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Question of the day

Friday, Mar 30, 2007

First, the setup

Legislation being considered by the Illinois House says dogs can accompany owners at outdoor cafes.

The bill is sponsored by State Rep. John Fritchey (D-Chicago). It passed the Senate earlier this month.

The legislation applies to cities with populations over a million, meaning only Chicago qualifies.

The bill doesn’t propose allowing animals inside restaurants. It says that restaurants would have to comply with health codes and could refuse service to a dog owner if the animal’s behavior threatens the health or safety of other diners.

And now, the question: How do you feel about this proposal? Explain.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - VanillaMan - Friday, Mar 30, 07 @ 9:19 am:

    If it such a good idea, why the discrimination against those of us living outside Chicago?

    There seems to be a huge disconnect between the idea, and how it will be implemented, isn’t there?

  2. - Pat Hickey - Friday, Mar 30, 07 @ 9:19 am:

    The is a Personal Injury Lawyer’s Most Erotic Dream Come True - Ever!

  3. - Just Observing - Friday, Mar 30, 07 @ 9:22 am:

    Does this require restaurants to allow dogs in outdoor cafes or simply allow it?

  4. - Mike K. - Friday, Mar 30, 07 @ 9:24 am:

    Is the restaurant then liable if a dog bites a customer?

    Liability lawyers are probably behind this one.

  5. - Anonymous - Friday, Mar 30, 07 @ 9:25 am:

    I love it. My dogs behave better than most peoples kids. They are definietely quieter and in some cases cleaner.

  6. - Yellow Dog Democrat - Friday, Mar 30, 07 @ 9:25 am:

    The legislation is in direct response to one of Alderman Burt Natarus’s recent proposals — an ordinance that would prohibit restaurant owners from allowing dogs in their cafes. It was a clear attack on the rights of business owners, and Fritchey’s response is on target.

    Of course, being a Dog, I’m biased.

  7. - VanillaMan - Friday, Mar 30, 07 @ 9:25 am:

    I have a problem with the idea this is only applicable to Chicago, yet it is a state bill.

    Do only Chicagoans need dogs at their feet when they dine at outdoor cafes? Are outdoor cafes in other parts of Illinois unable to accommodate dogs? Does Fritchey think people in other Illinois cities are different? Does a million people in a city somehow change this issue?

    I know sometimes representatives do silly things. This is one of them. If Mr. Fritchey wants to have his “widdle Fi-Fi” enjoy tea and crumpets with the Misses, at the corner bistro and the owner won’t let their dog dine with them, writing up a law to override the bistro owner is abusing the law, isn’t it?

    I mean, what the @#$!@%?!

  8. - Dog Lover (Literally) - Friday, Mar 30, 07 @ 9:26 am:

    If you can bring screaming nasty little kid who throws food and generally makes your meal terrible, why not have a dog that just sits there. Plus, most of the kids in my neighborhood are filthier than my dog.

  9. - VanillaMan - Friday, Mar 30, 07 @ 9:29 am:

    My horse is cleaner than your dog, and doesn’t lick his privates either. I think Flikka should have some oats when I eat my oatmeal!

  10. - Yellow Dog Democrat - Friday, Mar 30, 07 @ 9:29 am:

    And, to clarify an earlier question, SB 341 is merely permissive, and clears the way for Ald. Gene Schulter (D-Ravenswood) to pass his local ordinance protecting the right of cafe operators to allow dogs if they so choose.

  11. - RoseyB - Friday, Mar 30, 07 @ 9:31 am:

    I wouldn’t be surprised if the personal injury lawyers are promoting this; they are involved in legislation in ways one wouldn’t immediately guess.

    That said, it’s fine with me. I expect the people in Lake County or DuPage will object to being excluded.

  12. - Skeeter - Friday, Mar 30, 07 @ 9:33 am:

    This is difficult to judge without seeing the text.

    Does it say that all outdoor cafes MUST allow dogs, or does it say that they CAN?

    I am a big believer that dogs should be allowed in outdoor cafes (and rarely go to outdoor cafes that do not allow German Shepherds) but at the same time, believe that it should be up to the cafe owner and not the government.

    That was the problem we had in Chicago — Natarus opposed an ordinance that would have ALLOWED the praoctice, rather than mandating the practice.

  13. - Leroy - Friday, Mar 30, 07 @ 9:36 am:

    So the politicians say I can bring my pit bull to a resturant, but not my concealed carry weapon, huh?

  14. - Skeeter - Friday, Mar 30, 07 @ 9:37 am:

    Thanks YDD. You wrote your comment while I was writing mine.

    Based on the new information, this seems like a great law.

    Let the business owners decide (and I note that a standard business policy [CGL] should cover the risk for the business owners).

    And those cafe owners should keep in mind that in Streeterville, there are a lot of people that own dogs that don’t like the government messing with us. If anyone has further questions about that, they should ask Alderman Natarus and he can tell them about all the free time he will have come May, due to those dog owners.

  15. - Levois - Friday, Mar 30, 07 @ 9:48 am:

    Seems almost like foie gras legislation. No offense. Not that I have a big problem with dogs or dog owners eating in a restaurant with their dogs, but this seems like a waste of time for the state to even consider. And what constitutes the health and safety of others? Who determines that? There are those who’ll say all dogs or animals will do that.

  16. - Pat Hickey - Friday, Mar 30, 07 @ 9:49 am:

    Yuppie Dog-Shower Meets Modern Mocha Mom with Stroller Full of Child - When Worlds Collide!

    Starring Every Ambulance Chaser on Bill Boards Everywhere!

  17. - Truthful James - Friday, Mar 30, 07 @ 9:50 am:

    This would permit feeding on the ground or from the table?

    A dog lover myself, I would no more take my dog to an outdoor cafe than I would lick my own plate clean in public.

    What’s to be done when Fifi is in heat, as they say, or even during that period when she sould be wearing a doggie diaper, but isn’t. Will we have to have doggie bouncers?

    Doggie discrimination cases will surely follow.

  18. - Skeeter - Friday, Mar 30, 07 @ 9:56 am:

    Levois and Truthful:

    This is the exact opposite of the foie gras. In the foie gras, the government was trying to make some sort of moral judgment on a type of food.

    This does the opposite and allows business to make the decisions. It removes a barrier and allows business owners to act as they see fit.

    Don’t want to dine with dogs? Don’t go to those cafes. As a customer, you can make that decision.

    With regard to Hickey’s concerns about personal injury lawyers:

    I don’t give much weight to Hickey’s view on ambulance chasers, since he supported a Bishop who knew about abuse but did nothing, opening up my Church to well-founded lawsuits.

  19. - (618) Democrat - Friday, Mar 30, 07 @ 9:59 am:

    This is a good idea and a good bill. Rep. Fritchey is one of the brightest and hardest working State Reps in Illinois.

  20. - Leroy - Friday, Mar 30, 07 @ 10:00 am:

    Skeeter says:

    “This does the opposite and allows business to make the decisions. It removes a barrier and allows business owners to act as they see fit.”

    “Don’t want to dine with dogs? Don’t go to those cafes. As a customer, you can make that decision.”

    I agree with Skeeter’s logic. In fact, I think we should use Skeeter’s logic to apply to smoking in restaurants as well.

  21. - Snoop Doggy Dog - Friday, Mar 30, 07 @ 10:03 am:

    Anyone that opposes this legislation is a hater..

  22. - cermak_rd - Friday, Mar 30, 07 @ 10:03 am:

    Oi vey! Not the Catholic Church scandal again!

    I like this bill because it is permissive, it says may and not must. My dog is well behaved and if I want to have a nice skinny latte with Spike at my heels, the state oughtn’t to step in. The outdoors is already dirty! (though bacteria wise probably less so than indoors) Good dog owners can control their animals and don’t have to worry about the dogs attacking other patrons.

    I also don’t think the discussion comparing dogs and children is useful. Children, even the most ill-mannered of brats, have intrinsic rights as human beings that dogs, unfortunately, don’t have.

  23. - Skeeter - Friday, Mar 30, 07 @ 10:04 am:


    I expected that comment.

    Please provide some evidence that merely being in the presence of dogs causes permanent damage to those around the dog.

    Breathing dog dander is a risk only to the limited sub-group of those allergic to dogs, and just as we won’t ban peanuts from cafes, the law should not ban dogs.

    Smoke, on the other hand, will cause damage to anyone who breathes it.

    Nice try though.

  24. - Leroy - Friday, Mar 30, 07 @ 10:05 am:

    Applying Skeeter logic -

    “Don’t want to dine with smokers? Don’t go to those cafes. As a customer, you can make that decision.”

  25. - cermak_rd - Friday, Mar 30, 07 @ 10:06 am:


    The difference, which should be obvious, is that having a Great Dane sitting at the table next to you is not going to slowly poison your system, make your clothing smell bad, and poison the waitstaff in the same way that smoking will.

    Obviously people with animal allergies will be affected, but people with all kinds of allergies are affected by all sorts of things without the rest of us changing our lifestyles. We haven’t stopped having peanuts available for sale despite those with peanut allergies, cheese is still widely available despite those lactose intolerant ones…

  26. - BBpolNut - Friday, Mar 30, 07 @ 10:07 am:

    This is stupid. We have nothing more to worry about than spoiled North Siders that want to eat with an animal by there side. Do restaurant owners have control of anything in there own businesses?

  27. - Skeeter - Friday, Mar 30, 07 @ 10:08 am:

    The prescence of dogs will not slowly kill the people who work in the cafes.
    Nice try.

  28. - Pat Hickey - Friday, Mar 30, 07 @ 10:08 am:

    Skeeter, Mot Juste! You could eat loaves of Wonder Bread slathered in Plugra and still not make the cut to fly-weight, but you are a tireless Twerp! Energetic little pest!

  29. - Rep. John Fritchey - Friday, Mar 30, 07 @ 10:10 am:

    Good Morning Everybody,

    YDD hit it right on the head. Alderman Schulter has been at the forefront of this issue, wanting to properly regulate something that goes on all the time in our (and other) area.

    Sen. Cullerton (my Senator) passed a bill unanimously that would ensure that would allow Chicago to enact an appropriate regulation that would provide for compliance with health and safety standards.

    I think that it is a very good idea.

    And before anybody jumps in about the fact that we have more important issues to be addressing, feel free to look up the other bills that I have already passed this session or am in the process of passing :) (Prohibition on pay to play; lobbying reform; ending the ‘Bobbie Steele’ pension loophole; reducing the unduly high Cook County veto requirement; transparency in state grants; and many others)

    My only point being that if you are willing to put the time in, you have the ability to take on issues big and small.

    That’s all. I’m going to take my dog over to Club Lucky for an early lunch :)

  30. - petpower24 - Friday, Mar 30, 07 @ 10:14 am:

    I’ve got to say “why not?”…More power to the “pet people!” I also think there should be a tax credit for people who have dogs and no children. Heck, we are keeping the “people population” down, and we all know that is needed. I see way too many people that DO NOT need children anyway….and I end up paying for them.

  31. - Rich Miller - Friday, Mar 30, 07 @ 10:19 am:

    Cermak and Skeeter, dogs may not slowly kill me or the businesses’ employees like second-hand smoke, but they could quickly injure me or them.

    Your reasoning is seriously flawed and points out the problem with so many hardcore absolutist types: “Ban what I hate, allow what I want.”

    To be clear, I love dogs. I had them growing up. I do not, however, care for the way too many dog owners behave these days.

    As long as everything is left up to the individual restaurants and bars, however, I think this is a perfectly reasonable bill.

  32. - Niles Township - Friday, Mar 30, 07 @ 10:21 am:

    If Chicago wanted to change this law, then the city council should pass it. It has no place in the state legislature. Is this really the only thing Fritchey can pontificate about right now with all the serious problems and issues in our state?

  33. - Jake From Elwood - Friday, Mar 30, 07 @ 10:28 am:

    Here is yet another instance where animals are being given rights superior to certain humans, i.e. those who are allergic to or fearful of dogs. If my child is allergic to or afraid of dogs, I and my family will have to refrain from dining at Chicago outdoor cafe. The only exception I would permit would be for service dogs for the blind and deaf. That is an ADA concern. Remember folks: Humans > Pets.
    I am sure a few may disagree.

  34. - Rep. John Fritchey - Friday, Mar 30, 07 @ 10:28 am:


    1. The City needs state enabling legislation, that’s why they asked for it.

    2. Read the tail-end (pun intended) of my previous post.

  35. - cermak_rd - Friday, Mar 30, 07 @ 10:29 am:


    Absolutely, if this bill stated that outdoor cafes must ban dogs then I would have a problem with it.

    Yes, irresponsible dog owners must be dealt with. Obviously, this should be left to the discretion of the owner of the restaurant. Most of the ones that will be likely to go to outdoor cafes, however, are likely to be fairly sedate animals or those annoying little furballs that are kept in purses(?) which although annoying, are harmless as long as they are kept in their purses. I have a Dane mix. She’s just going to lie down and wait for me to move again. And the leash is never going to leave my arm. In the case of someone being injured, that becomes a law enforcement and/or civil litigation issue.

  36. - cermak_rd - Friday, Mar 30, 07 @ 10:30 am:

    Sorry that was must allow (or must ban, either way)

  37. - Rich Miller - Friday, Mar 30, 07 @ 10:34 am:

    You completely missed my point, Cermak. I’ll try again.

    The legislation allows business owners to decide for themselves, regardless of the very real physical risks that their employees will be exposed to. You support that concept.

    On the other hand you support a smoking ban bill that forbids business owners from making a similar decision for themselves.

    It’s hypocrisy in the extreme.

  38. - Skeeter - Friday, Mar 30, 07 @ 10:35 am:


    A knife could cause a sudden injury. We are not going to ban knives from restaurants though.

    Your point about some dog owners is well taken. I’ve had a few unfortunate incidents this past winter where my German Shep. was attacked by clueless dog owners (”He’s just playing” they said, despite the fact that their Akita’s head, tail, and hackles were standing straight up). Bad dog owners are out there. We also had an incident at one of our favorite bars where my dog started barking. The owner nicely told me that he needed to stop immediately or we should leave. I had no problem with that (the dog did stop). That was a circumstance where the restaurant owner made a business decision, which is the owner’s right and which I strongly support.

    The issue here though is whether the mere presence will inevitably lead to injury.

    With regard to cigarette smoke: If you breathe it in, it will do damage. As a result, ban it where others are forced to inhale.

    With regard to mines: If you work in a mine without proper breathing apparatus, you almost surely will suffer permanent lung injury. As a result, the government has and should required breathing apparatus for mine workers.

    On the other hand we have things that might be dangerous under certain circumstances, but are not necessarily dangerous to those around them. Peanuts. Dogs. Knives. Cars. Cooking oils.

    The distinction is real. When it comes to things that inevitably will do harm, the government should take a role. When it comes to things that might but not necessarily will do harm, then the government should fade into the background.

  39. - Dummy from Downstate - Friday, Mar 30, 07 @ 10:36 am:

    There once was a State Rep named Fritchey
    Who proposed legislation so kistchy
    Twas a pleasant interruption
    To idle talk of vast corruption
    But it made me just a wee bit — annoyed.

    Serious legislation? If my dog is less than 8 (in doggie years) do I need to have him in an appropriate restraint on the way to the outdoor cafe, & if so, can I light up with him in the car?

    Too snarky for a dumb downstater?

  40. - Rich Miller - Friday, Mar 30, 07 @ 10:37 am:

    Skeeter, knives and dogs will inevitably do some harm to some people. Period. You can’t ban everything.

  41. - Levois - Friday, Mar 30, 07 @ 10:44 am:

    Skeeter I wasn’t trying to say dogs are dangerous to anyone’s health. I was only attempting to say that some people just have subjective feelings towards animals and will justify it with concerns for their own health. I think you misunderstood me. And I do agree with your comments on as a customer you have a choice not to patronize a restaurant that serves customers with pets.

  42. - Skeeter - Friday, Mar 30, 07 @ 10:45 am:


    I’m not advocating banning everything. In fact, I am suggesting the opposite.

    I take cooking seriously, so I have a lot of knives that have done a number on fish, but have yet to do any harm to any human. Used as directed, those knives will not pose a danger to those around them.

    I also have a GSD who has yet to do any harm to anyone. There is nothing innate about being a GSD that will cause harm to people who come into contact with him.

    Cigarette smoke, on the other hand, used as directed will inevitably do immediate harm to anyone who comes into contact with it.

    The distinction is real. Create a cigarette that harms only the smoker and then you could smoke anywhere you please.

  43. - cermak_rd - Friday, Mar 30, 07 @ 10:49 am:

    No. Not all knives and dogs will inevitably do harm to others. Knives and dogs in the wrong hands will inevitably do harm to others. There are bad dog owners just as there are violent, bad people that could harm an employee at a restaurant. But it isn’t inevitable that every person or every dog will harm a restaurant employee. That’s a difference from second-hand smoke.

  44. - Rich Miller - Friday, Mar 30, 07 @ 10:49 am:

    Also, Skeeter, employees and customers with severe allergies to dogs would also be immediately and assuredly impacted.

    Again, you shouldn’t ban things just because you want it to be so. Fireplaces emit plenty of dangerous carcinogens

    ==== # Soot inhalation (such as wood smoke) kills 60,000 U.S. Citizens a year.

    # Soot kills close to 3 million people world wide. Respiratory illness is the largest killer of infants.

    # Cities with smoky (sooty) air have an increased sudden death rate of 17%. Homes without central heat and in rural wood burning areas have increased levels of low birth weight and Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS). ====

    Are you gonna ban those in public places next?

  45. - Utility Infielder - Friday, Mar 30, 07 @ 10:50 am:

    If a dog can stick its nose under the waitress’ apron without getting booted out but I can’t, isn’t it discrimination.

  46. - Bridget Dooley - Friday, Mar 30, 07 @ 10:52 am:

    I love that Rep. Fritchey shows up here when his legislation is being discussed. More of them should do that.

    Fritchey is right. What is the problem with dealing with issues like this if legislators are working on a slew of more serious issues?

  47. - Oakparker - Friday, Mar 30, 07 @ 10:55 am:

    Some years ago I was visitng relatives in Vienna, Austria. My relatives took me and their French Poodle to the dining room at the Sacher Hotel (where Sacher Torte was invented). There was no problem having the poodle as part of our dinner party. We ate in one of the small fancy dining rooms. (I know it was fancy because my menu did not have prices). The poodle sat by my relatives and was well-behaved. It did not eat. If it is okay to bring a dog to a fancy restaurant in Vienna, why is it not okay in Illinois?

  48. - Skeeter - Friday, Mar 30, 07 @ 11:00 am:


    I wasn’t aware of the facts about fireplaces.

    Without looking at it further, I would respond:

    If fireplaces give us smoke that will cause permanent damage to all who around fireplaces, then government should have a role in regulating fireplaces in workplaces.

    With regard to smoke in the air (soot): That is a real concern and I strongly support clean air legislation. Given time I could come up with a long list of clean air legislation that I support. I strongly believe that the Bush Administration has failed us on environmental issues.

    The allergy thing is not a real distinction. If cigarette smoke only impacted those allergic, I would not be in favor of banning it. However, cigarette smoke impacts everyone. Allergies impact only a select few. Moreover, for most of these places “reasonable accomodations” could be made which would allow allergic staff to work in areas away from dogs (which is a step up from peanuts — try telling a waitress that she would not have to deal with any dishes involving those).

  49. - VanillaMan - Friday, Mar 30, 07 @ 11:04 am:

    Kit and Nikki are sharing a brioche and Ventis at Cafe Elitist in Old Town…

    “Nikki darling, it is just barbaric how we have to keep Tinkerbell at home, instead of with us.”, Kit signs while looking over his polished nails.

    “Wonderful news! I read where our state rep is proposing a law that will let our little girl sup with us!” Nikki announced.

    “Oh - that would be a gem of a law!” Kit retorted, as he glared over at the other table. “They let children eat here, flinging food and being all up in our face and nasty!”

    “Tinkerbell is cleaner than those breeder’s kids over there.” Kit snickered.

    “How true!” “I am SO glad we never had children! After my third marriage, I refused to bring children into this digusting world.” Nikki marveled proudly. “And I wouldn’t have met you, my sweet’ums!”, Kit offered, “You knew how I hate children. We would have had to move to a suburb, and drive a minivan. Change diapers, all that sacrifice!”

    “We don’t need kids! We have Tinkerbell!” Nikki smiled. “We can really enjoy our lives - just the way it was meant to be! Oh I might be late tonight, darling. Urban Outfitters has a sale. I love those trashy clothes!”

    “Oh, don’t forget to see if they have those Ginch Gonchs I like. Thanks to my gym workouts with Karl, I’m down to a 32 waist.”

    “And thanks to Representative Fritchey, Tinkerbell can dine with us whenever we have to get a nosh at Cafe Pepperico!” Kit lifted his venti high into the air in a mock toast.

    And so Nikki and Kit picked up their cell phones and spent a few minutes confirming their appointments for the day.

    They will spend money they don’t have, to buy things they don’t need, to impress people they don’t know, but they are certain they are living life as it was meant to be.

    Stay tuned tomorrow, when we will learn that Kit will leave Nikki for Karl, and fight for custody over Tinkerbell!

  50. - Rich Miller - Friday, Mar 30, 07 @ 11:05 am:

    Dude, lots of things impact everyone. Car exhaust, for one. The government regulates it, but it’s not banned. There’s a big difference between a government regulation, which is reasonable in a liberal democracy, and an outright total ban, which is illiberal.

  51. - Rich Miller - Friday, Mar 30, 07 @ 11:08 am:

    And y’all keep using coal mines as an example. Wrong and illogical.

    If the government followed your logic on the cig ban, it would ban all coal mining, because there’s absolutely no way to completely protect those miners from the impact of coal dust and other toxins they are exposed to.

    Regulation is one thing. Bans are an entirely different potato.

  52. - Squideshi - Friday, Mar 30, 07 @ 11:09 am:

    I remember a visit to a pub in Kilarney, Ireland that had a “pub dog” that roamed around inside and sat in the lap of patrons.

  53. - Ken in Aurora - Friday, Mar 30, 07 @ 11:10 am:

    “As long as everything is left up to the individual restaurants and bars, however, I think this is a perfectly reasonable bill.”

    My feelings exactly. And no, I’m not brown nosing.

  54. - VanillaMan - Friday, Mar 30, 07 @ 11:11 am:

    A snotty law to appease snotty people who fancies themselves as snotty Europeans.

  55. - Skeeter - Friday, Mar 30, 07 @ 11:13 am:


    Thanks for bringing up the car analogy. I think it strongly supports my point.

    We do regulate car exhaust. We don’t allow cars to give off exhaust in closed places unless air quality standards are met (check out the requirements for public garages and take a look at some of the air-handlers in most of them).

    We don’t ban cars. We provide reasonable limitation on their operation.

    Nobody that I know is advocating a complete ban on cigarette smoke. As I’ve posted several times, I strongly advocate that smokers inhale their smoke at will. I think smokers should smoke more, as it thins the herd.

    What I do advocate is similar to what we have with cars; You can’t run a car in the middle of a dining room (as people inevitably will get very sick) just as you should not be allowed to smoke a cigarette in the middle of a dining room (as people will inevitably get very sick).

    This is about reasonable regulation.

  56. - Rich Miller - Friday, Mar 30, 07 @ 11:15 am:

    A total ban is not a reasonable regulation, Skeeter. It’s a ban. Same as the mine analogy. You can’t make things completely safe, but you can impose reasonable regulations. And you can also encourage people to exercise reasonable behavior. For instance, if you don’t smoke, don’t walk into a smokey bar.

  57. - Skeeter - Friday, Mar 30, 07 @ 11:15 am:


    Go ahead and call me a snotty European.

    I can tell you that the experience of sitting in an outdoor cafe, having a beer and eating some food with my wife, friends, and my dog on summer night, with a view of the lake, is one of the best experiences of the summer.

    Snotty? Maybe. But it sure is relaxing.

  58. - Rich Miller - Friday, Mar 30, 07 @ 11:16 am:

    Also, cars are allowed into completely closed-in parking garages. And people work in those garages.

  59. - Skeeter - Friday, Mar 30, 07 @ 11:20 am:


    It is not a total ban.

    It is a ban on smoking in certain venues, just as we ban cars from certain venues.

    In the alternative, would it appease the pro-smokers if we did allow smoking in bars, but then required bar owners to provide the same standards for clean air as in mines?

    What would having the waitresses wear breathing apparatus and pulling them out and shutting down the place when the air quality went below certain standards do for bars?

    Think bars would prefer that to a ban?

    If you imposed the same standards on bars that we do for mines, I could support it.

  60. - Skeeter - Friday, Mar 30, 07 @ 11:22 am:


    Sure cars are allowed in closed in garages.

    Next time you are in one of those places, take a look at the air handlers in there.

    In my building, the thing is pretty massive.

  61. - Rich Miller - Friday, Mar 30, 07 @ 11:23 am:

    Skeeter, it’s a total ban, except for outside and one’s own home or car. Tavern owner/operators who have no employees and who either smoke or don’t care are not allowed to make up their own minds. It’s government run amok. One day, the logic will be turned on you.

  62. - Rich Miller - Friday, Mar 30, 07 @ 11:25 am:

    Skeeter, there was no air handler in the parking garage in my building on Michigan Ave. And tavern owners wouldn’t even be allowed to put those into their businesses, under this total ban legislation.

  63. - Rich Miller - Friday, Mar 30, 07 @ 11:26 am:

    Now, we’ve gone far enough off topic for far too long. My fault. Let’s get back to Fritchey’s bill.

  64. - Pat Hickey - Friday, Mar 30, 07 @ 11:37 am:

    Bridgey was right - It was indeed classey of Rep. Fritchey to thump the tub here! He is representing his constitituents - Mongrel rodomonts like Skeeter - he must keep the flies off the pup.

    Well done, a good man in a bad cause; it’s what they yelped for I am sure.

  65. - Utility Infielder - Friday, Mar 30, 07 @ 12:01 pm:

    Vanilla Man. Please save me some of that stuff your smoking that Oakparker brought back from Vienna. LOL

  66. - Wuffffff - Friday, Mar 30, 07 @ 12:07 pm:

    The question is why do we need to bring dogs to restaurants? If I don’t like dogs now I’m going to have to eat my meal next to somebody’s dog? I’m sorry but perhaps this general assembly is turning into a city council and its members are turning into Natarus-like characters.

  67. - City Voter - Friday, Mar 30, 07 @ 12:14 pm:

    Where can I go to live in a free country? I want to eat foie gras while I smoke a big fatty with Fido at my feet.

  68. - 312 - Friday, Mar 30, 07 @ 12:26 pm:

    Smoking Ban — Total ban will be bad for business, should allow for designated smoking places.

    Foie Gras ban — We have bigger things to worry about.

    Dog Allowance — About freakin’ time.

    Now, can we put curbs on shrieking, maniacal children (and their clueless parents) please???

  69. - Dog owner rights - Friday, Mar 30, 07 @ 12:33 pm:

    Are people who are put off by the thought of eating near a dog also put off by the thought of having a picnic? What about birds, squirrels, insects, rats, mice and other animals that can contaminate your food indoors and outdoors? How many of these people will pick food up off the floor in their kitchen, blow it off and eat it after walking around the city all day?

  70. - Truthful James - Friday, Mar 30, 07 @ 12:35 pm:

    Skeeter et al,

    My post was meant to be humorous. I guess I shall have to increase my humor quotient by one hundred percent to be labeled a wit.

  71. - Rich Miller - Friday, Mar 30, 07 @ 12:56 pm:

    “Dog owner rights” please don’t insult people by making stuff up out of whole cloth. If you have no idea why people don’t like dogs, ask.

  72. - A Citizen - Friday, Mar 30, 07 @ 1:06 pm:

    Rich, why did you have to give skeet coal, fireplaces and car exhausts? He’ll implode from the pressure.
    This dog in restaurants deal is a subterfuge to get drug sniffing beagles where the contraband is. Definitely a drug enforcement ploy.

  73. - Yellow Dog Democrat - Friday, Mar 30, 07 @ 1:13 pm:

    According to, there are already nearly 40 cafes in Chicago that allow dogs on the premises. I’ve never heard of any dog attacks or employees collapsing due to dog allergies, so unless someone has some concrete examples, let’s drop the hyperbolic “what if’s” and analogies to cigarette smoking.

    As mentioned earlier, Senator Cullerton/Rep. Fritchey’s bill became necessary only after Alderman Burt Natarus threatened to shut these 40 businesses down, even though many are located in his ward. Alderman Natarus claimed dogs posed a health threat, but experts have said pigeons pose a bigger health threat, and Natarus couldn’t back up his claim.

    Cullerton and Fritchey are simply trying to prevent guys like Burt Natarus from micro-managing every business decision, every personal decision in our lives when there is no clear and present danger to the public interest at stake.

    Now, if Rich wants to open up another thread where we debate whether or not indoor smoking poses a clear and present danger, or the legislature is striking the right balance in protecting the public interest in considering a statewide indoor smoking ban on public places, let’s have that debate. But it is farcical to lump cigarettes and dogs in together.

    Besides which, I believe the smoking ban does not apply to outdoor cafes, so the argument that dog owners are being afforded an accommodation not given to smokers falls on its face.

  74. - Dog owner rights - Friday, Mar 30, 07 @ 1:14 pm:

    Uh, Rich Miller, notice the question marks??? It is not an insult to point out areas of an issue that have not yet been discussed and which people are likely overlooking. And as someone who has been mauled by dogs (and has the scars on my head to prove it) I can sympathize with people who are afraid of dogs.

  75. - Skeeter - Friday, Mar 30, 07 @ 1:15 pm:


    On that note (and in a digression from the bill):

    My wife and I took our dogs into a local department store that allows dogs. I tried on some clothes, and my wife sat with the Germ. Shep. waiting for me. It was funny seeing the looks she got. People just assumed they were the security team.

    I’ve had some business owners tell me that they like seeing my Germ. Shep. for just that reason. Keeps the riff raff out. Apparently the bad guys don’t like to see a 75 pound Germ. Shep. that is given commands in German.

    If the business owners like having the dog (or tolerate him to keep customers like me coming in) and he doesn’t do any damage, it should be none of the government’s business.

  76. - Pat Hickey - Friday, Mar 30, 07 @ 1:33 pm:

    Fuzzi! Schnuffi!
    Pfui!Aus!Voraus!Braver Hund! Liebshoen? Is Mein Liederhozen WunderBur?

    Oh yeah! They goota love it!

  77. - cermak_rd - Friday, Mar 30, 07 @ 1:39 pm:


    Oh put down your broad brush. If you read my comments, you would know I was one of those who mentioned that the child-dog comparison was not helpful. There are bad dog owners and therefore bad dogs, there are bad parents and therefore bad children. That doesn’t mean those children don’t have intrinsic rights as human beings.

    To accuse dog owners who wish to dine in an outdoor cafe with one’s dog as wanting to be European or snotty is also specious. On the other hand, some dog owners are snotty. Here’s a helpful guide:

    If the dog is in a purse and still wearing an argyle sweater–snotty
    If the dog is wearing more bling than your average rock star–snotty
    If the owner has chosen to wear pearls, diamonds, and a $2000 designer outfit to walk the dog–snotty
    If the dog is the size of a guinea pig AND has a silly repetitive name –fru fru or fee fee or somesuch–probably snotty.

  78. - Ali Bin Haddin - Friday, Mar 30, 07 @ 2:23 pm:

    This is supposed to be the April Fool’s story, right? My ancestors crawled out of caves and peasant huts to eat animals at the table, not share food with them.

  79. - VanillaMan - Friday, Mar 30, 07 @ 3:08 pm:

    It is easy to paint this with a broad brush since the only snotsters this applies to are the ones in Chicago.

    Fritchey must think that everyone outside Chicago just keep their dogs in the back of the pick up when they go to Caseys for a pizza.

  80. - cermak_rd - Friday, Mar 30, 07 @ 3:24 pm:

    Chicago is the only community with a disfunctional enough governing body to consider such a restriction. If the good folks of Normal or Urbana wanted this legislation to apply to them, I don’t really think Fritchey would have minded adding them.

  81. - A Citizen - Friday, Mar 30, 07 @ 3:30 pm:

    Rich is just playin with us - Yesterday it was Name Your Favorite Restaurant and today it is Restaurants Goin To The Dogs ! Connection? YouBetcha.

  82. - Legal Beagle - Friday, Mar 30, 07 @ 4:09 pm:

    “Fritchey must think that everyone outside Chicago just keep their dogs in the back of the pick up when they go to Caseys for a pizza.”

    Yes, I’m sure that’s exactly what he thinks.

    The Chicago City Council needed this legislation to regulate an existing practice. They asked their Rep and Senator in Springfield to enact a permissive bill. That’s it. End of story. People already bring their dogs to eat with them outside, there’s just no ordinance to ensure health/safety codes.

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

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