Sunday, February 12, 2006

Bringing the dog..

Austin is considering changing the city ordinance to allow dogs on the patios of restaurants. What's funny about this is that 90% of dog owners in Austin are saying to themselves, "This isn't already legal??" Because if you go to a restaurant or bar with a patio (about 90% of places in Austin), you will almost always see a dog. Ditto on the Home Depot and Lowes. Doggies everywhere. Austin is just a dog town, really. But apparently if food is being served, it's supposed to be against the law to have pets there. I don't think this usually gets enforced unless someone complains. And usually people only complain if the dogs are being somehow annoying. Unfortunately, I think a lot of pet owners become completely blind to the fact that their dog is driving everyone else nuts. With that in mind, in hopeful anticipation of the passing of this new ordinance, I'd like to give a few pointers to the dog folks out there considering bringing your pet with you for the next happy hour..

1. Use a Leash. Yes, it's really impressive that your dog knows how to "heel" and hardly strays more than 2 feet away from you. How unfortunate for me that the one time your dog takes off is when it comes barrelling towards me and my dog, only to push its nose so far up my dog's ass we're going to need a doggie proctologist. Yeah, my dog doesn't like that. Could you please keep a handle on where your dog is at all times? Plus, there's a leash law here.

2. Pick up the poo. I am completely amazed at how many people would never even think about dropping a straw wrapper on the floor, yet don't think twice about their dog leaving a steaming pile of excrement in the middle of highly travelled ground. Yes, technically, this is biodegradable; however, I don't see that it's going to biodegrade between the time your dog drops it and I step in it. Plus, it's nasty. Bring a baggie and pick it up. Oh and hey, there's a poop law too.

3. Signs that your dog is being an ass include, but are not limited to the following:
it hasn't shut up since you've arrived--it growls at everyone--it jumps on everyone that walks by--it has a huge slobbering problems that you ignore and we're all getting hit with spit**--it noses up on the table and steals french fries--it snarls at/fights with other dogs--it hasn't shut up since you've arrived, oh wait, we've covered that haven't we? guess what, still annoying.

4. If you do bring your dog to a place where there are other dogs, please please make sure that it is vaccinated and completely healthy. That means, if you have a puppy under 4 months of age, leave it at home. Dogs that young haven't had all of their shots and don't have the full immunity to things like parvo and hookworms that can easily be picked up from the ground.

5. and lastly--respect your fellow patrons. Austin is a dog city, but not everyone likes or appreciates the four-legged citizens of our town. If someone politely asks you to control your dog or possibly sit elsewhere, realize they have their own reasons and motivations and it's okay if they're not a dog person. I mean, they're obviously crazy, but we have to be nice to the impaired. :)

**I would like to point out that some dogs really can't help it if they slobber. I have a friend whose dog does this, but she brings a towel and wipes it off before he slimes everyone. This is good dog ownership. Not bringing a towel = bad.

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