welcome dogs year round.

    • Tabs

      That’s why people stopped eating there, and it folded.

      • robert

        Ridiculous. Nothing to do with why the place closed. Maybe more dog happy hours and they would have survived.

  • No dogs

    Look, I’m afraid of dogs and I’m afraid of walking by one tied to the fence or table next to the restaurant. Why can’t you leave your dogs at home?? Why do you assume everyone wants to be around your animal?

    • soarlslacker

      My dogs weigh 9, 11 and 12 pounds they are cleaner, more polite and better behaved than children. My dogs sitting in my and my spouse’s lap are no threat to you.

      You might want to find someone with a gentle dog to let you hang around with it which might help overcome your fear of dogs. Also when/if, you meet a dog, squat down so you are eye level (to a dog, you are a head on a stick). Watch the dog. does it look upset or is it pulling toward you? The most relaxed postion for a dog is down (on the ground on its belly). Let the dog smell the back of your hand. Dogs recognize people and other animals by smell. Also, should you encounter an unfriendly dog and miss the signs, a bite on the back of your hand is minor compared to a bite on your palm. Arlingon County offers Dog Obediance classes. The gentleman who teaches the classes, Kevin, is great. The classes are offered at a local high school in the evenings outdoors. You might want to go observe a class or 2 and see if being around dogs in a safe environment (with a dog trainer there) eases your discomfort a bit. I am so sorry that you are missing out on the wonderfulness of dogs. They make me so happy and add so much to our daily lives that I can’t imagine life without them.

      • nom de guerre

        As a pet owner myself of both dogs and cats, I would agree that they add joy to their owners. I would also bet that your dogs lick their anus and genitals to clean themselves, so that makes them cleaner? My children don’t do that. Keep pets at home when you go out to dine and children if they don’t behave properly in the same situation.

        • Tabs

          Unless it’s Sam’s. Otherwise, hear, hear.

      • Brian

        3 yappy dogs?

        Stay away from resturants with those, I assure you no one wants to sit near you eating with those 3 dogs.

        I have a dog, and I love him. But I don’t take him to restaurants for chrissake. He’s a dog, not a kid.

    • Dano

      Not trying to be rude here, but you really should seek counseling if your fear is so extreme that you cannot walk by a dog. That is a serious disability. We all have irrational fears, but if you have one that interferes with your everyday life, then it might be time to seek help. It’s pretty hard to find a place where you can walk the streets without dogs walking by you from time to time.

      And as mentioned before, even for those afraid of dogs, restaurants have entire sections that are located in-doors. Dog owners are willing to endure the car exhaust and engine noise, which you get at most Arlington restaurant outdoor areas, so that they can bring their dog along. I have a tough time figuring out why others wouldn’t prefer to generally sit inside anyway.

  • Arlingtonian

    Permit dogs in restaurants. Served rare, with soy sauce.

  • No dogs

    Soar, thank you for your thoughtful explanation. I know dogs bring much joy to their owners, and I’m sure if I had one I would love it. The older I get the more nervous I am around them, and I would never bend down to pet one. It is also infuriating that people think leash laws apply only to other people. I DO NOT like to encounter one walking on the sidewalk off the leash.

    • No dogs

      Lol! I meant leash laws only apply to other people’s dogs. Not that I expect to encounter people off a leash. Now that would be funny.

  • Scofflaw

    If you believe your dog is well behaved enough to not be disruptive in a restaurant, you can easily get around this law. First, buy an official looking vest to give your dog the appearance of a service animal. You are not required to carry papers or an I.D. card under the ADA. The only two questions the restaurant can legally ask (as per the ADA) are 1) Is that a service dog? and 2) What service does the dog provide? Simply answer “yes” and if you can’t fake sight impairment, then simply answer the second question with, “The dog detects seizures”. As long as the dog does not bark, is not disruptive, and is in the control of the owner, the restaurant is legally required to allow the dog admission to the inside or outside seating area. Even if the restaurant believes you are not being truthful, they cannot legally call the police and ask them to require proof from you either. That would be against the law and a civil rights violation because the ADA is in fact civil rights legislation.

    • just sick

      How good of you to seek (and share!) ways to exploit a law meant to protect the disabled. (It does show the noble nature of SOME dog owners). Does this not seem a tad selfish, just so you can have your pooch with you during dinner…? If you rent a wheelchair, you can also cut lines at airports. And if LOTS of you choose this path, it might just affect those who truly need wheelchairs. But why would you care? This is just sick, but it does reveal why Arlington (and other places) have problems with some dog owners. Be good citizens.

  • flyover_country

    There is a waiver that can be granted. However, that doesn’t seem to garner the same amount of emphasis from Larrick and county Health Services. Maybe we can get President Obama over for another chow run into Arlington and he can bring the First Dog Bo. Great photo op.

  • flyover-country

    Have to track Larrick’s latest missive, but restaurant owner’s can request a waiver under the law. However, that never seems to make it into Holiday Greetings like this one. Alexandria gives them on an case by case basis.
    Saw where the schoois are fighting an outbreak of norovirus:
    http://goo.gl/1yk8o
    Somebody must have snuck a dog in somehow. Maybe we can get President Obama to bring along Bo on his next photo op to Arlington for chow. Happy Holidays….

  • flyover_country

    Have to track Larrick’s latest missive, but restaurant owner’s can request a waiver under the law. However, that never seems to make it into Holiday Greetings like this one. Alexandria gives them on an case by case basis.
    Saw where the schoois are fighting an outbreak of norovirus:
    http://goo.gl/1yk8o
    Somebody must have snuck a dog in somehow.

  • stop dog obsession

    Dogs vs. kids? Really? If you ALWAYS prefer dogs to kids, then go form your own kid-free colony somewhere where your dogs (and those of your fellow citizens) will care for you as you age. As the dogs age and mature, they will work and earn money and pay taxes and keep an economy rolling… My father has Parkinson’s Disease and almost did a full face plant on an Arlington sidewalk because one of it’s loving dog owners could not foresee someone else’s needs. They tied the dog to a restaurant barrier and left it free to romp around playfully (lovingly too, I’m sure) and had it not been for my sister’s quick reactions (catching him from behind), my 80 year old father could have been seriously injured. Yes, kids can cause injuries too, but people can anticipate that. My dad grew up in a rural area where dogs behaved themselves around people or they did not survive. Sadly, we have long since lost that rational approach to pet ownership. Pets are tremendous for individuals, but they do little to contribute to a better society (except REAL service dogs, military dogs, search and rescue dogs, shepherd dogs). Get it…those dogs are generally well trained and contribute to the greater good, but your own pooch is there to serve you. So leave them home when you go out to eat. It does seem simple. Thank you Arlington for taking a small and practical step to restoring some balance in the great human vs. canine debate that seems out of control.

    • Tabs

      Very well said.
      The usual disclaimer–I love animals. I like dogs. But.

      Why are so many dog owners so insecure that they get so rigid and illogical on this issue?

    • Thanks a lot.

      You must be proud that your letter to the County about that incident has led to this ban.

      • CW

        Yes, his letter led to an “initiative to remind restaurants that it’s [ALREADY] against county code [WHICH ALREADY EXISTED, PREVIOUSLY, AND THEY ARE REMINDING PEOPLE ABOUT] for animals to be in ‘areas where food is prepared, cooked or served.’” That is definitely a ban. No, there is a difference between “creating a ban” and highlighting an issue where enforcement of the existing law is needed. But I don’t know if you can grasp that nuance.

    • Dano

      I think it is counterproductive that this always boils down to a dogs vs kids argument. Because it really is apples and oranges. People like to compare the two because both can be unpredictable, badly behaved, and filthy — and that happens in each case when their parents/owners aren’t doing a good job of raising them.

      With that said, I am sure a wild kid running around could have easily knocked down your father as well. I’ve seen rambunctious kids riding bikes on Arlington sidewalks with little regard to those around them. If your father is that frail and ill, it might not be the best idea to take him into busy urban areas without very careful attention — there are a lot of pitfalls in such environments besides the occasional playful dog. Even the average Arlington 20-something walking briskly while texting and not looking where s/he’s going could pose a threat.

      We are in total agreement that people should control their dogs, and those who do not have no business bringing them into busy public places.

      The answer here is really simple. If you have a dirty or poorly behaved dog — or if you don’t control it — then restaurants should have a DUTY to ask you to leave. I’d have no problem with that, and I’d be shocked if any other dog owner would either.

      With all that said, I think you’re off base in the claim that dogs don’t do anything for society. They bring a huge amount of joy to a great number of people. And their owners provide a whole lot of economic benefit with their pet-related spending, creating jobs.

      I’d go so far as to say that most dogs are better than most people. If a dog is rude or ill-tempered, it’s because it has a bad owner, which in my experience is the exception and not the rule. If a person is rude or ill-tempered, it’s because s/he’s an a@@hole. Just observing all of the aggressive, terrible drivers around Arlington makes it clear enough that the awful people well outnumber the bad dogs.

      Discrimination against dogs is just like any other sort. Its comes from people who don’t care for something as a personal preference so try to control others liberty in regard to that thing. There’s no legitimate problem that having well-behaved dogs on restaurant patios causes. Anyone who says otherwise is either willfully wrong or misinformed.

      • Quoth the Raven

        “Discrimination against dogs is just like any other sort.” Wow – this issue really brings out the nuts. You’re absolutely right — a county ordinance that bans dogs from restaurants is just like Jim Crow laws.

        • JamesE

          First it starts out with banning dogs from restaurants and before we know it they will be rounded up and put into camps. You people sicken me!

        • CW

          Amen! The repression of his desire to have a 75-pounds slobbering, barking wild animal on the end of a 10-foot rope in a crowded public space is just a crime against humanity!

      • CW

        Ok, so let’s stop making a dogs/kids comparison. I agree. When you invite dogs into a restaurant, you add a level of risk that was not previously there. You find out a dog is poorly behaved when he trips an elderly person or bites someone. Yes “people should control their dogs” but the restaurant can still held liable for allowing this environment to develop. Why would any restaurant want to add this liability when it likely adds nothing to their bottom line (most restaurants around here are pretty full and don’t need the dog owners’ business)?

        Did you just use the phrase “discrimination against dogs”? Did you just refer to the “right” to take wild animals out into public as a “liberty”?

      • drax

        “There’s no legitimate problem that having well-behaved dogs on restaurant patios causes. Anyone who says otherwise is either willfully wrong or misinformed.”

        Sorry, no.

    • Gufaw

      Rational sense to pet ownership? It sounds like you’re advocating for putting dogs down that cause a person a bit of inconvenience?

      I think banning dogs in restaurants is good- because it keeps people who think a lap dog/purse dog is OK to go anywhere. I think saying dogs at outside restaurants is absolutely ludicris- because you can’t ban me from walking by dog by the restaurant- or stopping outside the fence of the restaurant, or standing anywhere nearby.

      so- the enforcement should be of all dogs inside. But, as others have said- it should be a restaurant by restaurant decision to allow dogs outside (and outside the fence- as many restaurants currently do).

  • JamesE

    200+ comments, really?

    • CW

      Yes, because when the dog-crazies get confronted with rationality they go crazy. They want to think that their little precious is perfect and could never do anything wrong, when in actuality they leave precious locked in a 600sqft apartment all day and when they take him out they aren’t paying any attention to what he is doing at the end of the leash because they are too busy talking on their cell phones and drinking starbucks.

      • Quoth the Raven

        I loved the comment above from the guy who was bitter about not being able to take his dog out to eat – after he leaves his dog in the apartment all day, alone. Then he has the audacity to criticize “bad dog owners”. News flash, buddy – you already are one.

      • novasteve

        How is that any different than people who bring their kids, who run around screaming, crapping themselves, spreading their germs? And why the heck are children allowed in “restaurants” in Virginia? You know, what should be a bar?

        • CW

          Separate issue – not at all saying I don’t agree, but separate issue.

  • novasteve

    Maybe we can just put up signs telling dogs they aren’t welcome at residents and let themselves self deport? I mean if we can move deer crossing signs so deer won’t walk on highways, we can put up signs telling dogs to keep out.

    • Captain_Obvious

      stop already, you make ZERO sense.

  • Flyover_country

    Sorry to hear you cite one bad experience with a dog that “almost” caused your father injury. However, the argument advanced by the County is most often that there is a possibility of contamination of the food, not injury to patrons. To my knowledge, the County has never cited a single example of either (contamination of food, nor injury to patrons) by dogs in Arlington restaurants, or anywhere else for the matter to justify this ordinance.

    So to deconstruct a couple of your observations:

    1. As for the “Kid free Colony” – lots of over 55 only buildings and developments around. Same with buildings that don’t allow pets. You are correct, my dog won’t be taking care of me in my old age. Nor will any kids as I planned for it and put the necessary money aside. Pretty easy to identify a few kids that won’t be taking care of their parents or working and paying taxes – see generally:

    http://www.infoplease.com/ipa/A0777958.html

    2. “My dad grew up in a rural area where dogs behaved themselves around people or they did not survive.” Very true. However to point out the obvious years ago it was not only legal, but acceptable to take a belt or stick to your kid for misbehavior. We have progressed now and you can’t do that – we put them in “time out” or take away their iphone. Since as pointed out earlier in the comments “this is Merica” I guess it’s not relevant that in at least two countries that come to mind, if you have the misfortune to have a girl often times the parents just kill her and try again. She didn’t even have to misbehave…….

    Carry on……

  • The final say

    This will probably be enforced like the speed limit. The speed limit- whether it’s 25,35,45,50,55 etc around here- is defined by code and enforceable. But it’s really up to an enforcement official as to whether the violation is egregious enough to write up.

    And to all you non-owners- if you break the speed limit, you’re probably just as likely to do damage to another’s health as a dog sitting on a sidewalk.

  • Roquer

    THANK YOU ARLINGTON COUNTY for having the fortitude to keep these people away from MY food while I am dining out!!

    • WTF?

      You need the county to keep other people away from your food? If someone got too close to my food I would punch them. If they touched it I would not eat any more. This regulation may keep dogs away from the dining area, but is it really preventing anything. If this regulation was not in place would you otherwise eat on the floor, next to a dog?

      If the main issue is health/cleanliness then what are health inspections for? It is the business’ job to keep the floors clean. If dog poops, the area gets disinfected and cleaned immediately. Surely the same would be done if a child pooped on the floor (or if the child pooped on the counter at Starbucks…counter is cleaned and the next customer in the door has no idea what happened).

      What happens if a local line cook steps in doggy doo-doo walking into the kitchen and tracks the poopie all over the floor, in an area where food is cooked and prepared? Should we regulate kitchen staff shoe sanitation? No, we trust (too much) that restaurant management will ensure the area is cleaned appropriately.

  • Deadite

    ““With the growth in outdoor dining in the County over the last year or so it seemed like a timely reminder.”

    Really, the middle of December with ~3 more months of winter ahead of us is a “timely” moment to remind people of this?

  • Donna

    I never knew that all of these potential dogs were taking huge dumps second after second onto the grass, like a chocolate LAVA. GET real people. Dogs outside on the cafes, sit patiently, watch the crowds, and drink water from a bowl. I’m going to the best THAI restaurant there is around here BANGKOK 54.

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