I love dogs. Seriously. They’re the absolute best. I have two of my own.
This is Johnny. He’s an 11-year-old Lab/Pit mix
This is Sophie. She’s a 5-year-old Pit/Boxer mix.
Even though I love my dogs and will do anything for them, I know where they do and don’t belong. That’s being a responsible dog owner.
A couple of weeks ago I was broadcasting live in Asbury Park and after my show, my girlfriend and I had a nice dinner at one of the restaurants on the boardwalk.
Now, this restaurant has both indoor and outdoor seating. The outdoor area is dog-friendly, and there were a few well-behaved dogs lying at their owners’ feet. They weren’t begging, barking, or being a nuisance. As the “cool” kids say, "they were just vibin’ bro."
Enter the main characters of this story. A young couple in their early 30s waltzes into the outdoor area pushing a stroller. The couple sat directly across the aisle from our table. As they’re seated, the couple pushes the stroller up to the table and unzips the sunshade. As they unzip the shade, out pops a small, white, ball of fluffy lightning. The dog springs out of the stroller and books it to a table on the other side of the restaurant. The husband gets up and slowly moseys after the escaping pooch while the wife stays at the table screaming “Max! Oh no! Max! Don’t run from Daddy!” Yeah, I wish I was making this up…
Once Max was finally wrangled safely back into his stroller, I thought that would be it, but no. It gets worse. Our appetizer came out and it was delicious. As I’m enjoying my food I can feel the intense stare aimed at me from across the aisle. I look to my right and here’s Max staring intently at my food. I swore I could see him drooling.
This restaurant trip must be a standard occurrence for Max, because every time someone from the waitstaff would walk by with their trays of food, he would perk up and stare them down, hoping for his chance to chow down. Finally, the waitress brings that couple’s food. It’s a normal order of a few drinks and meals for this couple, but then the waitress brings out a burger, which was ordered specifically for Max. This is the part that I just lost my mind.
Before even touching his food, the husband takes the plain burger patty and cuts it up into small toddler-bite-sized pieces, puts the pieces on an appetizer plate — you know, the plate that humans eat off of? — AND PUTS THE PLATE OF FOOD INTO THE DOG’S STROLLER.
The dog starts going to town on the burger making some of the most vile noises I’ve heard from an animal. It makes Cookie Monster look like the Queen of England. Food was flying everywhere.
To make matters worse, after Max finished, seemingly the only meal he’s had all month, the dog decided then would be a great time to climb onto the table and onto his dad’s lap. The husband then starts giving the patented baby talk (which I respect, but it wasn’t necessary here.)
Now, while this was happening, there were other families enjoying the beautiful early August weather. There were small children chirping away, but nothing too crazy. Young kids and babies just making noise.
While the husband was making love to Max, the wife would cringe, roll her eyes, and curse under her breath every single time a kid made a noise.
I totally get treating your dog like a child. I pamper the heck out of my two pups. I'll even let my dogs lick the scraps off of my plate when I'm finished eating, but it's my own and not a restaurant's plate. But when it comes to going out to eat, mayyyyyybe you should just leave your dog at home. Or, even better, just don’t bring your dog to a restaurant, especially if your dog can’t handle it.