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Table for four legs? Dogs wine and dine at Belgium bar

[ 2011-05-17 10:39]     字号 [] [] []  
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Marshall ordered an ice-cream but left in a huff before the waiter dished it up. Smile woofed down the chicken but showed no appetite for the wholesome carrots and apple left on his plate.

Arthur actually pooped right by the table.

In no time, his brown leftover had attracted two hungry customers who licked and digested it without fuss, while tiny Elliot then breached every rule of dining etiquette by scrambling atop a table to tuck into his hamburger.

Welcome to Belgium's new dog bar.

"Dogs don't have the same taste-buds," said restaurateur Bernard Schol.

It was the Toutou Bar's - Toutou meaning doggie in French - first day of business, and a gaggle of labradors, collies and schnauzers were having a field day, sniffing for scraps when they weren't sniffing each other.

"Try our beer!" said Schol. "Belgians love their beer so we developed a brand specially for dogs."

Brewed with none less than doggie-favorite bone-marrow, his Red Dog Energy Beer comes in iconic small brown bottles with a cap found in busy bars across a country boasting over 800 beer varieties - and an average consumption of almost 100 liters a year.

Schnauzer Poulette nevertheless seemed underwhelmed by the alcohol-free brew - unlike her owner, who after kneeling down to dip her fingers in the doggie-bowl of beer by the knee-high doggie table, opined: "It's good."

Like other classy specialist dog restaurants the world over, Schol described the a la carte menu in what he believes is Belgium's first like establishment specifically designed to cater to the needs of human society's four-legged friends.

To suit a dog's palate, the ice-cream comes without sugar and the meats and vitamin-rich veggies are unspiced. But the canines' owners could sit and enjoy the same platters, on condition of adding salt and pepper.

Indulging canines is booming business worldwide, from organic dog-foods to designer clothes, orthopaedic dog beds, ritzy furniture, specialist spas that offer aromatherapy and even wedding dresses.

(中国日报网英语点津 Helen 编辑)

Table for four legs? Dogs wine and dine at Belgium bar

About the broadcaster:

Table for four legs? Dogs wine and dine at Belgium bar

Lee Hannon is Chief Editor at China Daily with 15-years experience in print and broadcast journalism. Born in England, Lee has traveled extensively around the world as a journalist including four years as a senior editor in Los Angeles. He now lives in Beijing and is happy to move to China and join the China Daily team.