Howard Magazine - Page 29 - Dogs Allowed

Howard Magazine
- Page 29
Dogs Allowed
By Mike Klingaman
Howard Magazine

It’s a warm weekday afternoon as Raquel McKenna, 27, sits on the patio of a Columbia pizza joint, enjoying lunch with her family — three teenage cousins and Dylan, her dog. As they eat, Dylan, a 5-year-old mutt, sits patiently at McKenna’s side, wagging his tail, licking her hand and wishing, with miplering eyes, for a treat.

“I love him to death,” says McKenna, of Rockville. “When I go somewhere without him, I count the hours until I come back. I take ‘Dilly’ everywhere I can; it’s nice to eat out with a dog and not get shooed away.”

A generation ago, dogs like Dylan would have been turned away from restaurants. But the times, they are a changin’. At places like Pub Dog, the aptly named venue where McKenna eats, canines are welcome outside, where pet treats and water bowls are provided and tables are bolted to the ground to anchor their leashes.

Pub Dog’s menu is a tribute to pooches with pizzas named “Pupperoni,” “Baja Chihuahua” and “Old Yeller.” Stenciled paw prints grace the windows of the restaurant, and doggie signs hang inside.

Pet-friendly since 2007, Pub Dog has seen an increase in canines of late—as many as 10 dogs during happy hour on Friday (3 p.m. to 7 p.m.), says Caitlin Fisher.

“We understand the need to enjoy dinner with your best friend; it makes the experience more meaningful,” says Fisher, Pub Dog’s marketing manager. “We’ve watched some regulars grow from puppies, like a miniature dachshund, a Great Dane and a bull terrier named Rex.”

Owners scoop up any accidents. Since dogs are likely to polish off leftovers, there are usually few table scraps for employees to clean up afterward.

McKenna and Dylan, a rescue who lost all of his front teeth early on, have been at Pub Dog “at least 10 times,” including last year for McKenna’s birthday. “Pizza, good beer and dogs,” she says. “It doesn’t get any better than that.”

At Rams Head Tavern, in Savage, patrons share the front patio with their pooches and order off a popular doggie menu featuring Mutt Meatballs (ground turkey, oats and Parmesan cheese), Rover Rice (with USDA beef tips) and Bowser Beer (malt barley and chicken stock).