People love their dogs so much that they think of them as family. But where do you draw the line between family and pet? I saw a couple come into a restaurant we were eating at this weekend with their dog, and I had a feeling this could go badly. 

As we ate, we could see the line out the door through the widow of people waiting to place their order and one couple had a dog with them on a leash. I thought to myself 'They aren't coming in here with the dog, are they?' Sure enough they came into the dining area with the dog and secured its leash to a chair.

As one of the people left their chair to go grab something, the dog tried to follow, knocking the chair over to the floor with a loud bang as everyone in the dining area turned their heads.

This made me wonder why these people felt they had the right to bring their dog into the restaurant. Sure this is a minor incident, but there are so many other reasons why this isn't a good idea.

What if the dog has 'an accident.' What about others in the restaurant who are allergic. What about people who have a fear of dogs.

Maine State Law does not allow dogs in restaurants unless they are a service animal. According to the director of Portland's permitting and inspection department, dogs are not allowed inside a restaurant, but can sit with their owners in outside dining areas as long as they don't have to walk through the restaurant to get there. Restaurants also have to right to ban dogs completely.

What do you think? Should dogs be allowed in restaurants like any part of the family? Take our poll to let us know how you feel.