St. Louis Signs Doggie Dining into Law

Way to go, St. Louis! Thanks to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch for this article. Dogs back at the table By Tina Hesman Saey ST. LOUIS...



Way to go, St. Louis!

Thanks to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch for this article.

Dogs back at the table
By Tina Hesman Saey

Freighter was an unwitting juvenile delinquent.

Neither Freighter, a Labrador and Rottweiler mix, nor his owner, Irene Cavatairo of Cedar Hill, knew they were breaking the law when they dined dockside at the Boathouse restaurant in Forest Park or enjoyed an evening at a Central West End sidewalk cafe over the past several years.

Last month, Cavatairo and Freighter came to the Boathouse. Cavatairo was welcome. Freighter was not. The Health Department had begun enforcing a law banning dogs from eating establishments, the staffers told Cavatairo.

“I thought they were fibbing,” she said. After all, she’d brought Freighter, 3, to the restaurant since he was an 8-week-old pup. Then she saw a bit on the news about the doggie dining law and a new bill the St. Louis Board of Aldermen passed last week to allow pooches to sit with their owners at restaurants with outdoor service. Advertisement

“They weren’t lying. I felt so bad, I called and apologized,” Cavatairo said.

On Sunday, she and Freighter were among myriad dogs and human diners thronging the Boathouse’s patio and beer garden for the fourth annual Paddle with Your Pooch regatta.

Mayor Francis Slay signed a ceremonial copy of the bill making St. Louis the first municipality in Missouri to allow dogs to join their owners at outdoor restaurants. The mayor declared amnesty for all canines dining with owners in St. Louis from Sunday until the measure becomes official later this month.

Those pardoned included the mayor’s own tiny Yorkshire terrier, Mia, 9. Sophie and Riley, the mayor’s other dogs, had to stay home.

The regatta hosted 75 dogs and their owners competing for the Golden Fire Hydrant trophy. Michelle Turner and her cocker spaniel Riley took the top honor this year. Last year, promotions for the event and some customer complaints sparked the Health Department enforcement of the doggie dining ban, said Carleen Kramer, director of sales for Catering St. Louis, which manages the Boathouse restaurant.

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