This past weekend my wife, son, and I went out to dinner in the wonderful small town of West Chester, PA.
The town is the county seat, and in addition is home to a large state university, West Chester University (one of our swimming archrivals when I was in college).
The town has done a great job attracting people to its downtown area with a great mix of restaurants and small businesses. They also shut down the two main streets for about three blocks so that no cars can drive through the main downtown district. Many restaurants have taken advantage of this setup by putting up dining tables right on the street.
The night we were there the town was hopping. Every restaurant (and there are many of them) seemed to have a great crowd. In fact, when we left our restaurant there was at least a 30-minute wait for a table. There were also lots of families just strolling the streets, many with their dogs in tow as well.
Anyway, enough background info. Let me get to the point of my story.
In addition to the many dogs strolling the streets (on a leash, and all well-behaved), there were also many dogs sitting next to the outside dining tables while their owners ate. Again, so far so good.
However, that perception changed quickly.
While we were waiting for our food, I happened to notice one of the dog owners holding something underneath her table and letting her dog lick whatever it was. At first, I just assumed it was a treat the owner had brought to keep her dog under control while the family ate.
But then I took a closer look and I noticed that the dog was actually licking one of the dinner forks! After the dog was done licking the fork, the owner then put it back on the table. I assume the owner was done eating at that point and had no need to use her fork again.
But even if that was the case, I found the entire scene outrageous.
Now I know that the fork will be thoroughly washed by the restaurant. But at some point, some innocent restaurant patron is going to be using the fork that was licked by that dog.
To me, that is quite disgusting.
Plus, the simple act of letting your dog lick your fork while sitting at an outdoor restaurant just seems totally inappropriate.
So I’m curious, is it just me who finds this totally unacceptable?
P.S. By the way, right after I witnessed this scene, I immediately took out my phone, and sent myself an email with the subject line: Dog eating off fork. I told my wife, if nothing else, that I should be able to take those four words and turn them into a 500-word blog post. I came close; this post is 485 words…
*image from Hello West Chester