Opinion: Think twice about where you take your dog

By Mario Lanese

La Jolla resident

I want to share the finer points of the “dog friendly” principles that we’ve adopted here in La Jolla. Before I go further,know that I come from a dog-loving family and that my last dog had hundreds of hours of training which we reinforced daily. I still miss her and would like to get another dog soon. Even though she was beautiful, always freshly brushed and bathed, I never once thought of taking my fantastically behaved show dog into a grocery store.

Unfortunately this is not the case at Vons on Girard Avenue, as I learned one recent Sunday from an employee who told me — while expressing my disgust when a Tea Cup Yorkie in a man’s arms threw-up all over the register — that “these things happen all the time.”

How disgusting is it, knowing that people bring non-service animals into a place where food is sold. (Service dog means you NEED the dog because you have a LEGIT reason. Saying it comforts you while you shop doesn’t qualify and your behavior ruins it for people who need dogs to see or hear, etc).

How about the rights of people with pet allergies? More appropriately, how about the rights of people who don’t want their bananas spinning around on a conveyor full of dog barf? Just because your dog fits in a purse and wears cute outfits, doesn’t mean it belongs everywhere people do.

For those of you having a hard time deciphering which places are OK to bring your dogs, try to use this rule I created: Picture your 5-pound Yorkie as a 120-pound slobbering Bullmastiff (which is a better small apartment dog than your Yorkie). If it seems like bringing a Bullmastiff into the store is a bad idea, then so is bringing a Yorkie.

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Short URL: http://www.lajollalight.com/?p=43542

Posted by Staff on Jun 15, 2011. Filed under News, Opinion. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

12 Comments for “Opinion: Think twice about where you take your dog”

  1. Scott Peterson

    A couple points.

    Unless your dog is a service dog it's illegal to take it into any food handling establishment. If it's a service dog, it should have a tag or identifying vest saying as much. Also, having a service dog is not an excuse for bad behavior. The handler has a reponsibility to keep the under control and make sure the dog does not commit a nuisance….that would include noice, defecating or throwing up. If they do they should be asked to leave.

    It's a nightmare for businesses as they don't want to upset customers by pushing them on this. Also, unfortunately most of the people carrying these little dogs have learned to lie if asked and claim they are service dogs which is also illegal but almost never enforced.

    If you see a lot of this kind of abuse take a couple pictures and forward them in a complaint to the city health department. They can inform the store of their responsibility to enforce the rules

  2. How much different would that experience have been if it was a 9 month old baby barfing all over the conveyor belt? Would that have made it okay? Because it was human barf? That would certainly have made it "legal" – Where I live dogs are allowed everywhere – except where food is being prepared or sold – so that yorkie wouldn't have been allowed in the grocery store to begin with – but they are allowed in any other place – it's up to the discretion of the manager. Business owners are discovering that dog owners are a niche market that should be catered to because we have a lot of disposable income – and even though there are a few irresponsible owner who let their dogs barf on some product – by and large – we are like every other human being who goes out in public – and are good, responsible people who do the right thing. I'm sorry that you had a bad experience when you went shopping – and that it included an irresponsible dog owner – but that doesn't mean that every dog owner is like that – and every dog owner should not have to suffer for your bad experience.

    Part one of two…

  3. Part 2 of 2

    Every dog owner pays the same taxes as you do, we should be able to live the life that we want – and that includes going out in public with our companions of choice – and for some of us – that is our dog.

    And for you to say that we shouldn't be able to do it because some people have allergies – that is NOT a good enough excuse – because there are people out there who wear a lot of perfume – and they are allowed to wander indiscriminately at large – and lots of people are allergic to that that as well. My own dogs are hypo-allergenic – so that excuse is no reason for my dogs to not be in public – you're going to have to come up with a better reason that that one. Sorry.

    • James

      I have to agree with you!

      especially on people with there children! People seem to think it's ok to bring there child everywhere they go! And most children are well behaved and parents keep them on a short leash (figurative leash, if you're child needs to be on a real leash you should probably not take them most places!) Nothing can drive me more crazy than a double wide stroller except the triple wide stroller! What makes these people think they can hog an entire sidewalk with these things!

      but I digress…

      We are to quick to ban and entire group for the bad actions of a few! Should we ban Ferraris because one idiot crashed his going to fast down Pearl? No, of course not! If someone brings a poorly behaved pet/child into a store they should be asked to leave on a case by case basis. If Vons in this case would like to let this kind of activity happen and you don't like it just go to another store they are not the only option in town. It's called the free market let's see if it works!

  4. Mario

    James and Joan, These are great comments, well thought and exactly what I wanted to provoke… thinking. I agree the dog market is a great way to make money that's why places like "south bark," "petco" and "muttropolis" exist. However, yesterday at scripps XIMED I saw another cute lil' yorkie in the medical building…. there has to be common sense somewhere? My original article was much longer, but LJ light had me shrink it down for their column. In the original I address a lot of things that we seem to keep doing down here, like unleashed dogs on the bike trail, bad drivers, cell phone talkers etc. I don't wanna act like I'm perfect although I do like to think I'm closer to perfection than anyone who thinks bringing a dog into a health care facility is a normal thing to do.

    James good point about the free market… but Jonathon's marketplace is hardly vons and man…. gotta have some dough to shop there 4 dollar boxes of pasta… ouch. Also, lets be clear, I hate the idea of having to "ban" or "legislate" which equals tax payer money because people can't think before they act. (this is a whole other debate). I just hate that in order to exercise my free market rights I have to take my invisible hand to another place of business b/c some idiot ruins the one that I actually like. I say we eliminate the idiot.

    • James

      hmmmm The place you like is run by an idiot? Sounds like you should come somewhere else!

      I travel the bike lane twice a day to get to and from work and I couldn't care less about people letting the dogs off leash as long as they are well behaved just like when you bring them in stores and to restaurants.

      People and there strollers are far more obnoxious than people with there dogs!

    • npk32

      Live and let live Mario, mind your own business.

  5. Blue

    i would take dogs over children at restaurants any time. I can honestly say i have never had a problem eating somewhere because of a dog, I cannot say the same about children.

    So the yorkie vomited on the cash register does that mean we have to overeact and quarantine everything? Exhale Mario, life happens. Just be greatful it wasn't 50 pound child, now that's a lot more vomit!

  6. blue

    just wanted to add:

    Health is created by building your immune system through exposure not by hiding from germs.

  7. ERM

    My husband and I just returned from a month in Provence and our well behaved, quite dog was with us all the time starting in the cabin of Air France (U.S. airlines don't allow dogs in the cabin on transatlantic flights). Well behaved dogs are welcome just about everywhere in France. It was so welcome because G is part of our family. Upon returning home my first order of business was a trip to the grocery store and, as usual G climbed into his Sherpa bag which fits well on the bottom of Von's grocery carts. He loves riding there and can be content for an hour or more if necessary. Half way though my list I was approached seemingly reluctantly by a store Manager telling me that from now on G is not welcome in the store because the Health Department will be checking and unless I can show proof that he is a service animal it will be his last visit. I was stunned because everyone at Von's has been great to us and have often commented on how well behaved G is. When I read this weeks July 14, 2011 LJL I got it , when reading, "Your View" and consequently locating the original article. Von's is being forced to implement something that is created because of one unfortunate situation. I won't bother listing all of the very offensive things I see in Von's and on the street that humans do. I 'll just hope this passes and that we can all respect each others choices.

    • UrCaptainSpeaking

      ERM… it's pretty sad when you think of your dog as a person… does your dog eat alpo? I bet he's on an organic diet… yeah starving ppl in the USA, but organic dog food exists…. I'm glad you had fun in provence, maybe you can stop wearing deodorant too… Von's wasn't forced to implement something, that has always been the Law.. you just chose to ignore the sign on the door that says "SERVICE ANIMALS ONLY," and forced the poor manager to have an awkward conversation with you. ERM you talk about respecting each other's choices, but you force ppl to be around your gross little rat dog in private businesses. The mall is not a dog park, the grocery cart is not a puppy carrier… I feel sorry for the ppl who had to share their air france cabin with you… however since it was Air France it's likely that the no deodorant rule was in full effect . To put it simple, respect each others choices, and keep your dog at home when you shop…. also watch the SNL Skit "Dissin' your dog" that should help keep things in perspective…. your dog isn't a person! btw do you have kids? did you want them? it's not always the case, but you kinda sound like the creepy cat lady… only you have G the yappy lap dog….

      best comment "health is created by building your immune system by exposure" I would love to help you build your Immune system blue.. meet me at vons on Girard I will arrange to have an animal vomit on you.

      Sorry Mario some ppl are just idiots… on a positive note… it could be way worse, you could live in Provence…

  8. Josh

    Everyone and their rules. Stop hating on people who enjoy the company of animal. I have a dog and I’m going to walk him to Vons on Girard right now because I’m hungry and I want a bagel. He is small and he isn’t a 120 lb Mastiff. If I had a big dog then I wouldn’t take him into a grocery store because that’s retarded. America has all these rules and regulations trying to put limits on everything. If my dog can fit in the cart then he isn’t going to be defecating all over bananas. People with allergies have allergies because they never expose themselves to those scents or ligands. If you’re really going to hate, you should bring up a real issue like the cop that gives tickets for people rolling the stop sign on W Muirlands because when you stop at that stop sign you can’t see right or left on Fay.

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