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Thursday, February 23, 2006

Dine With Your Dog

You go to certain countries in Europe and you see dogs everywhere: in department stores, train stations, especially restaurants. Every sidewalk cafe has a dog under it. Sort of like Miami Beach.

But it's legal in Europe, not in Miami Beach - or anywhere in Florida, for that matter, even though many restaurants wink at the law.

The Florida Legislature could change that, making dogs street legal at outdoor cafes. This would be great!

State Rep. Sheri McInvale, an Orlando Democrat, has initiated a bill that would allow cities to decide whether to give restaurants the option of allowing dogs in outdoor areas, the Herald's Evan Benn has reported.

``The idea is to empower cities to make that decision, instead of having a blanket policy,'' said state Rep. Ari Porth, D-Coral Springs, who co-sponsored the House bill. ``My district in Coral Springs has similar eateries on University Drive. I think it would be a nice option if the city said it was OK [for patrons] to sit there with their dogs.''

Dogs would have to be leashed, hand sanitizers would have to be on tables where dogs are allowed, and the wait staff can't pet the pups. The bill has already passed one House committee, though a companion bill in the Senate has not had a hearing.

``I see it as a positive thing,'' Jim Naugle, Fort Lauderdale's mayor and owner of a Labrador retriever, told Evan. ``There are some places that allow it now. As long as you leave it up to the restaurant operator, I think it's a good idea.''

So does Crazy for Critters.


Blogger Keys Treasures said...

Over heard in a Florida restaurant recently when the waitress dropped some food. "Did that Rottie just eat my Yorkie?"

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