Thursday, January 17, 2008

No Pets Allowed

So disappointed this morning to walk into Grounded and see a Sorry, no dogs allowed sign taped up on the front door. Grounded was one of the final coffeeshop hold-outs when it came to the neighborhood pets: places like La Colombe, sugar Sweet sunshine, and Ninth Street Espresso already caved into the anti-animal lobby. (Cafe Grumpy: We love your dog but the health dept doesn't. Sorry.) The Board of Health, fresh off of saving us from the silent killer trans-fat (thank you guys for forcing the partially hydrogenated cooking oil out of my French fries; I nearly had a moment of joy there), issues a $300 first-time fine to food sellers hosting mammals of the furry variety, whether they're rats or the cats scaring the rats away. I still have plenty of reasons to chill at Grounded, but my top two have disappeared, thanks to the city's dog ban and the newly-fickle work schedule of the cute barista I enjoy ogling from behind my laptop.

It's pretty much the same as the citywide smoking ban, which as a non-smoker who enjoys watching people huddled together in the cold, wind and rain, giving themselves cancer, I fully supported. Not exactly. But before the smoking ban, there wasn't a single bar or club in the city you could walk out of not reeking of menthols, and now there is. I'm capable of making a choice, if there actually is one.

I understand the risks of eating food or drinking coffee prepared around dogs, but plenty of people prepare food around their dog without any kind of health issues. They're called dog owners. Most, if not all, of the dogs taken out in the neighborhood here are groomed, healthy, and housebroken, and I think the risk of finding dog detritus or effluvia in my latte is pretty slim.

What really bothers me is that while dogs are prohibited, it's perfectly fine to bring your slimy, snotty, drooling infant into Grounded. Let's see... dogs carry fewer germs than babies, they hold their pee and poop until they're outside, they sneeze at the floor instead of human level, and they're socialized not to scream randomly and for no reasons. I say we keep the animals here and kick out the children. Why can't we see more signs on restaurants (and movie theaters, museums, etc.) that start sorry, we love your baby but...


cafegrumpy said...

Timely post...just this afternoon the DOH came by our coffee shop after receiving a complaint from someone (they won't tell us who of course) that they saw a dog inside.
It seems like the problem is that other customers have a problem with dogs...and for some reason, they want to hurt small businesses and instead of complaining directly to the staff or dog owners themselves in order to solve the problem right away, they dial 311 and initiate the beginning of another chain of nyc bureaucracy.