Why not allow dogs where we eat and drink?

Armchair Mayor
By Mel Rothenburger
January 3, 2018 - 5:00am Updated: January 3, 2018 - 11:00am

KAMLOOPS — On a trip to Scotland a few years ago, I was struck by how pleasant it was to go into a pub or a restaurant and, as often as not, see one of the locals sitting at a table with their faithful canine lying nearby.

How perfectly civil. Chaps enjoying a bite and maybe an ale, and their dogs there with them.

Try that here at home and you’d be up on charges. Dogs aren’t even allowed on patios.

Every day in downtown Kamloops, you can find a dog tied up outside while its master is in getting an injection of caffeine. In my view, we should allow well-behaved dogs a little more leash, as it were.

Our laws prevent animals in restaurants, except for service dogs and live fish, if you happen to carry your guppy around in a bowl of water. In Scotland, and no doubt a lot of other forward-thinking countries, dogs are kept out of the kitchen, but discretion is otherwise allowed to the proprietor.

I was talking with a senior recently who told me how important her dog is to her, and how hard it is to find rental accommodation where dogs are allowed.

In B.C., landlords can put all the restrictions on pets they like. Take a look in the classifieds, and you’ll find “no pets allowed” right up there with “no smoking.”

On the other side of the equation, you’ll find people desperately looking for a place to rent that allows pets, like the woman who was searching for a place for herself “and two awesome nine-year-old dogs.”

I hope she found it but we are not, let’s face it, all that dog friendly. In Kamloops, you can only walk your dog in certain parks, you’re only allowed so many dogs in your house. And, heaven forbid, you should want to rent an apartment if you have a dog.

I say, end discrimination against dogs. Open the doors of our libraries, airplanes, restaurants and rental suites and let them in. After all, they’re our best friends.

I’m Mel Rothenburger, the Armchair Mayor.