Is there anything worse than being left at home when your best friends go out for a good time? Every dog knows the feeling all too well. Where do our owners even go? Why can’t we come?

Fortunately, Virginia pups may soon have less FOMO, as the state appears poised to allow us dogs to accompany our owners at wineries, breweries, and distilleries.

WHSV reports that House Bill 286, sponsored by Del. John Bell, D-Loudoun and Prince William Counties, passed the state House of Delegates and Senate almost unanimously and, pending Gov. Ralph Northam’s signature, dogs will officially be allowed at Virginia wineries and other boozy establishments. As my human colleagues have noted, Virginia’s alcohol laws are generally prepawsterous, but I give this bill as two paws way up!

You see, I used to visit Virginia wineries with my human friends. But late last year, Virginia began cracking down on dogs at wineries. Apparently, the Virginia Department of Agricultural and Consumer Services sent out notices to wineries and breweries in the state telling them that dogs were not allowed. Talk about a government agency only a cat could love! Since good boys (and girls) do not drink alcohol – us dogs can’t hold our licker – it makes no sense to force our humans to leave us at home.

Us dogs can also play a very important role around vineyards – in fact, many vineyard owners keep us around to help scare away deer and other animals who may get into the vines. We get lots of treats in return. Oh, and we drum up business, given our cuteness and snuggle-ability.

Luckily, dog-lovers are everywhere, including among winery owners:

[Bluestone Vineyard] President Curt Hartman says they were not happy about the notice. He says dogs are part of the winery’s culture, including its actual wine with one being named after Beau, the vineyard’s first dog.
“We joke about dogs in the vineyard. Every vineyard’s got a vineyard dog somewhere. We have a couple of them, so that’s just part of the culture. People like their dogs,” said Hartman.

And not to brag, but brewers love us as well:

Tim Brady, founder and General Manager of Pale Fire Brewing [in Harrisonburg, Virginia], said dogs are a typical staple around the brewery.
“We see a lot of dogs at Pale Fire, especially because we have the outdoor patio, so they’re always welcome, but it will be nice to have the option of letting them into the taproom if we like,” said Brady.

Although us doggos prefer being outdoors most of the time, Brady is right. It’s reassuring to think that we might now also have an equal right to be indoors, just like our humans. As I said, people love us. Certainly more than they like bureaucrats, anyway.

Forcing man’s best friend to sit at home while his humans are away, when they could be enjoying their time together at one of Virginia’s many establishments, would be a doggone shame.


Image credit: R.J. Lehmann

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