While we love Fido as much as the next person does, a proposal that would allow dogs at outdoor eating establishments goes a bit too far.
House Bill 4335, currently under consideration in Lansing, would allow pet owners to take their canine companions to the outdoor dining areas of restaurants. While the intention is good — finding a way to promote the state to vacationing pet-lovers — the results could be disastrous.
Imagine sitting down at the outdoor patio of one of our fine eating establishments in downtown Grand Haven. There’s a nice breeze, soft music, and you’re enjoying the company of your date.
Then, you smell wet dog nearby, or you feel the hot breath of a St. Bernard panting and drooling on your leg, or that beagle right in front of you is feeling frisky with the table leg, or a leash gets wrapped around your chair as a friendly Labrador bounds after a poodle walking by.
Voila! Your perfectly nice, and likely not inexpensive, dining experience might have just been ruined.
The truth of the matter is that dogs will be dogs. Many people think that their Fido or Fifi is the most well-behaved creature on four legs. Well, sometimes that’s just not the case.
Even if it is, they’re still dogs. And dogs often do gross things that aren’t meant for dinner table conversation.
Currently, pets — other than highly trained service animals — are banned from eating establishments.
Luckily, House Bill 4335 would allow local municipalities to adopt stricter ordinances regarding pets at dining establishments.
If the bill is approved at the state level, we urge our local governments to seriously think it over before allowing eating establishments to become dog parks.
If Fido really enjoys your filet mignon or the dinner rolls, take him back a doggy bag. Believe us, he’ll be excited to see you again after your hour-long dinner break and will forgive anything if you chuck him a chunk of steak.
Our Views reflects the majority opinion of the members of the Grand Haven Tribune editorial board: Kevin Hook, Cheryl Welch, Matt DeYoung, Alex Doty and Fred VandenBrand. What do you think? E-mail us a letter to the editor to firstname.lastname@example.org or log-in to our website and leave a comment below.