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Farmers market creates new dog policy


One hour of pet-free shopping offered, along with new vendors selling liquor, beer

It's not exactly like in the Peanuts episodes when Snoopy comes across those "No dogs allowed!" signs.

But this year, the Gresham Farmers Market is "encouraging" dog owners to not bring their four-legged friends for the first hour of the market from 8:30-9:30 a.m.

The change allows one hour of pet-free shopping, while still welcoming dogs for the remainder of the market from 9:30 a.m. to 2 p.m., said Jeff Alderman, market manager.

Every year, shoppers complain about getting tangled in leashes, dogs fighting and voice concerns about hygiene when dogs get too close to food or fresh produce that shoppers later buy, Alderman said.

These are not scenarios unique to the Gresham Farmers Market, he added.

"A lot of markets have said no dogs. They just flat say no dogs allowed," Alderman said. "We're definitely shying away from that little mess."

Earlier this year, the market surveyed shoppers and vendors on the issue. The results?

"Some people just don't like dogs," Alderman said, which prompted the market's board of directors to create the voluntary-compliance policy.

But early-bird dog lovers can dry their eyes while wetting their whistles. The introduction of new spirited vendors will help those who leave Fido home drown their sorrows.

House Spirits Distillery is offering gin and whisky, while the The Hoppy Brewer and Captured by Porches Brewery will have bottled beer on hand. The market also is working with state regulators to see about allowing glasses and pints of draft beer to be poured on site.