#805: Dogs in Grocery Stores!
“THANK YOU, Paris Hilton.”
That’s what a pal mutters when he sees someone with a dog in grocery store. Lately he’s been muttering it with increasing frequency.
Like you, he remembers a time not so long ago when people did not feel compelled to bring their pets into businesses that sell and/or serve food. He places the blame squarely on the bony shoulders of the heiress/socialite who turned the annoying rat-dog from a yapping backyard nuisance into a fashion accessory before she eventually disappeared back into wealthy oblivion.
Sure, California Retail Food Code section 114259.5 prohibits live animals in a food facility (i.e., any place that sells food for human consumption).
But c’mon, irresponsible dog owners argue. This is L.A.! We’re both laid back and progressive here! So what if little Fido lifts his leg on a display of casaba melons? Relax! It’s not like you’re going to eat the rind, right? So wash it and quit complaining! Or if Fifi can’t hold it any longer and lets loose a steaming pile of Tootsie Rolls by the Frosted Flakes? Clean up in Aisle 3! Get the new kid over there with a broom and dustpan and maybe a paper towel – problem solved!
I love dogs. But they don’t belong in food stores. Or restaurants.
(Wendy’s in the Platt Village Shopping Center in West Hills, I’m talking to you.)
Of course, seeing-eye dogs or other legitimate service animals are the exception.
It’s the pets that are the problem – and it’s a slippery slope. Not long ago it was a tiny, yipping ball of fur in a hand bag. Today it’s a pit bull with no leash stalking through Ralphs on Ventura in Woodland Hills while his thug owner tries to hold onto the collar.
(Ralphs seems to be particularly dog-friendly: Aside from that incident, I’ve seen dogs in their stores in Sherman Way in Canoga Park and on Devonshire in Chatsworth. Shh! Don’t tell the Los Angeles County Department of Health!)
Unlike my pal, I don’t blame Paris Hilton, who I imagine is an idiot. And I don’t blame the self-absorbed pet owners who, too, are morons. The fault lies with the stores.
It’s not like the employees are afraid to say something when they see a customer walk in with a pet. Often they do.
Unfortunately, what they usually say is “Oh! How adorable! Can I pet him?”