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Tag: allowed

Dining with dog? Maryland makes it legal

Maryland restaurants may allow dogs in their outdoor seating areas as of July 1 under a bill approved by the Senate yesterday and headed for Gov. Martin O’Malley’s desk for final approval.

O’Malley, whose family has two dogs, is expected to sign the bill, the Baltimore Sun reports on its Maryland Politics blog.

The bill permits restaurants with outdoor patios and tables to welcome dogs, if they want to.

Del. Dan Morhaim sponsored the legislation, and said it will provide a financial boost for restaurants and bars heading into the outdoor dining season.

The Dining Out Growth Act of 2011 permits restaurants statewide to have outdoor space for humans and dogs to eat together — as is already the case in Frederick County, for which similar legislation was passed last year.

Opponents of the bill said it could lead to more dog bites and other health hazards.

Atlantic City casino goes dog-friendly

You won’t see dogs playing poker — they’re banned from the gaming room floor — but one casino in Atlantic City has  turned dog friendly, welcoming dogs into guest rooms and providing treats, food and water bowls and even a keepsake duffle bag.

Showboat has officially marked its territory as the only dog-friendly casino in Atlantic City.

The casino-hotel has set aside a collection of rooms in its New Orleans Tower to accommodate all kinds of canines.

“We’re thrilled to bring Pet Stay Atlantic City to our guests and provide the royal treatment to man’s best friend,” said Joe Domenico, Senior Vice President and General Manager for Showboat and Bally’s Atlantic City. “This initiative puts Showboat at the forefront of Atlantic City’s world-class offerings and will bring more customers to our casinos without having to leave their pets behind.”

A party to kick off the new program was held last week in Showboat’s Club Harlem.

The pet program is open to dogs only and allows a maximum of 2 dogs up to 50 pounds per room. There is a $40 fee per night for pets, but the fee will be waived during the first two weeks of the program’s launch.

Dogs are allowed in the hotel but are not permitted on the casino floor or in food and beverage areas, the spa or retail shops.

For more information, check the Showboat website.

(Photo: Courtesy of Showboat Casino)

NC college starts pet-friendly dorm

Lees-McRae College, located in the mountains of North Carolina, has designated its first pet-friendly dormitory, allowing students who live there to bring along their dogs, cats, birds, fish, ferrets, and hamsters.

With the opening of the Spring 2011 semester, Bentley Residence Hall went co-species. 

“I am so excited that Lees-McRae College has joined the ranks of pet friendly colleges and universities.  We love our pets and we recognize that students who are pet owners are generally responsible and caring individuals,” said Barry M. Buxton, president of the Presbyterian college. “We want to encourage pet adoption and awareness that all of God’s creatures are sacred.”

Students living in Bentley Hall are now allowed to bring their pets from home to school with them to live in their rooms. Under the new policy, qualifying students can have fish, hamsters, gerbils, guinea pigs, birds, ferrets, cats and dogs under 40 pounds. (We’d argue dogs over 40 pounds are sacred, too.)

Previously, students were only allowed to have fish in residence hall rooms.

Under the new pet friendly policy, faculty and staff are also encouraged to bring their pets to campus.

“It is great to be able to have my two dogs for companionship while I am studying and doing homework in my room,” said student Lauren Lampley, owner of Shih Tzus Heidi and Buckley. “This responsibility also forces me to manage my time well enough to take care of them and make sure I make time to spend with them.”

The approved pets for the inaugural pet friendly program include a Boston Terrier, a small Labrador retriever, two Shih Tzus, a pomeranian/Chihuahua mix, a miniature dachshund, a Maine coon mix, a Siamese mix, a leopard gecko, a Dutch rabbit, two ferrets and two birds.

The new policy represents the latest in a trend toward colleges welcoming pets, noted Joshua Fried, director of Petside.com: “We know how much the companionship of a pet can benefit a college student, particularly in the form of stress-relief and as a remedy for homesickness.”

“Now I have two alarms,” one student joked. “When I ignore my alarm clock, my dog licks my face and my nose until I get up. She really cares about my education.”

Lees-McRae College, a four-year, co-educational liberal arts college, is located in the Blue Ridge Mountains of northwestern North Carolina in the town of Banner Elk.

(Photo courtesy of Lees-McCrae College)

N.C. restaurants get ok for outdoor dogs

The North Carolina Department of Environment and Natural Resources has ruled that restaurants may decide on their own whether to allow dogs in outdoor areas.

The new rule requires dogs to be restrained and prohibits them from entering indoor seating areas. It also makes a point of saying they can’t come in contact with food or servers.

But it’s a giant leap from the old rule, which assessed as much as a two-point health-inspection deduction for restaurants that allowed pets in outdoor eating areas.

The rule change became effective earlier this month.

Santa Fe’s dog-friendly eateries

Santa Fe is big on rules and restrictions.

It’s also big on dogs.

And, in more than a few cases, dogs have won out.

During our time in Santa Fe, we visited three dog-friendly restaurants (at least one, bird-friendly, too) — where dogs are permitted on leashes in the outdoor dining areas.

We stopped by one more that’s listed as dog-friendly on numerous websites — Bobcat Bites — but they’ve apparently stopped allowing dogs, after a customer either got bitten, or almost got bitten. This isn’t an inclusive list (feel free to add your dog-friendly Santa Fe restaurant to this post through a comment), it’s just where we went.

For starters, we tried Louie’s Corner Cafe, which was our favorite — partly because of the build your own omelette, which has very little to do with dogs, or, in this case, dogs with it. It was too good to share (though Ace did get some toast.) 

The waitress was quick to bring Ace a bowl of fresh water, and the umbrellas over the tables supplied much in needed shade, which in Ace’s view, is the second best thing to dropped food.

The Atomic Grill has limited dog friendly seating and, interestingly, only one table at which one can both be accompanied by their dog and drink an alcoholic beverage. I opted for that one, as the other two were kind of on the entrance path and I worried about Ace — given his size — blocking the view of patrons. While there’s a full patio, the part with a roof isn’t open to dogs because of some silly rule, my waitress said. The food (I opted for fish tacos) was great, and the waitress adored my dog, which is always worth some extra tippage. I had to answer the “What Kind of Dog is That?” question about ten times during my meal, but I didn’t mind.

Our final dog-friendly stop was Counter Culture, which has a spacious and shaded outdoor dining area with trees, and birds everywhere. It’s more off the beaten path than the other two restaurants — not right downtown, which, in many ways (given parking and traffic) is a plus.The only inconvenience there is that you have to go inside and order first. Fortunately, Ace is well-behaved enough to stay, and, just in case, anchoring his leash to the iron chair was easily accomplished

Ace and the birds competed for the bread crust I tossed. And one of the little birds was courageous enough to step all the way up on my plate, fortunately after my grilled chicken sandwich was gone.

 (“Dog’s Country” is the continuing account of one man and one dog spending six months criss-crossing America.)

Doggie dining gets closer for Frederick

dog-at-the-restaurantMaryland’s  House of Delegates has approved a proposal that would allow dogs in the outdoor dining areas of restaurants in Frederick County.

An identical measure passed the Senate, but one of the bills still has to be approved by the other chamber before landing on the governor’s desk.

The measure lets Frederick County Commissioners create an exception to silly state health regulations that ban dogs — except service dogs — from dining areas, both indoors and out.

Allowing dogs at restaurants has been touted as a way to increase tourism in downtown Frederick, especially at the Downtown Frederick Partnership’s event, Dog Days of Summer, according to the Frederick News-Post.

If the bill becomes law, county commissioners would need to enact an ordinance or regulation to allow dogs in outdoor dining areas.

The bill passed the House of Delegates 130-3 with delegates Charles Jenkins of Frederick County, Emmett Burns and Stephen Lafferty opposed.

No more dogs in Ann Arbor bookstore

The Borders bookstore in downtown Ann Arbor is dog-friendly no more.

After years of allowing dogs, the bookstore has decided to enforce the chain’s company-wide policy prohibiting pets from entering.

“We prioritize the safety and happiness of our customers,” Borders spokeswoman Mary Davis said. “We think that it’s important to put this particular store in line with our other stores, which currently only allow service dogs.”

AnnArbor.com reports that the store’s general manager said she had “received a number of complaints about the dogs, some of which she described as ‘nasty,’” (meaning the complaints, I’m pretty sure, and not the dogs).

Borders declined to specify the nature of the complaints. At least one was made to county health authorities, who pointed out the store, since it houses a coffee shop, is licensed as a food service establishment.

Some patrons expressed sadness about the new no-dog policy.

“My dog has never fought with another dog or eaten a book or a person,” said Marcia Polenberg, who was standing outside the store with her dog, Caravaggio. “I don’t know that this is a good policy. I will be much less inclined to shop here.”

Council hounds judge about dogs in office

ne10GGOO_t600[1]South Carolina Circuit Judge Diane Goodstein’s habit of bringing her dogs to work was never a problem in the old courthouse, but since opening a spiffy new one, Dorchester County Council members are squawking about it.

Amid rumors that there have been doggie ”accidents”  inside the shiny new $13 million courthouse in St. George, the county council — though it lacks the authority to set rules for the courthouse — has instructed the county attorney to draft a letter to the clerk of court “requesting” that animals not be allowed on the premises, except for service animals.

“The taxpayers paying for the building don’t bring their dogs to work. Other county employees don’t bring their dogs to work. Frankly, I’m surprised I’m having to make this request,” Council Chairman Jamie Feltner said.

The request leaves County Clerk of Court Cheryl Graham, a pet lover and board member of the local SPCA  in an awkward spot, the Charleston Post and Courier reported.  “That’s mighty nice of the council to put that on me,” she told the newspaper.

“It’s a little bit of an embarrassment that it would be an issue,” Judge Goodstein said. Her dogs are well-trained and haven’t soiled the courthouse’s hallowed halls, she said. She thinks the “accident” rumor might have stemmed from one day when she got down on her hands and knees to clean a construction worker’s mud tracks from the floor.

The judge, who routinely brought her Cavalier King Charles spaniel, Boykin spaniel and Airedale to work with her in the old courthouse — vacated earlier this year — says she’ll comply with whatever verdict the clerk of court reaches.

Exercising dogs? Not in this park

sign

 
I’ve seen this sign in a few locations now — and it always makes me wonder.

Are non-exercising dogs — those who plan to just lay around, as opposed to doing doggie aerobics — allowed?

Is “exercise” being used as a euphemism for pooping?

Does someone think saying “No Exercising Dogs Allowed in Park” somehow sounds less unfriendly, hostile and exclusionary than ”No Dogs Allowed in Park?”

Every time I see this sign, I have visions of dogs in Spandex lifting weights, doing doggie calisthenics and admiring their musculature in the mirror. Then I realize that’s what I like about dogs — they’re too smart for any of that.

Holy spirits: Bar is also a dog-friendly church

spiritsA non-denominational church is conducting dog-friendly Sunday services in a bar in Austin, Texas.

 The City Community Church meets at La Zona Rosa, a music venue and bar, according to the Austin American-Statesman.

Church members say meeting in a bar and allowing dogs seem to make people feel more comfortable, and it only takes about an hour and a half to make the switch from bar to church — a simple matter of  cleaning up beer bottles.

Once the services are over, the establishment returns to being a bar.

It all got started a few months ago when the church started giving out breakfast tacos and dog biscuits to local dog walkers and bikers, said Scott Harmon, 50, who helped start the church. Soon members started encouraging dog walkers to stay and bring their pets inside, Harmon said, and the dogs proved to be very well-behaved.

“A few weeks ago, a German shepherd tried to eat one of the smaller dogs, which was a little awkward,” the Rev. Matthias Haeusel said. “But, generally, they’re very well-leashed.”

Haeusel said the church, one of many churches in Austin that meet in unconventional locations, has a core group of about 25 regular attendees.

“La Zona Rosa is a landmark that represents what Austin is proud of — the creativity, the music,” Haeusel said. “What better place for our church?”

Harmon says the decision was also based on the desire to leave a “light-footprint church. Our strategy is to use buildings already there. It doesn’t make sense to have a building used only on Sunday.”

Harmon said he and a small group of church members arrive at 8:30 a.m. each Sunday to clean up beer bottles and put up baby gates to block off the pool tables and the area behind the bar.

Even though letting in dogs draws attention to the church, Haeusel says that members don’t want to be defined by that.

“It’s easy to get pigeonholed as the ‘dog church,’ but we’re about Jesus. We just happen to be in a place where people can bring dogs,” he said. “This isn’t a gimmick. We’re just trying to love our neighbors.”

(Photo: Deborah Cannon /AUSTIN AMERICAN-STATESMAN)

Most of the project, so they resumed core.