Yesterday, I had a very informative conversation with a veteran about his service dog. We’ve had a few people come in to Evelyn’s with dogs that are service dogs. Coincidentally, I also received an inquiry yesterday asking if we allow “well-behaved” dogs on our new patio.
I love dogs. We have three at home… who aren’t always well-behaved. But not everyone is a dog person, especially where they eat. So, what is our stance on dogs at Evelyn’s?
First of all, the question on service dogs is already defined federally through the ADA (American Disabilities Act). Under the ADA, a service animal is a dog “that has been trained to perform tasks or do work for the benefit of a person with a disability. The tasks or work the animal does must be directly related to the person’s disability.” They cannot be turned away by a restaurant and I wouldn’t want to turn them away. I learned a lot from my veteran friend on what service dogs do for their companions and how a service animal is defined by the ADA. All I can say is please don’t come in to Evelyn’s claiming your dog is an ADA defined service dog — if it is not. Minnesota has made that illegal. But more importantly, it’s just shameful. Service animals do so much good for those who truly need them. It saddens me that we have to have a law because so many have posed their dogs as service dogs, when they are not. As much as we love our dogs and like to be with them, it hurts those who truly need them in public places like restaurants.
As for dogs on the patio. Here is the thing…as much as we love our dogs, not everyone does, especially in a closely confined area where they are eating. So, we have decided to make the new patio out back dog/pet-free. BUT, we do have two nice dog-friendly bistro tables in the front of our restaurant where dogs are welcome. We hope this addresses the needs of the dog lovers and non-lovers.