Friday, August 3, 2012

Take Your Dog to Dinner

'When Dogs Dine Out' You Tube Video
If they're well-heeled that is. Now, more and more restaurants around the country are catering to pooches. As of February 27, 2012, LA county gave the okay for dogs to eat on restaurant patios and there's even a Dog Restaurant Week coming September 16-23 this year. Of course your dog must be under 40 lbs, leashed and well-mannered or you may be asked to leave! If you're interested in participating restaurants here's the list. And not only are dogs allowed - they're catered to with doggie menus featuring anything from lamb stir fry to meat loaf to scrambled eggs with bacon bits. One restaurant even provides a space behind the restaurant, complete with waste pickup bags for bathroom breaks. So cool! Why is this important to a cozy author like myself? Because my heroine Jillian Bradley takes her Yorkie companion everywhere with her - including restaurants. 

For example in "The Ghost Orchid Murder" I had to write Teddy into having lunch with Jillian and her assistant:

 'The elements restaurant was buzzing with customers. I’m sure it was due to the notoriety of the criminal guests they were hoping to get a glimpse of. The maitre d’ seated us right away in one of the private booths overlooking the terrace. I placed Teddy in his satchel comfortably on the seat next to me and gave him a little treat. “Now I expect you to behave yourself and be very quiet, Teddy.” He looked at me with those warm brown eyes as if to say, “Would I ever give you trouble, Mistress?”' 

And in "The Mark of Eden" I wanted to write Teddy into a lunch date as well:

'The parking lot was full but she found an empty space and pulled in. Delicious aromas of seafood being prepared wafted on the air as she and Teddy entered the restaurant, nestled on a cliff overlooking the ocean. Sam’s was reminiscent of an East Coast style seafood house, with a large patio overlooking Half Moon Bay.
Ira was waiting at a table perusing the menu when the host mentioned discreetly to Jillian that dogs were only allowed on the patio. Seeing that Jillian was experiencing difficulty with Teddy, Ira motioned to a server and whispered in his ear. The server walked to the front desk and spoke softly to the host, who in turned blushed slightly.
“I do beg your pardon, Mrs. Bradley,” he said. “Won’t you and your companion please follow me? So sorry for any misunderstanding. Dr. Sinclair is one of our best customers.”
Jillian was a little surprised but impressed at the influence Ira had with the locals. She glided toward his table, Teddy scrunched down in his tote, as Ira stood to greet her and make sure she was seated comfortably.
“Why thank you, Ira,” she offered. “We could have sat on the patio. I really wouldn’t have minded following the rules.”
“Rules were made to be broken, or at least I enjoy pushing the boundaries, but that’s just the scientist in me speaking. Have you ever eaten here before?”
“No, not this particular restaurant. I have eaten at The Distillery many years ago.”
“With the Blue Lady Ghost?” he chuckled.
Jillian chose not to comment but cast her mind back to an earlier case involving the said lady ghost.'

How many of you enjoy taking your dogs with you whenever you go out? Do you take your dogs out for their birthdays? I used to take our Maltese 'Chloe' to the drive thru at McDonald's on her's and got her a cheeseburger. Oh how she loved it! Some drive thru services even offer dog treats when your pooch is along for the ride. What's been your experience?





Nancy Jill Thames is the author of "Jillian Bradley Mysteries," a series often set in exclusive hotels and resorts, based on real life travel adventures with her husband of 44 years. Her mysteries incorporate her love of afternoon tea, which has earned her the title of “Queen of Afternoon Tea.”   She holds a music degree from UT Austin and lives in Leander, Texas where she is a member of the Leander Writers Guild. Nancy Jill is busy working on book 6 Waiting for Santa, a murder mystery taking place on Christmas Eve near Jillian Bradley’s home in Clover Hills. She has won awards for her blogs,  a pie contest for her Chip Chocolate Cream Pie, and has been on the Author Watch Bestseller List numerous times.

To check out her books, Murder in Half Moon Bay, The Ghost Orchid Murder, From the Clutches of Evil, The Mark of Eden, and Pacific Beach, please visit: ,


  1. Interesting post about pooches. I'm afriad mine would jump out of his little hidey-hole if I took him anywhere. LOL

    Congratulations to the winners of the Giveaway Extravaganza!

    Debbie Malone
    "Death in Dahlonega"

  2. Dogs, like children, have to be trained to encounter new experiences. We started taking our first child to restaurants at the age of 2 months! Jillian Bradley's dog Teddy weighs only about five pounds, so he's pretty easy to manage.

    ~Nancy Jill
    Author of the Jillian Bradley Mysteries and "Queen of Afternoon Tea"


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