Dog-lovers across the state won a victory, or something, this week when Governor Jerry Brown signed into law a bill that permits dogs in outdoor seating areas at restaurants — so long as the outdoor area has its own separate entrance and so long as Mr. Snuffles does not actually dine across from you in a seat.

The law, which takes effect next year, codifies local ordinances that already allowed the bringing of dogs onto restaurant patios in various locales, but still allows locales and restaurants to forbid dog dining if they choose, as the AP reports.

This began as Assembly Bill 1965, sponsored by Assemblymember Mariko Yamada’s (D-Davis), and Yamada issued an appropriately goofy statement following the governor's signature on Thursday. "It will soon be legal to take your beagle with you to dinner,” she said. “With Governor Brown’s signature, restaurateurs in California will see more businesses catering to their customers and the canine companions they love. I wish everyone ‘bone-appétit’."

The law also doesn't pertain to service animals, which are already technically allowed in restaurants.

Sidenote: Has anyone noticed an uptick in the presence of service animals in dining rooms? S.F. is of course rife with people who have service animals for emotional or mental health reasons (and as we learned a couple years back, no one is allowed to ask what the animal is for), as well as faux service animals that they take into Safeway with them just to anger Chuck Nevius. But I was recently dining in a restaurant beside a very large collie who took up quite a bit of space and did not seem to be doing her human companion any service besides keeping her company. But what do I know.

[Lake County News]