“Due to an unfortunate incident, effective immediately, Brookland Pint has a new pet policy”

Brookland Pint
716 Monroe Street, NE

From Drew Swift, General Manager of Brookland Pint (on Sunday):

“Due to an unfortunate incident today, effective immediately, Brookland Pint has a new pet policy:

Pets are no longer allowed on the property under any circumstance. As always, and in compliance with ADA requirements*, service dogs and their handlers will continue to be welcome.

We understand and are sympathetic to the pet-owning portion of the Brookland community who relied on our patio as a welcome space for themselves and their pets.  We have always tried to be as lenient as possible with regards to DC Health Codes** to accommodate everyone and regret that due to the events of today, we can no longer risk exposing our guests and staff to the potential hazards of substandard or inexperienced pet ownership.

Our purpose of writing is to explain this shift in policy and notify as much of the community as we can to prevent turning people away as a result of this shift.

This evening a 6-year old boy was bitten on the leg by a dog on our patio. A family was finishing their meal inside when the boy’s uncle went over to Filter for a coffee. On the patio, two women were sitting near the planters with their dog. Our pet policy up to this point has allowed guests with pets to sit around the edges of the patio, with the understanding that the pet needed to be outside the perimeter of the patio, marked by large planters. Inevitably, especially when food hits the table, some dogs creep past the planters and end up under the tables. This evening, two women had ordered their food, along with a hamburger to go that was brought out with the rest of the meal. They had cut up the burger and were feeding it to the dog under the table. The 6-year-old boy walked across the patio to meet his uncle at Filter, when the dog quickly became territorial, darted away from the table, and bit the boy on the leg.

The uncle carried the boy, who was bleeding, into the restaurant, where I (the General Manager) and the boy’s family took the boy into the office and administered necessary first aid. As the family was inside assessing the boy’s wound, his uncle went back to the patio to get contact information from the dog’s owners, and approached them as they were packing up their food to go.

Upon inquiring as to the ownership of the dog, one of the women said, “I’m so sorry. It’s a rescue dog that we got yesterday.”

As anyone who has been here can tell you, Brookland Pint strives for a family-friendly environment. We deeply regret the unfortunate circumstances of this evening, both that a child was subjected to an unsafe and traumatizing experience on our patio, and the obvious and immediate changes to our pet policy that must be made in response. We are also pet owners and understand the value that they bring our families. Unfortunately, we have no choice but to protect all of our guests and staff moving forward. The Pint staff did everything in their power to assist the boy and his family, to include providing first aid, a copy of the surveillance footage showing the incident, and an offer to release any and all relevant data to the police as needed.

We hope that you, as the community we serve, understand our need to take this incident very seriously. It is essential to us at Brookland Pint that we continue to offer a welcoming and, most importantly, safe atmosphere for our guests and staff alike.

If anyone has any questions regarding this new policy, please feel free to email me directly at [email protected].

Thank you for your understanding and cooperation with this new policy.

Drew Swift
General Manager
Brookland Pint

*ADA Requirements:

**DC Health Codes § 3214:


226 Comment

  • More restaurants should follow this lead, and it shouldn’t take a dog bite for treysuranteurs

    • I agree. More bars and restaurants should ban children.

      • LOL. Yes!

      • You were a child once. Apprently, from this comment, you still act like one.
        If the dog was a rescue, adopted the day before, wouldn’t you agree it was irresponsible of those dog owners to take that dog out before you understood the dogs temperament.

        • Okami

          And given the amount of parents who take their children–whose behaviors they ARE familiar with–out are free from criticism? I think it’s the noise and disruption of children (or the imposing parents, who interrupt adult conversation to chastise) that Jason was likely referring to.

          Yes, we were all children once; no, we were not always the best behaved. And our parents should have known better to find us a sitter while they took us to places we couldn’t do as we pleased. Kids aren’t built for sitting tight in one spot–especially if they get bored and act out.

          I’m fully in support of children bans in restaurants. Enough is enough.

  • Looks like BP is being responsive and responsible. Never understood the desire or need to bring your dog everywhere, especially out to eat. And I have a 100lb rescue dog. Hopefully the “new owners” cooperate as well. Sad situation for all – hoping for a speedy recovery for that little boy.

    • I, along with others I assume, enjoy spending time with my dog so I bring her to outside patios but I’ve also spent 6 years actively training her to live in a city environment. Unfortunately, there are a lot of naive and/or irreponsible dog owners.

    • This! Why do people need to bring their animals everywhere? Pets have no place in or near a dining areas.

  • These dog owners seem like absolute morons for all of the obvious reasons.

    • Right? I was reading this and kept thinking WHAT? WHAT? WHAT?

    • I was actually there and it didn’t happen exactly how the bar owners said (and no, I’m not the dog owner or someone dining with her–I was at a different table but watched what happened).

      The dog was sitting next to/partially under the table. At one point, the dog did bark at another dog walking by, and the owner calmed the dog quickly and praised her.

      Several minutes later, a kid ran out of the restaurant unattended, directly towards the dog, and tripped either right in front of or right on top of the dog. The dog barked and the child cried, but I couldn’t see exactly what happened. A man who was with the child (and should have been supervising better–we saw the same kid through the window into the restaurant falling off a barstool little while before) came and picked him up. It wasn’t clear to me whether he hurt himself falling on the ground, was bitten, or was just scared, but even the best behaved dog could become upset if someone lunged towards them the way the child did. The owner did say that the dog was a recent rescue (I thought they said two days ago, not one).

      It’s well within BP’s rights to ban pets, and I’m not sure the way the dog owner was sitting is allowed under health department rules (even though BP allowed it) but in this case, the dog owners were not the ones most at fault here. The child should have been better monitored.

      • Seems fair – but given they’ve turned over security footage, also seems unlikely they would go off script in so many ways?

        • I’m just saying, I was there. The kid didn’t run toward the direction of the gap in the patio fencing, he ran toward the dog. I couldn’t see why the kid fell, exactly where he fell (next to or on top of the dog), and if he was crying because he was bitten, scraped his leg on the ground, or just was scared by the commotion. The people watching the kid may have assumed he was going towards the uncle (the kid may have even asked the person watching him if he could leave the restaurant for that reason) but once the kid left the restaurant, that’s not where he went. The person watching the kid was not on the patio when it happened. The kid was moving quickly–more of a run than a walk–and it all happened fast. It would be interesting to see the footage. But I even said right afterwards, when the kid was inside, that it seemed like the kid ran up to the dog and tripped.

          • SMH,
            Thanks for sharing what you observed but since you were not able to see the whole incident, another plausible reason why the child fell was because he was bitten. As a parent I am extremely aware of my children and don’t let them run around at restaurants but I know others are not so which is another reason why dogs should not be allowed.

            It seems like some on this thread are being very judgmental of the parents which is unfortunate. Children can be rambunctious and can dart off in a minute regardless of how watchful parents are so BP’s new policy makes sense.

      • Sounds like the kid should have been better behaved/monitored. However, that dog would be better off with a caring owner who didn’t traumatize it in its first week by exposing it to people before learning all about its temperament/behavior around food/crowds/unpredictable experiences. Therefore the dog owners are definitively the most at fault here.

        • This is how I feel, too. I’ve adopted multiple dogs from rescues in this area over the years and never, ever, ever take them out into new and unfamiliar situations until they trust me and are comfortable at home. This usually takes (at a minimum) 3 months.

          • Agree 100%. It’s an unfortunate situation that could have been avoided if the new owners looked into properly introducing their new rescue dog to its community.

      • So basically, the kid ran and fell near the dog and was bitten?

        • I don’t know whether he fell on top of or near the dog, and whether he was bitten or just scraped his leg in the fall.

          • if you don’t know it’s probably best not to be putting out your version of the events

          • Nonsense comment, JD. SMH posted his or her recollection of the events and because they didn’t see 100% of what happened they can’t post what they think happened based on what they did see?

          • Well the manager at Brookland Pint who patched the kid up seemed pretty confident that it was a dog bite AND the dog owners apologized after the incident so I think its pretty safe to say that a dog bite did indeed occur. It seems like you are trying to cast doubt on a fact that neither party disputes. If there was no dog bite then nothing happened… a kid tripped.

        • Jessse,

          My problem with this poster is that in an earlier comment they go to great lengths to say that the story didn’t go down exactly like BP’s management claimed it did yet they themselves are unclear on the details of the whole event, most specifically in regards to the biggest issue at hand, if the dog actually bit the kid. So yeah, you’ll forgive me if I think their recollection of events is “unreliable” at best.

      • You don’t bring dogs who risk biting a little child, even if it runs towards the dog, precisely for this very reason. It’s still on the imbecile dog owners. (I say this as someone who very much dislikes children in general.)

      • “but even the best behaved dog could become upset if someone lunged towards them the way the child did”

        This is, in my opinion, a key reason why dogs should not be allowed in spaces like restaurant and bar patios. I also second the opinion below that bringing a rescue dog to such a location one or two days after getting it is extremely irresponsible. I love and grew up with dogs, but many people don’t like them or are scared of them, and many owners are not the best at controlling them. I am glad BP took this action.

        • I…generally don’t consider restaurant and bar patios to be places where anyone, of any age, should be running around in such a way that falling down is fairly likely to happen. A very small child might stumble even when walking, but if they’re that small, they should be accompanied by a parent within less than an arm’s length. I’m really not saying the dog owners did everything (or even anything) right in this situation, but the expectation that dogs “should not be allowed” in any space where anyone might run, lunge, trip, or fall means that dogs would never leave their own home! Kids have “lunged” at my dog from the other side of my yard fence, run at/past or grabbed for him on the sidewalk, and even *I’ve* fallen down in his presence (he licked my face to see if I was okay). Kids can go into pet stores…should pets be banned from them in case a child does something stupid around them?
          Taking such a new dog anywhere is poor form. Taking a dog to a crowded playground is a terrible idea. Taking many (not most) dogs to a bar or restaurant patio *might* be a bad idea. Feeding most dogs in public is a bad idea (my dog wouldn’t mind…he likes kids so much he might offer them a bite, and certainly wouldn’t react if they snatched one (yes, I am smart enough to never do that, but my niece took his bowl when she was 2 and he walked away from it, and he just looked at *me* like “could you get that back for me, maybe?”)). But the conversation here is taking a swift turn towards “no matter what you do, where you are, or what the circumstances, my kids are always right and your dog is always wrong.”
          I was bitten by a friend’s dog just a few weeks ago. It was minor (didn’t even require a band aid) and *110%* my fault. The dog was back up in my lap begging for pets and licking my face not 10 minutes later. He’s a good dog, I did a poor job of reading his body language and he told me off! I do believe some people on this thread would have him euthanized for using his limited communication skills as best as he could!

      • Thank you for your post, it’s interesting to hear another perspective. I think the admonishments of the dog owners are still valid (assuming the other facts are all true–like ordering the dog a hamburger) but it’s interesting to hear that the kid may have been unsupervised and/or clumsy. I agree with the comment that any dog, trained or untrained, rescue or not, would not appreciate a kid falling on or near it, which perhaps supports the argument that dogs should be not be allowed at restaurants.

        • I would never take a new dog to a restaurant, because while some dogs are content to lay there and sleep/observe the passersby, others 1) are agitated by the activity 2) have too much energy 3) don’t like strangers. You have to slowly figure out your dog’s personality/boundaries.

          But it is interesting and 100% believable to hear that the kid beelined for the dog (unsupervised). I am always shocked by how people/children will march right up to pet my dog without asking if it’s ok. Especially when leashed, many dogs don’t like to be approached by strangers. It doesn’t mean they’re bad dogs or bad owners. (Note: Not saying this applies to this situation–I would not take a new dog to a restaurant.)

          Dog owners bear responsibility for knowing what activities their dog can handle and always having a tight grip on a short leash. Unfortunately, I see dog owners every day who let their dog bound right up to strangers, or take them to restaurants when they’re not well-suited for that setting. I hate it, because it’s bad for that dog and everyone else.

          But people/kids bear also responsibility for giving unknown dogs their space and asking the owner before approaching. Dogs are dogs.

      • em

        I was also sitting at a nearby table. The dog owners were sitting far away from everyone else on the patio and had the dog on a short leash. The kid RAN out of BP directly towards the dog (the enclosed part of the patio), not towards the opening leading to Filter. There was an adult that ran out after the kid, but far enough behind that he couldn’t grab the kid before he tripped/fell on top of the dog. Should the dog owners have refrained from bringing a new pet to BP? Probably. Should the dad/uncle have done a better job of monitoring the kid? Yes.

        • I concur! x1,000,000 This is an unfortunate situation, but as a parent AND dog owner (of both rescues and non-rescues) parents NEED to teach their children that they can not run up to strange dogs. I understand BP’s policy and need to CYA, but its unfortunate that dogs are no longer allowed. I hope everyone involved- especially the boy and the owner- are okay.

      • It’s irresponsible because it takes time for an animal to acclimate to a new environment. That dog hadn’t even built a relationship with its guardians yet. It takes at least 2 weeks for a dog to adjust to simple change in environment. You don’t take a brand new dog, whose personality you do not know, out in public places where ALL of the major things that dog reacts to exist. Dogs are excited by food, people, noises, actions. This is all highly preventable and not just by stopping a clumsy kid from running around.

  • More restaurants should follow this lead. It shouldn’t take a dog bite for a no-pets policy to be in effect.

  • palisades

    Those owners sound like dolts. At least they stuck around and didn’t run away.

    • One hopes. This bit made me wonder if they were hoping to slip away unnoticed: “{The boy’s] uncle went back to the patio to get contact information from the dog’s owners, and approached them as they were packing up their food to go.”

      • *One hopes they were indeed deliberately sticking around.

        • Yeah, it’s not really sounding like it. How could they be unfazed enough after their dog bit someone that they even bother to get their food to go? I would have been panicking and felt HORRIBLE and terrified.

        • I’m thinking they did what you do in a restaurant when your baby our young kid has had it, and either won’t stop crying or won’t sit still, or is otherwise disturbing the other patrons – you ask to have the food packed up to go, to remove said child from the situation. I’m guessing that’s what they were doing with their dog. Now whether they were going to leave contact information, that’s another question.

      • That popped out at me too. Giving them the benefit of the doubt, it also wouldn’t look good for them to sit there enjoying their meal with a dog that just bit a kid. Hopefully they were planning to go in and give their contact info before they left.
        I feel bad for the kid, first, and bad for the dog, who just got into a new environment and was set up to fail by clueless owners. Hopefully the kid recovers soon and has no lasting physical or emotional issues. I wonder what will happen to the dog?

        • The rescue should take the dog back. Every dog gets a free bite, so maybe a muzzle requirement or something if this is a first offense.

          • I completely agree with “the rescue should take the dog back.”

          • Any reputable rescue in this area will take a dog back within this time frame. That said, I don’t think this warrants sending the dog back (for a good, experienced owner – which I’m not convinced this person was) without knowing what triggered the dog. If the child did, indeed, fall on top of the dog (as was mentioned above as a possibility by a bystander) then I won’t be so quick to judge.

      • I was there (not with the dog owner). They didn’t seem in a rush to get away–they asked for a box, were paying their bill, etc. But when the kid ran full speed out of the restaurant and fell right on/near the dog (I couldn’t see which) and the dog reacted, I think they realized the dog was too stressed to stay out in public.

        They did have the dog on a short leash and were sitting away from anyone else and from the door of the restaurant. But if a poorly supervised child races/lunges towards a dog while shouting and then crying, even a well-trained and well-supervised animal can act in unpredictable ways. That doesn’t change whether you’ve had a dog for a day, a year, or a decade.

        As I said above, that’s one reason why BP is well within its rights to ban dogs. But this is not about one bad dog owner ruining it for everyone–it’s about why people have to watch their kids better and teach them (certainly by age 6) not to run up to strange animals. The kid was definitely running towards the dog and not to Filter–he veered from the restaurant door to the dog, which was a different direction from the opening in the patio that you’d use to get to the coffee shop. From a negligence perspective, I would say that the dog owners were acting with “due care” and the people supervising the child were not. And I say this as someone who has owned dogs in the past, but currently spends much more time with children.

        • oh, and the person who carried the child into the restaurant came out of the restaurant to do so; it wasn’t an uncle who was at Filter. The manager’s story is nice, but it’s just his perspective (and he has a lot of incentive to make BP look good).

        • Taking a rescue dog that you’ve had for two days to a restaurant is irresponsible, full stop. Your attempts to shift the blame to the kid or his parents are really unconvincing. Those people are bad dog owners, and should be held responsible.

          • Dogs are better than children. FULL STOP (that means you can’t argue with me right???)

          • Yeah I have to agree that taking a dog that you’ve had for that short of a time is an awful, awful idea.

          • Tsar of Truxton

            I agree with you that these people were irresponsible for bringing a new rescue to a public place, but this other information is useful in that it tells a very different story than the one portrayed by the restaurant, so I disagree with your “full stop.” I don’t know which version of the story is more true, but it is worth noting. From a legal perspective, any sort of fault (even 1%) would lose you the case in DC.

          • I say “full stop” because there’s no context or situation that can make the dog owner’s behavior acceptable. If you are sitting at a restaurant with a dog you adopted yesterday, then you have made a poor choice. You are doing a disservice to the dog, and to your fellow diners at the restaurant, and to other dog owners in the city, and to the restaurant. I don’t know where the legal liabilities are, or how ill-behaved the kid was, or how inattentive the parents were. I just know that poor dog shouldn’t have been under that table with an owner he barely knows, and who doesn’t know him.

        • I was waiting for someone to blame the child! Congrats!

          • It’s not about blaming the child — obviously this person is blaming the parent/uncle if anything — it’s about putting responsibility on parents/guardians to monitor their children when in a crowded city. If it wasn’t a dog bite, it could have been something much worse like the kid running out into traffic. I see it all that time that people let their kids run around as if they are in a suburb or a farm not a major city. There is no reason a kid should have been running around an outdoor patio unsupervised.

        • burritosinstereo

          I hate to be a pedant, but earlier you said the kid was going at “more of a run than a walk” which sounds somewhere between the two, but here you said the kid was running “at full speed”…..?

          • to clarify, the kid was moving at the full speed that a 6 year old could run from standing position, through a doorway, on a patio with chairs, towards an animal. The kid didn’t have that much time to gain speed and it was a fairly enclosed area. So his “full speed” was faster than a walk, but not as fast as, say, a fit adult sprinting down a track.

        • no, the greater responsibility does in fact, lie with the dog owners, not the parents. it sounds by your own account like the kid was just doing what normal kids do, and not teasing to dog or throwing things at the dog, or otherwise behaving badly or antagonizing it. a dog that will bite a kid with that little provocation is the problem. sometimes kids run off for 5 seconds. that doesn’t excuse a dog bite, nor does it mitigate it.

          • The kid was doing what normal kids do **when unsupervised**

            If the kid was unsupervised and ran into traffic, would it be the driver’s fault if he was hit?

            It only takes 5 seconds for that to happen, too, which is why you watch your kid and keep him by you at all times when you are in a crowded city.

  • Taking a dog from a troubled background, unacclimated to Its new surroundings and caretakers, to a restaurant the day after getting it, not knowing its personality yet and treating it like some new accessory to show off?

    No. Unforgivable. A lawsuit should be filed. Those individuals are not informed enough to have a dog of that nature.

    • +1
      Our rescue contract had a clause that made us promise not to introduce our dog to anyone (human or animal) for 2 weeks until he was comfortable in his new home with new owners. Within reason of course, as he has to go outside, but no visitors, no approaching other dogs, certainly no overstimulating environments like a restaurant patio. Common sense.

      • This is really smart. I wish more rescues/shelters would talk about this during the adoption process.

    • A lawsuit. Everything is solved with lawsuits in this country. Sucks that this happened but I’m not sure what a lawsuit solves other than covering medical costs

    • DC is a contributory negligence state. If the plaintiff is even 1% at fault, he or she can’t collect anything.

      • Really, counselor? What’s the duty of care that a child can legally be expected to exercise in a case like this? If running and tripping on a public sidewalk is below that duty then practically no child would ever collect in a contributory negligence jurisdiction — I can assure you that this is not the case. We’re not talking about an adult hypothetical plaintiff here. Do you have any training in this area?

      • I thought that was just for traffic accidents.

    • Rescue animals do not all have troubled backgrounds. This is an urban myth. A small minority have been abused. The vast majority were family pets whose owners came upon bad circumstances. One should not assume anything differently about this dog.

      • No. Let’s not be politically correct about dogs. I had a rescue dog. An amazing one, but even being abandoned by the only family a dog has ever known in itself is traumatic and takes conditioning.

        I never said anything about abuse.

  • This is why we can’t have nice things….

  • I remember so many PoPville debates along the lines of “stupid pet owners shouldn’t bring pets to patios.” This was bound to happen eventually. Ugh.

    • You know what else happened on Sunday? Thousands of people brought their dogs to restaurant patios without incident. Banning all dogs because one stupid person brings a rescue dog they’ve had for a day to a restaurant is a complete overreaction. What if a kid was misbehaving and picked up a knife from the table and threw it at a customer? Would they ban all kids from that point forward? Of course not.
      I’ve been to BP once. The service was so awful that I have never gone back. If I were a dog, I might bite someone just to get out of there quicker.

      • lol absurdity

      • Fine, but even badly-behaved kids are at a restaurant for a purpose… to eat. Restaurants are not serving dogs. The analogy doesn’t hold.

      • 1) This had absolutely nothing to do with my initial comment. I was simply saying we all saw this coming at some point. There have been numerous discussions about it (with zero reference to my personal opinion on the matter).
        2) The Kids vs. Dogs in a restaurant comparison does not hold because kids are not prohibited by the Department of Health in restaurants. It is reasonable to expect that if you go out to eat, there might be children there. Dogs, however, are prohibited but (obviously) this is not enforced at all restaurants equally. Personally, I’m okay with dogs usually, but one does not necessarily expect to have to dine next to one. I think your analogy is a “complete overreaction.”

      • Thank you. Absolutely correct.

  • I don’t even have a dog, but I know enough to know that rescue dogs have often been traumatized and aren’t the safest to be around right away … many aren’t even after years of their owners working to help them adjust to being around other dogs and humans. Taking a rescue dog to a restaurant the day after you got the dog seems like a real lack of both common sense and taking responsibility for the safety of their dog’s behavior around others. They didn’t have the dog long enough to know how it would react around others. And really, dog owners, if you want to continue to bring your dogs to restaurants, you should know better than to be feeding them from the table while there!

  • When I adopted my rescue dog from Washington Humane Society, they clearly told me to give the dog time to adjust and not put them in situations like this, especially right away. I have since figured out the situation my dog can and cannot handle. This was a really irresponsible move by the owners. Rescuing a dog, especially one that has been traumatized, is a completely different experience from buying some specially-bred designer puppy. It’s not just a one-time event where you get to demonstrate your moral superiority and then treat the dog like any other dog.

    • I totally agree with you and was given the same advice from WHS when I adopted my dog. For those interested, Google “two week shut down”. And I really hate when people excuse a dog’s behavior because “he/she is a rescue”.

  • …they ordered the dog its own hamburger…

  • certain dog owners are so idiotic and reckless. just a thought, don’t give your brand new rescued dog hamburger in a crowded public place where it’ll get defensive and don’t bring it to a a public patio for a while till it acclimates to you first and foremost. speaking as a dog owner and lover myself

  • I also think where they rescued the dog from should know this happened.

  • Not to pile on, but truly clueless dog owners. I hope they commit to figuring out how to train a rescue and adapt their life to accommodate it, and not return him to wherever they got him from.

    • “and not return him to wherever they got him from.”
      Frankly, I think this dog might be better off back in a foster home or at a rescue than with irresponsible pet owners. Especially if it turns out the owners were told not to bring the dog into an environment like that so soon (as some have noted above). People who adopt pets only to show them off and not truly care for them should not have pets.

  • Sounds like BP is being very reasonable with their response. I know this is a losing battle, but can we stop calling them rescues? Unless you pulled your dog out of a burning building, you got it at the pound. Every dog I’ve ever had has come from the shelter, or the pound and not once did I feel the need to call it a rescue.

    • General Grant Circle

      A fair amount of people get dogs from breeders or from farm litters….

      • I understand the distinction why there is a distinction between “rescue dogs” and non-rescues. I also think its important to try and get rid of puppy mills and dog breeding generally. In the U.S.A we put down 1.2million dogs and 1.4 million cats.

        My thing with the term “rescue”, though, is if people don’t buy the dogs from breeders and farm litters then those dogs are almost certainly killed, right? Every dog that someone owns is a little bit a “rescue” because in the U.S.A. we kill dogs that aren’t owned by people.

        I think the term is bad to use because it construes dog ownership as doing some sort of charity work as opposed to what it really is; a huge responsibility in exchange for unyielding companionship. People shouldn’t buy dogs for the good of the community or even for the good of the dog itself. If you buy/get a dog for any reason other than that you want a loving companion then you probably aren’t committed enough to be responsible for another life.

        People who regularly emphasize that their animal is a rescue come off as owning dogs because they want to be recognized as having done something loving and caring.

        • “My thing with the term ‘rescue’, though, is if people don’t buy the dogs from breeders and farm litters then those dogs are almost certainly killed, right?” The thing is, though… if there weren’t a market for such dogs, breeders wouldn’t breed them. Those dogs wouldn’t exist in the first place.
          I don’t have a problem with ethical breeders who care about their animals. I do fault backyard breeders and puppy mills. And I’m not convinced that any “breeder” of so-called “designer dogs” (basically, well-marketed crossbreeds) qualifies as a legit/ethical breeder.

    • I understand your point, but this isn’t very accurate. There are plenty of rescue organizations that are not “the pound,” and they are often run out of people’s homes and a network of foster homes. My dog was rescued from a potential dog fighting situation after having been horribly mistreated his whole life and he lived at a woman’s home (she runs a rescue) for 9 months while they got him back to health and found a potential adopter.

    • Tsar of Truxton

      You apparently don’t know much about the organizations from which you have adopted your pets. Many of the shelters in this area take dogs from kill shelters down south that are about to be euthanized. People in these organizations step up daily to help support that mission, and they are certainly saving pet lives, i.e., rescuing them from certain death (when I fostered we would get emails that x dogs (sometimes in the 20s and 30s) are about to be killed if fosters can’t be found by that evening…every time, people stepped up and saved the dogs). It is not like most of these dogs are picked up by some dog-catcher wandering the DC streets.

      • +1. My dog was RESCUED by an organization that pulled it from “the pound” in Southern Virginia where he would have been put down pretty quickly. So yeah, in some ways, he was pulled from a burning building because unfortunately there are a lot of idiot pet owners who think animals are something you discard on a whim.

        I feel badly for the responsible pet owners who suffer because of one who is not. I won’t pile on because I don’t know the person and am not going to feel the need to call them names. They probably were just ultimately clueless that the dog they adopted that seemed perfectly nice around people was territorial when it comes to food. But I also do not want to hear people say, good dogs shouldn’t be on patios. If Brookland Pint owners wanted to make their patio pet friendly, that is their call and you’re welcome to go elsewhere.

    • Uh no, my dog is from the washington animal RESCUE league, which, at the time, was not part of WHS.

    • Agreed that the term is bandied about too much, and sometimes used a bit smugly. On the other hand, considering that people still buy not only purebred dogs from breeders but also crossbred dogs, maybe it’s not such a bad thing to be reminded how many dogs _do_ come from rescue/pound situations.
      Some people believe that the definition of “rescue” encompasses “I purchased this dog to get him/her out of a bad situation.” I was once at the vet with a woman who was referring to her Chihuahua as a “rescue”… but he was unneutered. I thought this was odd because WHS and all of the big local rescue groups don’t let adult animals be adopted until they’re spayed or neutered. Turned out she had bought the dog — I think off Craigslist — and said that she rescued him from a bad owner.

      • The problem is not the term “rescue” itself, it’s the way people use it. Often it’s a humblebrag about what a special snowflake they are and they then treat the dog like it owes them money. It’s also a frequent excuse for a dog jumping all over you – oh, sorry, he’s a rescue. I cannot tell you the number of times owners of rescue dogs have made some smug comment to me about my (mostly purebred and hypoallergenic) dog, not knowing (because I didn’t feel the need to announce it right away) that he came from a shelter, I was his third home in a year, and we had to do a buttload of training to get him to where he is today.

        • That is unfortunate. Glad to hear your (rescue) dog is doing well!

          • Thanks. Honestly, it’s not a big deal, but I understand why the term bugs in certain contexts.

        • I end up using “rescue” as kind of a humblebrag in certain situations precisely because he is a “designer” dog. At the dog park: “Oh, is that an {x}-doodle?” “We think so…as far as we can tell he was purchased from a puppy mill and dumped at a shelter when he was about a year old. I’m so lucky a rescue a friend volunteers with pulled him from the shelter and she let me know he was there. I had been looking for a low-allergy adoptable dog for a while, and he was so shy at the shelter that he was on the short list, if you know what I mean!”
          In that case, I’m not meaning to humblebrag, but pointing out to someone who probably bought their pure-bred or designer dog that there are plenty of adoptable “desirable” dogs. In your case, Mamasan, I would expect that you’d say “me, too, high five!” before we chatted more generally about them. I would never use the fact that he’s a rescue as an excuse for poor behavior (he knows not to jump on people, his basic commands, and is friendly and social with both people and other dogs).
          The only “excuse” I make for him is that he likes other dogs so much that he can be a little *too* vocal. I couldn’t figure out why he was doing his “OMG, my FRIEND is coming” bark today (really, you do learn what different barks mean if you listen carefully…”a friend is coming” is short and high-pitched for my guy) in the yard until a neighbor from down the street emerged past another neighbor’s bush with his dog. They know each other and he was so excited to see her that he was, and I’m using this properly, literally shaking with excitement. Once it was obvious her owner was going to bring her over to say hi he shut up, and once he got to say “hi” he calmed down. Had it not been raining, I would have invited the neighbor in for a play date. 🙂

          • JoDa,

            Sounds like we have the same approach – don’t need to announce it, but sometimes have to advise that the dog is a rescue to avoid the “don’t buy from a breeder” lectures. And after many years of joy with my dog, I would no longer dare to say it was I who rescued him.

        • +1 “The problem is not the term “rescue” itself, it’s the way people use it. Often it’s a humblebrag about what a special snowflake they are.” I tried to say this earlier but don’t think it came off as well.

  • Kudos to the owners here. Sorry but dogs have no place in cafes/restaurants.

    • Yes, i mean really, just because most dogs who are at restaurant patios can behave, is that any reason to have them there? It isn’t like you can tell which ones are well trained and which have clueless owners. Is there any harm in saying people need to leave them at home? Would that put dog owners out so much? I can’ t really see why, as you can’t take your dogs into most businesses. I just don’t get why they NEED to be there, given that some can (and do occasionally) cause people serious harm.

      • Dogs don’t NEED to be there. But a lot of people, dog owners and non-dog owners, like having them there. People who are opposed seem to think it’s dog owners strange NEED to have their dogs with them all the time. You know what happens when I take my dog to work, and to restaurants, and to crowded street festivals? He gets extremely well socialized and becomes the best behaved dog most people have ever seen. He walks onto the restaurant patio and lays down under the table, and most people don’t have any idea he is even there (and he’s 90 lbs). He goes to work and lays in one spot all day while people walk around him. He walks through crowds and doesn’t react to anyone or anything. All because he’s been well socialized by exposing him to various places. That makes his life better – he’s not stuck at home all the time just because I’ve worked 9 hours and now want to go to a restaurant. And it makes my life easier, because I have a very well behaved dog that I know won’t bite anyone or behave badly. Sorry if you see that as such an unusual thing, but sometimes we like to go outside of our homes and can’t always leave the dog behind.

        • You “know” your dog won’t bite anyone or behave badly. You have an opinion based on your experience with the dog. It’s entirely possible that your dog could be startled or scared by something and behave in a way you don’t expect.

          • Tsar of Truxton

            And a waiter could stumble and drop a steak knife on your foot at your dog-free restaurant. There are some small risks associated with all walks of life, and we all take them every day. It is part of being a part of a society.

        • This is also an extremely valid point. We hear all the time about how children will never learn to behave properly in public unless they’re out in public and expected to behave. Somehow, I should magically make my dog capable of handling public situations without ever bringing him out into public!
          When I flew with my dog the most recent time (I am cognizant of his probable limits, so this was only a 1-hour flight), I asked the FA if I could keep my empty plastic cup to give my dog a drink once we got to baggage claim (I had a collapsable water bowl in my checked bag, but the plane was SCORCHING hot, and I knew he’d like a drink before my bag came out). She gave me the *strangest* look, but let me keep the cup. I ran into her at baggage claim after my dog had taken his drink (the arrival airport doesn’t require dogs to be in their carrier outside security, so he was just laying on my foot, on leash but out of his carrier, while I waited for my bag) and she said “we thought you were off your rocker, since none of us had a clue that you had a dog with you. We wish every pet on our flights were so well-behaved that we didn’t even know they were there!” While he’s never acted out on a flight, doing something like that takes training and practice on the ground…training to use his carrier, practice being in it in noisy environments (we ride the bus a lot), practice being carried for short distances (including with distractions, that’s how security goes!), etc.

      • It’s really good for the dog to be well socialized and stimulated. I’ve taken dogs I watch to restaurants a few times, it’s fun for dog and human to integrate the dog into your life as fully possible

    • I don’t know. It seems to me that, based on the information from both the restaurant and witnesses who were present, everybody involved in the incident bears some measure of responsibility. The restaurant turned a blind eye to the DOH regulations and let the folks with the dog sit on their patio, the dog owners were clearly not aware of the stress such a situation could cause their new dog and had no idea how the dog would react to children, and the adults with the 6-year-old should probably not have allowed the child to run around the patio without direct supervision. It feels to me like the restaurant, in the interests of not getting sued by the parents of the child, are pushing full responsibility to the dog owners who they willingly let in and whose money they wanted. I find that a little irksome, though I’m sure they’re following the advice of a good lawyer / their insurance company.

  • justinbc

    As others have noted, it really shouldn’t take someone being bitten on your premises to understand that allowing dogs in an area where food might be served is just asking for potential litigation. At best you cater to a small audience who can still eat there if they really like your place anyway, just without the dog, at worst you have animals biting people in your restaurant. Just stop it, stop feeding this ridiculous need of people who always have to be more important than the society around them. The only reason an animal should ever be in a restaurant is if it’s helping a blind person get inside or it’s being served on a plate.

    • +1 and I’m sure you meant any kind of legit trained service animal (a few more than just blind folks)

      • justinbc

        Sure, anything legally allowed by the ADA.

        • That’s an important distinction. There are other industries that are covered under other laws that don’t apply to restaurants. For example, emotional support animals are specifically mentioned in the Air Carrier Access Act so airlines need to allow them. However, relying on an emotional support animal does not necessarily render one “disabled” under the terms of the ADA.

          • HaileUnlikely

            I once hosted a meeting of a group in which I knew most but not all members (about a dozen people total) at my house. One of the members, unbeknownst to me, invited a “friend” who he had just met. Friend brought her emotional support dog, who was about 50 pounds, very poorly behaved, running all around my house knocking stuff down, barking all through the meeting, and chasing my 7-pound, 17-year-old cat. I personally spent half the evening restraining the f*cking dog because its owner didn’t think that was particularly important. That was definitely one for the “you ruined it for us files,” as now the one person in the group who has a nice big house does not host meetings any more.

    • “Just stop it, stop feeding this ridiculous need of people who always have to be more important than the society around them.”

      Spot on. Cue the dog owners saying stuff like, “Sorry for wanting to spend time with my dog!” in 3,2,1….

    • If it is such a small group of people who enjoy dining with their dogs then logically there would be fewer restaurants that allow or even encourage dogs, no? Some people enjoy dogs and even see dog-friendly patios as creating a fun environment even if they don’t have dogs. I hardly think I’m acting more important than society when I bring my well-behaved dog along to dinner, especially when strangers come over to pet her…

      • justinbc

        “Some” people might enjoy it, sure. Some people enjoy being vegan too, but they don’t make everyone else in the restaurant have to deal with their personal needs. I would be willing to bet there are more people allergic to your dog in any given restaurant than people who take joy at the mere sight of it.

        • Tsar of Truxton

          I would be willing to take that bet since very few people have dog allergies (most pet allergies are cats) and many people love dogs.

        • Those are all baseless assumptions, Justin. If I went to eat and a restaurant and the table next to me objected because they were allergic to dogs, I would leave. Otherwise, the person at the next table has no more “right” to be there than my dog and me, which is to say, neither of us has a right to be there and we’re both paying customers. I could easily argue the reserve argument: if you don’t like dogs, don’t eat at dog friendly places.

          • justinbc

            “if you don’t like dogs, don’t eat at dog friendly places”
            I don’t. If we are out walking around down a strip of restaurants looking for patio dining I will pass by ones that have dogs sitting there every time in favor of another.

          • The person at the next table certainly has more of a right to be there than your dog; he or she is a paying customer, your dog is not. Your dog is just there because, for some reason, you can’t bear to be apart from it for an hour or two while you have a meal. I have a dog that I love very much, but I don’t feel the need to bring her everywhere with me, especially when I’m going to a place–like a restaurant–where her presence could impair others’ enjoyment. Is it so hard to be apart from your pet for a short amount of time?

          • Tsar of Truxton

            Well, in this situation, the dog apparently was a paying customer ;-p (not advocating that)

          • Actually, you’re 100% wrong that your dog has a right to be there. The restaurants that allow dogs on the property itself are breaking the law. Read Section 3214 of the regulations that Brookland Pint cites in its notice. It just so happens that different inspectors have different tolerance levels, so it’s not enforced consistently; but a number of places around town have been cited for allowing animals and have been forced by DOH to put signs up prohibiting them on patios. DOH is in the process of redoing its regs to allow them, but they’re not done yet.

          • I seek out restaurants that allow dogs, whether mine is with me or not, because I know I won’t have to eat with Justin near me.

          • I never said that my dog had the right to be there, in fact, I said the opposite. My point is that we all have preferences and those preferences often conflict. As far as I know, a dog on the outside of a patio fence on a public sidewalk is not against the health code or any other violation. How is it entitled to bring a dog when no rules are broken and no one complains about her behavior? I’d rather sit next to a quiet kid or dog than a group of drunk 20 somethings screaming during brunch, but we don’t always get what we want.

        • Guess what, I hate going to a nice restaurant where the table next to me has a baby screaming like a banshee while I’m trying to drink my $12 cocktail. I’d say in that case the parents are making everyone else in the restaurant deal with their personal needs. If I was truly bothered by dogs, I just wouldn’t go somewhere I knew they were allowed. Unfortunately screaming kids are allowed everywhere so I have no recourse.

          • justinbc

            Ah yes, the inevitable child reference that comes up in every dog post. Followed by someone pointing out that children are humans, and humans are more important than dogs, no matter what your stance on specific humans might be.

          • It’s not really about humans being ‘more important’ than dogs, it’s a commercial decision about how to cater to your customer base. Some people may be interested in a restaurant that allows dogs, some will find it a negative. Similarly, some people may want to go to a place that doesn’t allow children, and some will be unable to go for that reason. The nice thing about living in a free market, and in a large, densely-populated city, is that we can all find places that cater to our tastes. There’s no need to make a law to impose your social mores. That being said, allowing both children and dogs into the same restaurant does seem like a poorly-thought out decision from a risk-analysis standpoint.

          • The point is not whether children are more important than dogs. The point is people have to put up with some level of discomfort when they go out in public. If a restaurant’s policy is to allow dogs on the patio, you need to deal with it. Just as if I go out there’s a good chance someone will have a screaming kid and I’ll need to deal with it. And no, I do not bring my dogs to restaurants with me, but when I see someone who does, I certainly don’t mind as long as they’re sitting quietly (and that goes for quiet children too).

          • Deal with it? Not necessarily. You could always do what a customer did to the bakery on 17th street a while back and drop a dime to DOH. Despite what nearly everyone here seems to think, it’s against the DC health code to allow pets on patios where food is served and if a complaint is made, someone will come out and make the establishment prohibit pets.

          • There is a difference. I can leave my dog at home to go out for dinner, but I can’t simply leave my child (unsupervised – it’s not reasonable to hire a sitter every time you go out).

      • “…when I bring my well-behaved dog along to dinner, especially when strangers come over to pet her…”
        But that’s the crux of the issue – no one else knows that about your dog. For all we know, you’re another clueless pet owner who can’t control their pup. A restaurant needs to plan for the worst case scenario.

        • Except when she’s sitting on the outside of a fence, on the sidewalk, witha short leash, she can’t reach other diners…

        • I don’t know how safe any human is, either. And humans have far greater capacity to harm others. What’s your point? Most dogs, like most humans, are not a threat. And we’re well-served not to jump to the conclusion that any given person is a mass shooter just about to strike.

      • And people wonder why some dog owners are called “entitled.” Declaring “I’m going to do whatever I want to do and too bad if you don’t like it” is pretty much the definition of “entitled.”

        • But who exactly is telling me that they don’t like it? The absolute zero people that I have encountered dining with my dog? She literally can’t reach other diners and is sitting on the public sidewalk on the outside of a patio fence. She is no closer than if we walked past the patio.

          • You really think people who don’t like it are going to confront you and tell you, to your face?

          • Well, when I ask them if she they mind if she is there and they say no, am I supposed to assume that they are lying? I should take the word of anonymous internet commenters over reality?

      • I don’t think there are very many non-dog owners who “enjoy” dog-friendly patios or restaurant spaces. I like dogs and I will tolerate dog friendly eating spaces if I have to. But I don’t enjoy those spaces just because they allow dogs.
        Point taken that it’s a choice a fair number of restaurants have made in order to accommodate dog owners. It’s also a choice restaurants may revisit after unfortunate incidents like this one.

        • Tsar of Truxton

          Based on the number of strangers who come up to me and want to pet my dog while at restaurants (which isn’t often), I would disagree with your first assumption.

          • You don’t take your dog to restaurants often and on the rare occasion you do, some undefined number of people come up to you and want to pet your dog. And that adds up to some large percentage of people who enjoy the presence of dogs in a space where they are eating?

          • Tsar of Truxton

            It is, admittedly, anecdotal evidence, but I am out enough to have plenty of experience. As for actual proof, you can look at the articles I posted below to see that there is clearly a societal shift in how people perceive pets in places where we eat. If it was such a minority view, why would states change the laws? Couple that with the fact that nationwide pet ownership is over 50%, and I would guess that my anecdote is well supported.

    • Tsar of Truxton

      Right, because one dog bite incident means all dogs can’t behave at a restaurant. I heard that this one time there was a dog bite somewhere on a sidewalk. We should probably ban all dogs from sidewalks!

      • justinbc

        False equivalency, there are no health codes if you decide you want to eat off the sidewalk. And I never said “all dogs can’t behave”, or anything remotely to that effect.

        • Tsar of Truxton

          No, you said allowing dogs on a patio “is just asking for potential litigation,” which is unsupported by any facts. Restaurants get sued every day, and it’s not for having dogs on their patios. You also state that is is a small group, when in fact it is a rather large group. I would bet that the percentage of people who own a dog or like dogs, and enjoy seeing them out, is higher than those who dislike dogs or are bothered by them (and certainly much higher than those who are allergic). I can barely walk down the street without being mobbed by people wanting to pet my dog. And get over the health code BS because there is nothing to back it up. Yes, the laws exist, but they are now starting to get repealed because there is no science to them. Don’t be surprised if in 15-20 years you see more patios that allow dogs, not less (and maybe even inside).

          • justinbc

            “Don’t be surprised if in 15-20 years you see more patios that allow dogs, not less (and maybe even inside).”
            You realize that you’re saying all this in a post where a restaurant has had to ban dogs because one attacked someone? The irony of all that surely cannot be lost on you?

          • Justin’s point – and I agree – is that when you are on a sidewalk you have a reasonable expectation of encountering a dog, as it’s a public space, and you are able to move freely if you choose to avoid said dog. If you are in a restaurant, your mobility is limited, you cannot easily avoid a dog that shows up after you, and it’s the restaurant’s owner to ensure a safe environment for you because you are on their private property.
            Perhaps you have not noticed what a litigious society we live in?

          • People who love dogs, even those that have them at home, can still be bitten by other’s dogs. I don’t see how liking dogs (or not) enters into this.

          • Tsar of Truxton

            Anon 2:50 – In most places (I admittedly haven’t researched this in DC), only the dog owner can be sued for a dog bite. You could try to sue a restaurant on some negligence theory, but it would be an uphill battle. Anyway, I never argued that a restaurant has never been sued for a dog bite, but it is not some prevalent thing. By allowing dogs, restaurants are not asking for it (which implies a lawsuit is inevitable). Anon 2:52 – That was a response to his comment (way above) that “at best you cater to a small audience,” which is not true. D.C. has a relatively low percentage of pet owners (20-30%) compared to the national average (60%+), but the point is, from a business perspective, your likelihood of encountering a patron who wants to bring a dog or who likes dogs (i.e., doesn’t care about a dog sitting nearby) is higher than those who dislike dogs (or wouldn’t want them on a patio).

          • Anon 2:52 pm — True, but the “I should be able to take my dog to a restaurant patio” crowd often finds it more effective to portray the “no dogs on patios, please” crowd as dog-hating meanies.
            I’m surprised the thread on Shinola not putting up the no-parking signs without the proper notice hasn’t yet advanced to the point where the “They didn’t do anything wrong” folks accuse the other side of “hating fun.”

      • Is it about dog’s behavior in general or just the desire to not dine with dogs period?

        • Not speaking for Justin or Tsar here, but I personally have encountered enough dog owners that are pretty oblivious/dogs that are clearly not trained in DC that I would prefer to avoid them all together when I’m out, even though I actually love dogs and plan to adopt one when I’m able.

          • This, exactly. I love dogs but man, never in all the places I’ve lived (except maybe France) have I witnessed such incredibly selfish, dumb and/or oblivious dog owner behavior,

          • Really? I’ve lived in DC for 20 years and I can’t think of any particularly gratuitous incidents relating to dogs. I generally hate seeing people not pick up after their dogs when they are using the bathrooms and really do not like seeing people walk around DC with their dogs off a leash, but that’s pretty rare. And frankly not the most egregious of behavior.

            I see dogs every single day and in 20 years can’t think of one egregious example of poor dog behavior. I think maybe you’re all exaggerating the issue here a bit. Or just simply don’t notice the thousands of uneventful experiences you’ve probably had witnessing dog ownership in DC.

          • Truxton – I’m not sure if you have met the dog owners in my apartment building who have been yelled at by management numerous times for failure to leash their dog (and I’ve also encountered a few off leash dogs just walking around near U St.), or read any of the several PoPville posts over the past year about dogs that have attacked other dogs at dog parks whose owners have left without sharing info, or the post just the other day about the woman who might have had to get the rabies shot for the same reason… much less owners who don’t pick up after their dogs. Luckily, I’ve also seen some fabulous dog owners in DC… and I do notice them when I see them.
            But generally, I think of dogs like I think of car accidents. I’m not worried about me, I’m worried about other people who aren’t paying attention like they should be. And it really depends on how risk averse a person is – if there’s a in 1,000 chance I’ll get bit by the dog eating dinner next to me, do I want to take that chance? Some people don’t care, some people say ‘hell no’. And both are perfectly acceptable feelings to hold.

          • *1 in 1,000 chance

          • justinbc

            “Really? I’ve lived in DC for 20 years and I can’t think of any particularly gratuitous incidents relating to dogs.”
            Then you must be new to PoPville, because it’s pretty much a weekly occurrence that someone is writing in to complain about what someone else’s dog has done. Hell, just Google “shaw dog park popville” or “lincoln park dog popville” for plenty examples.

          • Truxton – I live in a building full of “new dog owners” – people who have never in their life owned a dog but have recently decided to get one, and oh sweet lord. I have been jumped on and nipped by 2 (different) neighbor’s dogs, had dogs come tearing out their doors while their owner runs desperately after them trying to grab their leash, or some who simply don’t put a leash on at all and use the hallway like their own personal dog run. I’ve had at least 3 neighbors whose dogs have taken a huge shit in the middle of the hallway and/or elevator, and who HAVE NOT EFFING CLEANED IT UP! There are dogs who howl all day because they’re shut in a crate or locked in an apartment for 15 hours a day. In my neighborhood, I encounter the same thing, over and over. People who don’t clean up after their dogs. People who can’t or won’t control their dogs. People who are so oblivious to their surroundings that they endanger their dog. It kills me. I love dogs, but living in DC has tempered that love a bit.

          • I am sure it is just something about DC that makes dog ownership a distinct issue and not that perhaps much like people who have kids, sometimes people are a$$holes who are not suited for parenthood. Same with dog ownership. Or owning a car. Or owning a house. Or where people put their trash. Or protocols on standing on the escalator. Or telephone etiquette. I mean, if I assumed everyone who complains to POP about something meant it was a widespread issue, I’d probably just buy a cabin and move to the woods. But somehow I manage to get through almost every single day without observing poor dog ownership, poor parenting, poor whatever. You live in a city with literally a few hundred thousand other people. Not everyone is going to be as perfect as you are.

          • Truxton. No one is saying anyone is perfect. Don’t blow it out of proportion.

          • Crap, I’m taking my dog to a cabin in the woods later this year. Despite the fact that the owners required me to provide vet and local jurisdiction records showing that he is vaccinated and licensed and proof of at least basic training (glad it wasn’t CGC because dude can’t pass that because he mixes up sit and lay all. the. time.), am I going to be ruining your good times in a cabin in the woods? I promise he won’t bop any field mice on the head. 😉

    • Completely agree. This is a really unfortunate situation all around, and it didn’t have to happen.

  • The level of ignorance being displayed here… “I don’t even have a dog, but I know enough to know that rescue dogs have often been traumatized and aren’t the safest to be around right away”… false. Do not stigmatize and/or generalize, this is the fault of the dog owners. The restaurant owners/managers acted appropriately and its unfortunate for every other responsible dog owner.

    • What could the dog owner have done in a day to cause this? I certainly agree that trauma doesn’t necessarily equate to unsafe, but let’s be realistic. An even better statement is: the backgrounds for many rescue dogs is poor or unknown, so probably not a good idea to take them to a restaurant on day 1.
      -rescue dog owner of 11 years

    • Agreed! It’s a bad owner situation. No responsible pet owner would bring a new dog into this type of situation with so many uncontrollable variables.

      Disappointed for those of us who invest the time and effort in training our dogs to behave in these types of situations.

    • Reading comprehension much? I wrote what you quoted, and I did stigmatize any dogs – I was quite clear it was the owner’s fault.

  • General Grant Circle

    I love dogs, Ive had several. Some have been rescues, some from breeders. Some of the rescues, and some of the breeder dogs, did not have the personality or demeanor that I would not consider letting a stranger pet them, let alone bring to a patio and feed them. Some were completely docile and would just flop down and nap. I am not a fan of bringing pets out to eat and wouldnt, but even if I were I would certainly own the dog for well over a year and gotten to know it before ever thinking of doing such a thing

  • While we are on the subject, I will get up on my soapbox. I do not think dogs should be allowed in large attendance events. Specifically, I went to the Capital Pride Street Festival a couple weeks ago. These events are always very crowded. Why in the world people are allowed to bring dogs to these events is beyond me. More than once, I have seen dogs get stepped on by unsuspecting people. Don’t get me wrong, I love dogs. Okay….I’m stepping off my soapbox now.

    • I thought dogs weren’t allowed?? Maybe that’s more of a wish since enforcement would be difficult without closed entry.

      • justinbc

        I don’t know about that particular event, but I’ve definitely seen plenty of other large outdoor events where dogs were allowed. That honestly doesn’t bother me nearly as much as a small restaurant setting, but I agree that it often seems like the owner is preoccupied with enjoying the event rather than ensuring their dog is on good behavior (or not being stepped on by people, kids, strollers, etc).

        • My dog, who has eaten on Brookland Pint’s patio several times, is much happier on a restaurant patio then at a festival or some other crowded place. On a patio he’s happy watching everything. We took him to the H St festival once years ago (even before it became insanely crowded) and quickly left because he didn’t like the crowds or the band that was walking down the street.

          One irresponsible pet owner ruins it for the everyone else.

          • I swear the way some people (Justin) talk about dogs, I’m convinced he’s never owned or been around one. Most dogs are not helpless creatures that you have to stare at every minute to be sure they are still alive or not eating a small child.

            There are definitely stupid pet owners and dogs that simply aren’t behaved well enough to be on a patio or in a crowded place. But there are plenty that literally will just sit there very calmly and stare at everything going on.

          • justinbc

            I’ve owned dogs almost my entire life. In fact, I like them a lot more than kids. The thing you have to understand about dogs is that they don’t speak any human languages, and therefore can’t communicate to you when they’re uncomfortable, angry, territorial, etc…and honestly despite your best intentions you can’t ensure they know what the hell you’re saying when you try to separate them from those emotions. Unless you’re a world class dog trainer who walks around with a badge I don’t know you from Adam if you’re across the table from me, and I’m not willing to ruin an otherwise pleasant dining experience by eating around your potentially disruptive animal, no matter how cute he or she is.

          • Good for you. Then don’t. I get through my day far less annoyed by dogs than most of the people you encounter in this city. I’d happily dine next to someone’s dog before their 2 year old. I’m not judging you for making that choice. At the end of the day, I would never take my dog to a patio. He’s very large and very hyper. I’m smart enough to know ti would be a disaster and would disrupt people around me. And for the most part, 95% of the time I have seen someone with their dog on a patio (or anywhere in the city), the dog is under control and well behaved because presumably the owner is smart enough to know what their dog can handle and cannot handle. I can’t recall ever thinking, oh I’m likely to be disturbed by the existence of that dog, so let me choose something else. I mean, I must see at least 50 dogs every day around the city. Very rarely do I think, wow, that dog is poorly behaved and out of control.

            I just think it is silly to use this incident as indicative of a widespread problem in DC.

          • Literally nobody is saying there’s a dog epidemic other than you, arguing against a strawman. What people are saying is that the potential fallback from bad dogs / owners is not worth the small benefit to allowing good dogs to be present. Why is this a hard concept to understand?

          • “The thing you have to understand is that young children can’t communicate the same way as adults. I don’t know you from Adam, so I don’t know if your young child will be disruptive or sit quietly, and I’m not willing to take that chance.” Does that sound insane? It probably does, but it’s no less probable than someone with a dog in this “fair city.” I mentioned above that I was bitten by a dog recently (my fault). That was the only time I was bitten by a dog, whereas I’ve been bitten by children at least 3 times. And I did nothing to provoke the children.
            Since dogs are not allowed *inside* any enclosed patio space, and are *strictly* prohibited indoors (excepting service animals), you have ample opportunity to not be near dogs. Ask to be seated away from the perimeter of the patio (can still sit outside!), sit inside, even a different table would get you away from them!
            I just don’t understand the gripe. I eat out regularly and I’ve been seated next to a table with a dog *maybe* 10 times in the last 5 years. There is no “epidemic of dogs invading patios” except in a few select places that are very well known to be dog friendly. I live a few blocks away from BP, have been there at least 5 times in the last month, and have never seen a dog on their patio. Even in places that allow it, it’s rare. If you’re going to the 10-ish places I know to be very dog friendly in DC and complaining about it, GO SOMEWHERE ELSE. VOTE WITH YOUR WALLET if you feel that strongly about it.

      • They were “discouraged” but allowed. My only thought was “that poor dog, walking on hot pavement for hours in 90 degree heat with probably little access to water.”

    • Depends on the dog. My dog loves crowds because people will pet her but hates motorcycles so I don’t bring her to parades. She’s also huge and hard to step on. This again goes back to being a good dog owner, right?

  • Tsar of Truxton

    This is obviously a case of clueless new dog owners ruining it for others, but what can you do. That said, I am not really sure the restaurant can ban people from having dogs outside of the patio area. They can certainly disallow them from allowing the pets to sneak under the fence and into the patio (or put in a better fence), but otherwise, the sidewalk (where this dog was supposed to be under the old policy) is a public space. It doesn’t really seem like the new policy is any different than the old one in that sense. Dogs weren’t allowed on the property to begin with. Apparently, BP didn’t enforce the rules, so maybe that is the intent of the new rule?

    • The patio and surrounding walkway are all part of the monroe street market development so I believe it would still be private property.

    • BP sections off their outdoor patio with planters and a huge awning. They were letting patrons sit with their dogs at the picnic/wooden tables under the awning and not just toward the edge of the patio but all over. I have seen dogs sitting on the interior portion of the patio next to their owners.

    • It seems to me like if someone wants to be seated and there is a dog with them, the business could politely decline to seat them/deny them service.

    • The business can decline to serve anyone they want for any reason they want, provided the reason is not prohibited under any civil or human rights laws. Being a dog owner (or just being with a dog) is not a civil rights classification. So the distinction between public and private property is irrelevant. If the restaurant doesn’t want you to have a dog sitting outside of the patio while you are on the other side of the fence, they are free to deny you service.

  • I can understand restaurants allowing dogs – and kids, for that matter – on patios, and I have no real problem with this. I have fond memories of taking my kids to brunch at DC Reynolds and them making friends with two pups enjoying brunch with their parents. A little bit of communication on both our parts and everyone had a good time.
    Dog and kids can and do mix. Not in every situation, but there’s many things that went wrong here. The owners should not have been feeding the dog at the table – any dog can exhibit food aggression randomly. The owners should have had the dog properly leashed at a safe length. If the statement about the pup being a brand new rescue is true, then they should have had lunch at home so the pup can acclimate and so the owners can get a good read on how the dog will act around crowds, children, other dogs, etc. The idea is to control the dog’s environment as much as possible in those early days, and one can simply not control their environment at a restaurant.
    I am glad they stuck around, I’m glad the boy won’t have to have painful rabies shots because no one knows if the dog was vaccinated, and I’m sure all’s well that ends well, but those owners really should have done better by the boy, BP, and the dog by not bringing it into this situation.

  • Well done to BP management. Now that is how you handle a potentially contentious PR situation. Too many times we see a horrible restaurant situation go out of hand in public, specially via social media.

    But BP’s public statement was well written, factual, and more importantly, sincere. Well done.

    BTW, as a pet guardian myself, this is unfortunate for both the dog and the child. No pity for the ignorant irresponsible new pet guardians though.

  • 1. Sounds to me like Brookland Pint is covering their legal a**es with a well-worded press release. Not hating, just noticing how he repeats how cooperative BP was.
    2. Idiot owners. I think we all agree on that. For bringing a new dog to this uncontrolled environment and for feeding it a full freaking hamburger!
    3. The more stories about the few bad apple “rescue” dogs, the more people are going to shop for designer dogs. Just makes me sad #AdoptDontShop
    4. We just rescued a pup from WARL and she’s been quite the handful. But the joy and pride we have in seeing her make behavioral improvements on a weekly basis is so gratifying. She is a handful, and Ive cried a few times because of frustration, but I honestly believe training, love and discipline can help these pups recover from an undoubtedly troubled and/or tragic pre-adoption life.

    • justinbc

      If it makes you feel any better, pretty much the worst behaved dogs I’ve ever seen were all “bred” dogs, particularly small ones with a Napoleon complex. Shihtzus and the like.

    • BP can’t “cover their legal a**es” with a press release (assuming that their are legal a**es that need covering).That press release has no legal effect whatsoever. The facts are what they are. They won’t get changed by a press release.

      • Right, but they are getting ahead of the story with this press release. Their version was the first version and what people are going to remember. As you can read above, 2 eyewitnesses have a different version. (And my comment was before they had commented) I’m placing zero blame and taking no one’s side, the press release just seemed a little off to me on first reading.

        • Agreed that there is a big disconnect between a dog running over to a kid and biting him, and the kid running into or towards the dog and getting bit.

  • Stupid dog owners really piss me off. Possibly unsocialized and food aggressive dog being taken to a restaurant on his first day with new owners, what a shitty idea. Please give the dog back to the rescue, you clearly have no idea how to take care of the dog and are setting him up to fail and get put down due to your stupidity.

  • I completely understand people who do not want to deal with dogs when they go out to eat. But, the owners of Brookland Pint should also be able to have a welcoming environment to dog owners if they so choose so long as they are pretty transparent about that so other diners know what they are choosing. If you don’t like it (Justin), don’t go there. As you noted, you make that choice deliberately on a regular basis. Congrats. That’s how the world should work.

    I just don’t see why there can’t be a world where restaurants can proactively welcome and encourage dogs and others not. And you as a consumer get to pick which you want to patronize.

    • +1
      Just like Justin can choose to walk past a patio with dogs, and that other commenter that mentioned not liking screaming kids can avoid kid-friendly restaurants (or ask to be moved if seated next to a rambunctious kid), its how the market should work. Then restaurants can adjust accordingly. But I do agree that many dog owners love spending time at restaurants with their dogs, and my feeling is that they should be able to do that.

      • I wouldn’t disagree but regarding Truxton’s last two sentences, but I’d argue that this is a government issue, since they are the ones who ban animals from food establishments by law (and restaurants that allow dogs on patios are either breaking the law or coming up with semi-crafty work-arounds). It is possible that many people plan to go to a restaurant without anticipating there being pets seated next to them. Kids are a little different, since they are not prohibited by law (except in bars, I suppose?).

        • Precisely. And the semi-crafty workaround is simply staying under DOH’s radar. When a DOH inspector gives a new restaurant its food license, sometimes he or she will mention the ban on animals, sometimes not. And when asked about it some inspectors say that they’re banned and others shrug and say, “yeah, you’re not supposed to have them but…” However, across the board, if someone complains DOH will send someone who actually knows they’re not allowed and who is armed with those signs featuring a dog, cat and duck with lines through them (why a duck I have no idea). At that point the restaurant is stuck because future violations will be deemed as knowing violations and subject to a fine and possible license revocation. So, dog lovers, best to stay under the radar and be extra nice and polite to your neighbors. And definitely keep your jittery dogs at home.

          • justinbc

            I’m sure the sign was made before this happened, but a lady actually brought a goose into ChurchKey in her purse.

          • In fairness the waterfowl in the DOH picture could be a Long Island duck or a white goose of indeterminate breed. So you never know. (BTW, for real? Seriously?)

        • Sure, but I was only saying I don’t see why the law (or policy) should work that way. Why can’t there be restaurants that cater to pet owners? And if you don’t like it, you don’t go there. Seems easy enough. Honestly most of the time when I’ve seen people with dogs on patios the dogs (like this one) are supposed to be and usually are tied up so they are outside the patio fence for the reason you mention.

          Then maybe it wouldn’t be this back and forth about how dog owners are selfish people who feel the need to impose their dogs on those who dislike dogs. Sure, everyone can leave their dogs at home, but there’s no reason they should have to. We can live in a world that is more accommodating.

          • I think that is the way it’s headed. I mentioned before that DOH is working on regs that allow pets on patios with certain restrictions. I haven’t seen any drafts and I’m not privy to DOH’s inside workings so I don’t know where they are in the process. Honestly, I’m in favor of relaxing the rules a bit and then enforcing them equally across the board. My problem isn’t so much with the dogs/owners themselves (although the ones in this case do sound like they don’t know what they’re doing), but with the fact that some business owners are at a competitive disadvantage due to uneven enforcement.

  • Adding this to my list of nice things that one complete moron ruined for everyone.

  • I also hope that whatever rescue organization or shelter they got the dog from reads this and demands the dog back. I do the kind of rescue where you march into the house and take the animal way from the bad humans, but along the way I’ve learned some of them are just completely clueless. Well meaning but they end up hurting animals, or in this case, little kids.

  • If the kid had been on a leash he’d be fine today.

    Stupid parents who simply do not pay attention to their kids, allow them to run in restaurants wherever the wind takes them, and then when something unfortunate happens seek to blame everyone else are infuriating.

    Kids under 12 should be on a leash. We could have fenced kid parks where they can run off-leash, but anytime they are in public they must be leashed.

  • I definitely respect their decision but it’s a shame one irresponsible person had to ruin it for everyone….but, that’s always the way these things work. So you got a new dog who’s mannerisms you don’t know at all, its past, whether it was abused, etc. Then took it too a public restaurant and fed it a hamburger underneath the table. There are so many wrongs with all of this. Just take the dog back to the shelter and let someone responsible adopt it. I’m guessing the dog may have felt threatened the kid might take his food and lunged at the kid.

  • I would rather sit near a dog than a small child in a restaurant. Small children are impatient and untrained in most anything other than fast food establishments which get them in and out fairly quickly

  • Dogs, and any other family pets, belong at home. They never should have been permitted at this restaurant in the first place! I don’t want your dog under the table anymore than I want your pet snake slithering across it. Besides the risk of animals spreading communicable diseases in a food establishment, there are a host of other concerns (such as allergies, bites, etc.) that make it beyond obvious that Fido ought to stay at home. These dogs aren’t people, and there’s no need to expect that they would have the same access rights. It’s just that simple!

    • +1!

    • Tsar of Truxton

      Please, show me some evidence of dogs spreading communicable diseases to patrons on a patio. Also, I would love to see some examples of horrific allergic reactions. Don’t spout off lies if you can’t back them up.

      • No evidence needed. I’ve had a restaurant patio meal ruined by a dog who wandered over and stuck its nose in my food. This was after I watched the offending dog sniff another dog’s butt after dog #2 pooped on the other side of the patio fence. Not sanitary in any way, shape, or form. Say what you will about kids, but at least most kids I know don’t stick their noses in other people’s butts and leave traces of bodily waste on the sidewalk.

        • Tsar of Truxton

          I am sure your meal would have been equally ruined by a random child walking up and sticking his germ filled hands in your meal or if you found a giant hair between your teeth from someone in the kitchen. The issue you are bringing up has nothing to do with the dog and everything to do with the owner, who really should have offered to pay for your meal or bought you another one. No one on here said nothing bad will ever happen if a dog is on a patio. Whether you have had a bad experience or not, spreading false claims without facts like On Capital Heels did is inappropriate. Also, while my meal would have been ruined in the situation you described, and I probably would not have eaten the meal either, I am willing to bet that if you actually ate the food, you would have been fine.

    • Dogs belong at home? Apparently you don’t have any idea of what owning a dog is like. Guess what, dogs that never go anywhere and don’t get exposed to different environments are terrible dogs (due to having terrible owners). Dogs are social animals. They need to get out of their homes and see other people and dogs to learn how to behave and to get socialized. If you plan to get a dog and just keep it at home, do the dog a favor and don’t.

      • Touché. Everything you just said is true for both dogs and children.

      • “If you plan to get a dog and just keep it at home”….get a cat.

        (In case it’s not obvious, I’m agreeing with anon! Dogs are inherently social. It’s part of your responsibility, as a dog owner, to acclimate your dog to public settings and new situations/stimuli. And to know his or her temperament and quirks. Dog owners in this saga were clueless.)

  • Why bring a rescue dog (just acquired one or two days ago) to a restaurant patio? Seems like a recipe for a disaster.




  • It’s totally on these irresponsible people who brought a rescued dog to the establishment. I’m actually more upset that they were feeding the dog burger meat than the fact that it bit a child. They fucked up a good thing for the rest of us. Also as a person who works at a school I hate seeing kids at bars. It’s an adult space children should not be there. On that note why was the child wondering freely? It could have just as easily gone into the kitchen.

    • Ummm, it’s not a bar. It’s a restaurant. And it’s a family-friendly one at that. Kids eat free some nights. This kid was 6 years old. Old enough to go from one place to another in the restaurant by themselves. I’m glad they banned animals and I love animals.

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