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January 25, 2007

Waiter! I'll Have the Pooper Scooper

The St. Petersburg restaurant that got the city's first doggie-dining permit has decided it was a failed experiment. Moon Under Water had been informally dog-friendly for years, but after getting lots of press for obtaining a permit, it was overrun with canines, some of whom - shall we say - did not contribute to the pleasant dining experience some patrons expected.

Click here to read the story in the St. Pete Times.

And here's another animal story from that paper - this one in no way amusing. A 9-year-old boy, attacked by four pit bulls, was rescued by a 25-year-old, 110-pound woman who happened to be driving by. They were both bitten multiple times.

I don't know which bothers me most: that someone allowed four dangerous dogs to bolt from the yard and attack a little kid, or that who knows how many drivers and passersby did absolutely nothing to helpas they watched the two victims fight for their lives.  What a world. Click here to read the story.

And yet a third item from the Times: a story about two therapy Rottweilers in an elementary school. Click here to read it.

 

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As owner of FloridaPets.net, I must keep track of what's up with the pet-friendly lifestyle in Florida. I have read about the problems with doggie dining at one Orlando restaurant, but all-in-all, I'm hearing positive reports about doggie dining around the sunshine state. It is a three-year pilot program and there are going to be glitches.

However, and I say this as someone who is blessed with a multi-dog household, the one "glitch" that can't be overcome is an irresponsible pet guardian. My husband and I think having our dogs join us at a nice outdoor eatery is a luxury, not a right, and so we are careful and courteous and only take the fur kids who can behave themselves. :)

I am hopeful that only responsible pet guardians will take advantage of doggie dining so as to not give it a bad name or cause the pilot program to not be made permanent in three years.

My advice? If your dog is not ready for prime time, enroll him/her in a good basic obedience course. And please, allow your pet to tend to its bathroom duties prior to being seated on the outdoor patios. Do everything you can to make sure you and your pet are welcomed guests and are invited back again and again. If you can't or won't do these things, then please stay home.

For an update on what areas in Florida are trying out doggie dining, or considering it, go to:

http://www.floridapets.net/citiesfordoggiedining.html

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