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Thursday, January 25, 2007

Your Dog Does Not Pay Taxes

posted by on January 25 at 16:28 PM

Yes, dogs should not be mistreated. Yes, it’s sad when people find dead puppies in trash cans, as Issaquah Animal Services did this week. (But does it really merit twice as much space and four times as many stories as, for example, domestic violence cases, which are routinely relegated to the 150-word items in “Local Digest”?) And yes, dog owners have the right to take their dogs out in public, to a point.

But that point ends where the door of a food-service establishment, like a bar, begins. I don’t care what state Sen. Ken Jacobsen (who proposed the bill allowing dogs in bars) and Metroblogs (which just got my blood boiling about this again) say: You do not need to take your dog with you into a bar. Dogs are not babies. They are no different than any other pet. (Should cats be allowed in bars, too? How about “well-behaved” snakes? Rats?) You can leave them home alone. If you really can’t bear to be without your precious pooch for even a couple of hours, then find a recreational activity that doesn’t infringe on everyone else’s ability to enjoy a clean, healthy, slobber-free space. I already have to deal with your dogs running, leash-free, through Cal Anderson Park; jumping on me because you assume that everyone will find your cutesy wootsy puppy wuppy as adorable as you do; shitting all over the ground where I’d planned to have a picnic; and barking at me from the bike rack where you tied them, heedless of the fact that bike racks are for bikes, not your slobbering mutt.

Want to let Fido run free? Take him to a dog park. I hear they’re pretty niceŚwe pay $88,000 a year to maintain them, so they’d better be. But keep him (and his hair, and saliva) out of my beer.

UPDATE! And just so you don’t think I’m a heartless shrew with a soul made of coal, here’s a photo of a cute little puppy:


RSS icon Comments


So explain to me why my girlfriend and I don't get an federal income tax credit for the care of our cats but we would get one if we had kids?

Posted by Jake of | January 25, 2007 4:29 PM

Not to mention people who are allergic. Sneezing contantly isn't fun even if you are drunk.

Posted by ky | January 25, 2007 4:32 PM

Kids cost more?

Posted by Gloria | January 25, 2007 4:34 PM

I agree with every word Erica wrote. And I own a dog -- or my boyfriend and kid do -- and wish I could take him into Liberty with me at night. It would give me an incentive to walk the damn dog.

Posted by Dan Savage | January 25, 2007 4:36 PM

Gloria I assume you have never had to buy perscription flea medication for six cats before. Come on Mr. President GIVE THIS CAT A TAX CREDIT.. you know.. .for AMERICA.

Posted by Jake of | January 25, 2007 4:37 PM

You might want to ease off the sauce if you drinking buddy is a dog. And if your dog is your wingman...

Posted by Zander | January 25, 2007 4:37 PM

I HATE dogs.

Posted by Catman | January 25, 2007 4:40 PM

(s)he may not pay taxes, but (s)he looks adorable in a little Christmas Sweater.

Posted by The_Pope_Of_Chili_Town | January 25, 2007 4:44 PM

You can't take babies into bars in Washington, by the way, so those strapped with dependents are already inconvenienced. However, I am arguing against myself. Dogs aren't actually hazardous to your health, and I think a bar that decides to admit dogs should be legally permitted to do so. It will be a small minority, anyway. If I had to guess: Liberty? No way. Canterbury: Hell yes. Stumbling Monk: De facto yes. But most Capitol Hill haunts are safe.

Posted by annie | January 25, 2007 4:44 PM

Erica must have made a list of people, places and things she was gonna flame this year, and is now hard at work.

That said, I'm no dog person, and am not sure why people are so obsessively attached to their pets. I don't want to call it an immature codependent mental complex, but I can't put my finger on anything else that makes sense.

Posted by Gomez | January 25, 2007 4:46 PM

One hundred percent, ECB. One hundred percent.

We have dogs that crap on our microscopic lawn, almost every goddamn day. And no one picks it up. And even if they do -- why is it OK to shit on my property and then "make it better" by picking most of it up? I couldn't get away with it.

I don't dislike dogs at all, but dog owners leave a very great deal to be desired.

Posted by Fnarf | January 25, 2007 4:46 PM

I love dogs. And I cannot trust anyone that hates dogs, especially if they like other animals (e.g. cats) but discriminate against all things canine. If you're afraid/uneasy around them, okay ... maybe you had a bad experience with someone's ill-reared, rabid St. Bernard or something. But blanket hate of them? Not good.

Having said that, you're right: I don't really need to bring my dog into a bar. Unless I am blind, perhaps.

Posted by tsm | January 25, 2007 4:49 PM

If this ever passes, I can't wait for the national broadcast media's onslaught of "Rainy, flannel-clad Seattle passes bill allowing them to bring Fido into Starbucks" stories.

Posted by horatiosanzserif | January 25, 2007 4:53 PM

I rather sit next to a dog in a bar than some jackass on his cell phone. Ban those!

Posted by DOUG. | January 25, 2007 4:54 PM

Actually, what am I talking about? Nobody in goddamn 2007 Seattle names their dog "Fido."


Top Seattle-area dog names (2005):
- Chive
- Spencer
- Camus
- Lube
- Annie-Wagger
Posted by horatiosanzserif | January 25, 2007 4:57 PM

Gee, shrill feminist ECB is a dog-hating cat lady. Who saw that coming?

Posted by troll | January 25, 2007 5:02 PM

actually, what I REALLY hate is cats.

Posted by ECB | January 25, 2007 5:03 PM

i love dogs, and i'm the kind of person that might accost one on the street if they were too cute, but they do not need to take up space where i'm trying to get my drink on. plus, you'd think being around a bunch of drunks might be detrimental to the dog's health and well-being. drunks are dangerous people...

Posted by andy | January 25, 2007 5:13 PM

Jake, I assume you've never put six kids through university before.

But what's anyone doing with six kids OR cats?

Posted by Gloria | January 25, 2007 5:15 PM

Good thing my dog isn't a movie star - cause then it would pay taxes.

Posted by Will in Seattle | January 25, 2007 5:19 PM

actually, what I REALLY hate is cats.

I so wanted to rant at you about being a heartless shrew, but then you say this and I don't want to anymore.

Cats off earth, now. I hate those stupid things with the allergies and the scratching and the shedding.

Posted by dw | January 25, 2007 5:21 PM

I'm suprised this hasn't garnered comments surpassing viaduct proportions yet, having been posted a whole 1/2 hour ago. I love dogs, I look forward to owning one in the future and am more than happy if my tax money is maintaining space where our canine friends can run free - I even enjoy a dog loose in the bar from time to time... but seriously, "dog people" are the battiest kooks out there. Expecting people to be as open to doggie frolicking in a confined space as I am, especially if food is served, and proposing a bill seems like an idiotic waste of time.

If it's the welfare of the animals the Senator is concerned with, he should be working toward more restrictions on dog selling, breeding, and ownership.

Posted by Dougsf | January 25, 2007 5:27 PM

Forget bars, dogs don't even belong in the city; they are a rural animal. Poor inbreds, relegated to running in circles on tiny backyard plots or apt living rooms for 23 3/4 hrs a day because they don't have enough room to move. FREE FIDO!!!!

Posted by buffalo | January 25, 2007 5:27 PM

They used to let dogs into Sully's Snowgoose on Phinney Ridge, and i liked it, but only because there was a giant furry sheepdog that looked like a polar bear that we would share our peanuts with. I hate to imagine what kind of K-9 vagrance that must have caused in the neighborhood.

That being said, i agree that dog owners are fucking awful. They actually can't wrap their fucked up heads around the idea that some folks DON"T LIKE DOG SLOBBER! Fuck! Keep your mut on a leash! and the poop... don't get me started on that shit. I am for corporale punishment for disrespectful dog owners, and those people in San Fran who's pit bull ate their neighbor a few years ago... hang them. slowly.
Maybe instead of the Dog whisperer we can get the dog-owner whisperer to straighten these fuckers out.

Posted by longball | January 25, 2007 5:33 PM

Yay, dogs in bars! I think it's a terrific idea.

Posted by Gillian | January 25, 2007 5:34 PM

What really irks me about this post is the ubiquitous "why is someone focusing on issue A (dogs in bars) when issue B (domestic violence) is so much more important". Get off it. There's always going to be a more important issue. Not everyone feels led to save AIDS babies in Africa so save the judgmental attitude and just come out as a straight-shooting dog hater (not speaking literally, of course). There's nothing wrong with that. BTW, what's your cat's name?

Posted by jforrest | January 25, 2007 5:39 PM

Blah blah, you're an attention whore. all this bill will do is allow bars that want to allow dogs to do it legally. It doesn't force bars to allow anyone and their fido in.

Get over your sensationalism. You fucking prick.

Posted by seattle98104 | January 25, 2007 5:42 PM

Ken Jacobsen finally hits the big time on Keith Olbermann's newsmaker list - maybe he's a slogger, Olbermann that is.

Posted by Peter S | January 25, 2007 5:49 PM

What about allowing dogs in bars that do not serve food?

Should that be left up to the proprietor?

Posted by Phil | January 25, 2007 5:55 PM

Non-food, leaving it up to the proprietor is fine with me. That's pretty much how I assume it is now anyway, right? Or can people file complaints that might lead to a bar being fined?

On a side note, I know a few people with allergies to dogs so severe that sharing any confined space with the animal could pretty much put and end to their night - I doubt this is that uncommon. Like longball mentioned, so many dog owners can't get it through their fucking heads that not everyone want their poochie anywhere near them. Don't get me started on the fact that 8 out of 10 dogs in SF seem to be pitbulls... I'll digress.

(Further side note: No dog is more the pinnacle of doggie hilarity than the French Bulldog, so after about 4 beers Monday night there was no more welcome sight than one of those funny little dudes running loose in the bar.)

Posted by Dougsf | January 25, 2007 6:23 PM

I'm OK with not having dogs in bars. I don't want to deal with all the bad pet owners out there.

But regardig the dog parks -- the gravel at the new-ish triangle between Pike/Pine/Boren is so uncomfortable for many dogs feet that people don't use it. My dog hates it.

Posted by Mark Mitchell | January 25, 2007 6:25 PM

how about no more bars!?

Posted by SEAN NELSON, EMERITUS | January 25, 2007 6:31 PM

How about the stranger not taking cues from FOX and taking the sensationalist approach towards covering a benign bit a legislation.

Posted by seattle98104 | January 25, 2007 6:40 PM

Lighten up.
It's a little bill.
Don't be such a prude.

Posted by Dogs go to heaven | January 25, 2007 7:00 PM

Call me a libertarian fucktard, but I feel the same way about this that I did about the smoking ban:

Private businesses should be able to allow any legal activity that they damn well please.

If you don't want to go to bars (or whatever) where dogs are allowed, tell the business owners, and visit places that don't allow them.

I don't especially want to take my dog to bars. But I would LOVE to go to kid-free cafes. It's part of the same issue: we should have the freedom to do whatever the fuck we want, within the law (which should, of course, allow us to do quite a bit more of whatever the fuck we want).

Posted by Violet_DaGrinder | January 25, 2007 7:03 PM

ECB you don't like dogs in bars? Don't go to bars that have dogs.
Your 27th beer is a lot worse for you than the odd dog in the place FYI.

Posted by lanset | January 25, 2007 7:13 PM

Dogs can go into bars WHEN THEY GET JOBS!
And not before.

Posted by treacle | January 25, 2007 7:24 PM

I judge cities about how dog friendly they are. See dogs on the street, it's a decent city; no dogs in sight, something is wrong. Now in most European cities, at least the dozen I've been in, dogs are pretty common--at least at the out door portions of bars, sitting quietly with their owners. That's civilized.

Posted by woodward | January 25, 2007 7:25 PM

I judge cities about how dog friendly they are. See dogs on the street, it's a decent city; no dogs in sight, something is wrong. Now in most European cities, at least the dozen I've been in, dogs are pretty common--at least at the out door portions of bars, sitting quietly with their owners. That's civilized.

Posted by woodward | January 25, 2007 7:25 PM

If an establishment focuses on something I don't like - I don't go there. It's not like every bar in the state is going to jump on the bandwagon and have bring-your-dog night. Bars that choose to do this are most likely responding to their regular customer and will probably make a mint, and more power to them. Feel free to go elsewhere.

Then again, ECB's post wasn't really about dogs in bars, was it? It seemed more of an excuse to rant about everyday dog ownership behavior.

Posted by genevieve | January 25, 2007 8:17 PM

Amores Perros.

Ive owned dogs all my life, grew up with them, and I couldnt agree more with Canadian Bacon's hissy fit. The problem with North Americans is that they want to treat their dogs like kids and want to legislate stupid stuff, because basically anglos love dogs but they hate people. As an anti social dude, Im down with that, but I think dogs should be treated like dogs and not people. Besides if this law passess, the dogs that you will see at bars will be annoying yippy little nasty dogs with sweaters instead of say a cool pit bull with good people skills. If I see a yippy dog at the Elysian, Im bringing a pit. Finally, ECB has to be the only white girl in seattle who hates cats.

Posted by SeMe | January 25, 2007 8:27 PM

Crap. My dog is a little yappy thing. I mean my boyfriend's dog.

Posted by Dan Savage | January 25, 2007 8:33 PM

I'd rather see dogs in bars slobbering all over my lap than smug yuppies or fratards.

Posted by otla | January 25, 2007 8:45 PM

Now why wouldn't Josh or Erica like little ankle biters that think they are big dogs? Isn't that pretty much the Stranger's style of journalism?

Posted by Pot? Kettle | January 25, 2007 9:23 PM

I'm still inclined to think you might be a heartless shrew with a soul made of coal.

If you don't like dogs at bars, don't go to bars that have dogs.

If you feel like legislating all dogs out of all bars, then fuck you. That's just crybaby nanny bullshit.

Posted by David Summerlin | January 25, 2007 10:10 PM

Isn't there a law against minors in bars? If your dog is over 21, I say let 'em in.

Posted by MikeG | January 25, 2007 10:16 PM

ECB, quit being so fucking provincial. Everyone at The Stranger keeps talking about how they'd love it if Seattle were more European. Well me fucking too, and you know what? They've got dogs in restaurants and bars there, and no one gives a fuck.

Posted by Gitai | January 25, 2007 10:17 PM

Dogs should be allowed in bars. Ken Jacobsen, however, should not be allowed in any public place.

Posted by Grant Cogswell | January 25, 2007 11:11 PM

Remember, a dog in the hand means your dog is too small, and a dog that barks means you should move to the country.

Posted by Will in Seattle | January 26, 2007 1:10 AM

French people know how to train their dogs. French dogs in restaurants and bars are better-behaved than all but a tiny percentage of American HUMANS, let alone their out-of-control animals.

Keith Olbermann was laughing at you ridiculous dog-in-bar lovers tonight. It was funny.

Posted by Fnarf | January 26, 2007 1:19 AM

Dogs in bars is a great idea in Europe, where people actually know how to train dogs to behave in public. Too bad no one here seems to.

Posted by F | January 26, 2007 1:33 AM

All this talk of "don't patronize dog-friendly bars if you don't want to be near dogs" is unrealistic.

If dogs are allowed in every bar, than no matter what bar I go into some idiot who can't train his/her dog is going to walk in and have their dog slobber all over and start humping my leg. Fuck that and fuck them.

I'm really looking forward to tripping over the damn things whilst trying to negotiate my way around confined spaces, whilst drunk no less. :(

Keep your fucking dogs outside the bar!

BTW I love some dogs, namely non-yippy, well trained ones, so this ain't just hatin' y'all.

Posted by K X One | January 26, 2007 3:49 AM

"If dogs are allowed in every bar, than no matter what bar I go into some idiot who can't train his/her dog is going to walk in and have their dog slobber all over and start humping my leg. Fuck that and fuck them."

Again another idiot that is incapable of comprehending a simple law that only makes it legal for bars that WANT to allow dogs to do so. It doesn't force dogs into every bar. Try reading the actual bill or any article about the subject other than this Erica C Bullshit.

Posted by seattle98104 | January 26, 2007 7:46 AM

And what bar in Seattle WON'T allow dogs in it?

Posted by K X One | January 26, 2007 9:18 AM

I agree with ECB most of the time, but her self-righteousness is so off-putting. Does she wear anything other than hair shirts?

Posted by Way up high in the attic | January 26, 2007 10:19 AM

ECB, you are my soul-mate.

Again, my problem isn't with dogs. It's with the (not insignificant) fraction of entitled owners who's leash-free designer dogs are monopolizing the ball field that my son and I would like to use for hitting and throwing baseballs.

Your dog won't mind if you occasionally leave to go out for a beer. If you must imbibe with your dog, there are places that will sell you a six-pack.

And to the people who resent not getting tax exemptions for their pet: our tax laws are written not to give you a break on the cost of flea treatments. They're written to ease the burden for people who inconvenience themselves by sustaining the human species.

Posted by Joe M | January 26, 2007 10:34 AM

Wow. What a bitch.

Posted by Animal Lover | January 26, 2007 10:53 AM

The human species doesn't need to be sustained. If anything, the people who insist on contributing to our overpopulation should be paying more taxes.

In some European countries, kids are allowed into bars. So, there seem to be some benefits to Americans' puritanical view towards liquor.

Posted by keshmeshi | January 26, 2007 10:56 AM

I think that bars should do whatever they want. they should make it clear to people before the come in just like the no-smoking signs. the city shouldnt resrtict them until they lift the licencing fees pet owners pay. and for dirty slobbery dogs, isnt their mouth cleaner than most peoples, especially the ones hanging at bars looking to give you a little mouth to mouth resuscitation.

Posted by J | January 26, 2007 11:16 AM

The human species doesn't need to be sustained? Hell, in that case the dogs can have the bars all to themselves.

For the record, I have only one child, so when my spouse and I kick the bucket, that'll be a net loss of 1 for planet earth. Also, I am far more tolerant of dogs in an establishment than a bunch of unsupervised brats running around.

Posted by Joe M | January 26, 2007 1:47 PM

I live in Canada, and the big box hardware store I work at allows dogs inside - on leash of course. In the three years I have worked there, there has been only one complaint about the policy. I have never seen or heard about a dog fight.

I have, however, seen many dogs take a shit or piss on the concrete floor. This is guaranteed to happen in restaurants, especially as the dog's owners become drunker and forget to take their dog out. In a big box store with plenty of people who notice the accident, owners will usually clean it up. Probably not so much so in a loud, dark bar.

Forget the hair in your beer - this is why the law is a bad idea.

Posted by Rielle | January 26, 2007 2:21 PM

You live in Canada, thus your opinion does not matter. GTFO.

Posted by seattle98104 | January 26, 2007 3:43 PM

I live in Mexico - not right this minute, unfortunately - because of just this kind of issue. Americans worry it to death (62 comments?) and get all itchy if their side doesn't win. In Mexico this wouldn't even come up. You want to bring your dog in a bar? Is it OK with the bartender? OK. Someone doesn't like it? They strap on a pair and tell the person to get their dog out of there. What the hell is all this legal calibration about every damn thing in the U.S.? You feel a lot freer without it - and if you do something stupid on someone else's property and you get hurt, well, don't be a dumbass! In the U.S. now you can hardly do anything because everyone has to be insured against dumbasses and bad luck. The world is a fucked-up and dangerous place and shit happens. Instead of joylessly trying to legislate that fact out of existence, Americans would be a lot better off giving up on this White-City-On-The-Hill business and chill out. This gets to the essence of my conflictedness about the smoking ban: makes it a lot better to go into a bar; flipside, it's just ONE MORE THING YOU CAN'T DO. In Mexico there's no smoking ban, but hardly anyone smokes because they don't have this insane tight-ass Protestant culture breathing down their necks every minute and driving them insane. As a former asthmatic with a ton of allergies, I will say that a little - a LITTLE- ambient smoke is a lot easier to deal with if you are not feeling aggrieved and besieged about it. But smoking still sucks and will kill you dead, so whatever. There, I changed the topic from the #2 most popular subject on the Slog/Forums to the #1!

Posted by Grant Cogswell | January 26, 2007 9:07 PM

That little puppy is super cute.

I think #35 nailed it with this: "Private businesses should be able to allow any legal activity that they damn well please. If you don't want to go to bars where dogs are allowed, visit places that don't allow them."

And a lot of people mentioned European cities... I'm not really a dog fan, but I thought it was cute when I observed a Jack Russell lapping up beer from his owner's mug when I was on a Prague pub crawl. They even had doggie treats on the menu. Pretty funny stuff, not something to freak out about.

#63 is right, Americans are crazy. (I'm one.)

Posted by Jamey | January 26, 2007 9:42 PM

This article has nothing to do with the merits, or lack there of, of this law. It has to do with one persons irrational fears and prejudices. This is all too common a theme in America as of late.

Welcome to the NEW pussified America. Nerf Covered America. Where we bow and pacify the fears and petty irritations of the select selfish few.

Erica can go on quite a jag about the Bush Administration's attacks on civil liberties (and deservedly so) but when the Washington State Legislature actually has opportunity to expand our liberties... albeit is very, very, small way she can not past her own selfish nose. Erica your principles are paper thin. Shame on you.

This law won't MANDATE that dogs MUST be in bars. It simply states that some places CAN allow dogs in bars.

May I suggest those of you who not like dogs go to places that do not allow dogs. And leave a few places for those of us who DO.

Other than your own dislike of dogs, Erica, why NOT let dogs in bars? Health reasons? What? PEOPLE are the number one vector for illness and injury on planet earth. If your really convinced it's our health you want to protect then mandate hand washing, Purel bottles, showers, and HASMAT suits.

Allowing dogs in public establishments is common in Europe. And to my knowledge the plague has not broken out there since about 1500.

I, along with others, used to bring our dogs into the Joe Bar. I live around the corner. For nearly nine years this was no problem. Nobody got the plague. Not one child lost an eye.

The an "Erica" came along. Not only did the Joe bar get a fine but now those of use who have been loyal customers for almost a decade had to bow to the will of a single complaint. One complaint.

In what world is that not the unfair imposition of one persons selfish and immature irrational intolerance on others? Since when is this right?

What a shame.

Posted by tkchrist | February 3, 2007 5:35 PM

Americans are whiny, filthy, fucking barbarians. Since the dawn of public drinking establishments, there have been dogs snoozing beside barstools.

You fuckers die because you've stacked the FDA with people who don't give a damn about food safety, and you die because you've undermined your own immune systems by dousing yourselves in "antibacterial" products, but that's your own damned problem.

Go ahead and drink yourselves to death in your dog-cootie free bars. As much as you'd like to think so, the rest of us won't be wringing our hands over it.

Here, have a peanut-butter sandwich. It's on me.

Posted by Kim | February 5, 2007 12:02 AM

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