Set date night with Fido for July 1
Dog lovers could bring their four-legged friends to friendly restaurants with outdoor dining areas under a plan passed today by the Senate and headed to the governor's desk.
The statewide bill permits restaurants with outdoor patios and tables to welcome dogs, starting July 1. Many bars and restaurants have long been looking the other way (as you can see from the Basset Hound pictured left at a popular Annapolis bar).
Dog-owning Gov. Martin O'Malley will sign the bill -- and might well participate, said spokesman Shaun Adamec. The first family has two dogs; their beloved Lady recently passed away, Adamec reports.
Del. Dan Morhaim, who sponsored the legislation, believes it will provide a financial boost for restaurants and bars heading into the outdoor dining season.
Not all senators were panting over the proposal, which gained final passage this morning. Sen. Delores Kelley said people should not be able to bring dogs to eateries, saying people pet them and then touch utensils -- among other nasty habits.