This month, the Forsyth County Health Department began docking points against Winston-Salem breweries where dogs were present.

Word spread fast among the leash-and-chewy set after Joymongers Barrel Hall woefully made a “no more dogs” declaration Monday on its Facebook page. Commenters quickly began organizing a campaign to pressure the county commission to save the puppers.

But really, the Forsyth health department is just enforcing a law that’s been on the books almost forever, while at the same time quashing what has become one of my pettiest peeves.

I love dogs — other people’s dogs, anyway. And I love bars, though not as deeply or as frequently as I used to.

But I don’t ever need to see them together.

A room full of drunks and animals together is just a bad idea on its face. Dogfights are bad; bar fights might be worse. Put them together and you’re talking about the kind of mess even the most seasoned bouncer — or cop for that matter — would hesitate to wade into.

And let’s think about it from the dog’s point of view. No matter what fantasies you’ve projected onto your anthropomorphized pet, it’s a safe bet that your dog does not want to sit tied to a barstool while you stroke your beard and pontificate on hops or malts or whatever. 

When I was tending bar, we had a whole 86 list of humans we deemed unfit for the place — some of them for doing the very things dogs are known to do all day long: bark too much, bite someone, crap on the floor.

The only dog I ever tolerated in the bar was a brilliant Catahoula hound named Buck. Buck had learned to let himself out of his yard, but he would only stop by when his owner had been sitting at the bar too long.

Buck was a gentleman. He’d circle the place until he found his owner, nuzzle his hand and then the two of them would go home.

Even Buck knew he wasn’t supposed to be there.

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