Dogs and Dining on Lincoln Road: Dodge Them or Love Them?

In the August issue of Travel and Leisure Magazine Miami Beach is touted as a tourist destination gone "gaga" for dogs. Lincoln Road is seen as the epicenter of fashionable canine flaunting. But is this four-legged invasion a nuisance or can we peacefully coexist with our neighbors' furry companions? Two opposing opinions:

Dog Dodger say:

Dogs and fine dinning don't mix. Everyone's favorite local restaurant strip for flauntin; Lincoln Road. The street often resembles a canine fashion show or parade of sorts.  Many store and restaurant fronts even offer water-filled dog bowls for overheated canine supermodels.

But just because the touristy street welcomes pooches of all breeds, this doesn't mean that everyone else does. The appeal of the area is to eat outside. Yet diners must also often share their eating space with smelly and sloppy mutts. Some of these opt to mark their territory at eaters' feet. And meal time conversation is tough to maintain amidst baritone barks. Then there is the leash lasso. When "Fluffly" or "Maximilius" uses leash slack to race around several tables and chairs, inescapable, dog-made labyrinths are created. Plate-balancing servers trip, and meals are ruined.

Well-trained, groomed and pocket-size pets aren't the problem. But to those individuals who own unruly, smelly, over-size and untrained dogs we say this:Keep them away from restaurants. Or, put them in your purse like a proper Miami socialite.

-- Danielle Alvarez

Dog Lover says:

Dogs and fine dining don't mix. Agreed. But when did Lincoln Road become fine dining? This pedestrian "mall" is indeed a parade of fashion tragedy of the human kind. Little "Fido" on his leash is the least of our complaints. Unruly skateboarders belong on a ramp in Kendall. Drunk cyclists urge you out of their way with annoying bell ringing/ And then there's that family of 25 from Brazil who stops in the middle of Lincoln to discuss whether they should go to the Britto or Apple store. A baritone bark is muffled in this crowd.

The appeal of eating outside is quickly diminished for a pooch and its owner by the groups of smokers who, in their late night regalia, share loud tales of their conquests while blowing more smoke than the cruise ships docked at port. Is that dry ice for effect on my plate? No ma'am, that's just the folks at the table next to you relighting their cigarette.

Try not to sit downwind -- you may go deaf and blind at the same time.

Well trained pets are not the problem. Agreed. But pocket-size? No pooch should be carried in a purse. Even the most stylish Miami socialite will agree that no accessory is effective if hidden in a purse.

-- Christina Staalstrom

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