Here's the column: Pit bulls and patios a bad mix Lanie St. Claire found herself at the intersection of two hot topics last weekend. And it got a little scary when the fists began to fly. As she puts it: "It was my first and, hopefully, my very last barroom brawl." The two hot topics: pit bulls and dogs on restaurant patios. I don't expect everyone to side with Lanie on this. But I think you will agree she's entitled to strong feelings on the subject. You see, Lanie is a registered nurse who has worked for the last 15 years in the emergency room of Children's Medical Center. That means she has seen more than her share of gruesome, heartbreaking stuff - including too many children mauled by dogs. In fact, there were four such cases in her ER the very week leading up to last weekend's incident. ANd in one of those, the little girl died of injuries inflicted by her family's pet pit bull. So, yes, Lanie has legitimate cause for concern. And she was highly concerned that Saturday night when a group with a pit bull was seated next to her family. This was ont eh Greenville Avenue patio of Blue Goose Cantina. Lanie's group included her 25-year-old son, her 14-year-old daughter, and her daughter's boyfriend. Lanie noticed the dog only when her daughter innocently reached toward it. Lanie's heart leapt into her throat. And without hesitation, as quitely as possibly, she called the waitress over and asked for the dog to be moved. "The waitress said, 'Oh, he's here all the time. He won't hurt anyone.'" So Lanie asked for the manager. "I said to him, 'Please be understanding, I'm not being hateful. But those are very unpredictable animals, and the people on your patio are not safe.'" [[This section involves the behavior of the owner of the dog after they were moved, and is not really relevant.]] But the incident raises a larger issue. When the Dallas City COuncil recently passed an ordinance allowing dogs on restaurant patios, most of us probably pictured docile labs and cute Shelties. Are you ready to dine next to an obnoxious stranger's pit bull? What if you are with small children? [[This section is also irrelevant, and deals with dogs in general on the patio as unsanitary]] But Lanie can't put safety aside. She has seen the damage any dog can do, but none compares to the bred-in savagery of a pit bull. "They don't just bite a hand or leg. They go for the head and neck. And they don't let go until they have torn flesh," she said. Lanie knows that breed-specific bans are a tough sell. Instead, she hopes Dallas will return to an ordinance that simply reflects good manners and common sense: Dogs don't belong at the dinner table. If you want to e-mail Steve Blow about this article, the address is: firstname.lastname@example.org I e-mailed asking him to please clarify in a later column that not all pit bulls are inherently dangerous, and that it often depends on the owner and not the dog.