The Aug. 22 editorial, “No dogs where food is prepared,” of reference is very interesting, and falls in line with the many discussions of concern (pro or con) about the appropriateness of canines being present in public venues.
For example, though we applaud shops and restaurants that make outside tables available for pets, and even provide water, many of them are not mindful of dust, dirt and discarded or rotting scraps of food and other waste. Some will only permit service dogs inside — therapy dogs and pets remain outside. Outside seating areas prove intent to be accommodating on the owner’s part, but offer no particular relief in cold or inclement weather.
Many pet owners aren’t mindful of their dog’s behavior in certain circumstances and settings. Begging at the table, barking, jumping and all manner of territorial, protective or otherwise aggressive behaviors are certainly unwelcome in public venues, not to mention inappropriate bodily functions and behaviors. It seems reasonable to me that discussing concerns with the dog’s handler in the situation at SCCC is an appropriate, mature and reasonable approach. Partnering with the handler as opposed to alienating him/her shows empathy and compassion.
I’m a certified therapy dog handler. My companion, a ruby-colored Cavalier King Charles Spaniel named Taffy, and I trained for a year-and-a-half and have been in service for just over two years. We are certified by an AKC-endorsed agency and carry liability insurance. Taffy is rated a “Canine Good Citizen” and an “Excellent” therapy dog with several AKC credentials.