Friday, June 23, 2017

Dear Beachgoers

This popped up on my Facebook feed yesterday:
Dear Beachgoers,

The heat index temperature today is a hundred and seven degrees. Please leave your dogs at home. I'm sure they'd much rather sit at home in the air conditioning than sit on the hot beach and watch you play in the water. Also, water heats up very quickly in a metal bowl when there is no shade. I've already told several people to take their dogs home, I'll tell you the same.

Signed, Your (Not So) Friendly ACO
Apparently two years ago I was frustrated with people bringing their dogs to a hot beach. Guess what? I still am! WTF are people thinking?

DISCLAIMER: I'm not a fan of the beach. I don't like crowds, oppressive heat or sand that gets into everything. (Or sharks or jellyfish or fat, hairy guys in Speedos or . . . )

If people insist on taking dogs to the beach, I'd like to suggest the following:
Jedi at sunrise
  • Avoid midday. It's hot and full of people. Instead, go early morning or late evening. It's cooler and less crowded. An added bonus: better light for awesome pictures.

  • Keep your dog leashed. Not all beachgoers like dogs. Unless there are signs saying otherwise, always assume the leash law applies on the beach. Helpful tip: don't take your dog's good collar and leash to the beach. The salt and sand will quickly destroy them. Instead, find a collar with a plastic buckle. Check/lubricate/replace leashes regularly. If you're going to take your dog in the water, use a nylon slip lead (like the ones at the vet's office). I know a woman whose beach-used leash didn't work properly when needed. Her dog saw a cat across the street. The clip didn't hold when the dog lunged and he ran after the cat. The dog was hit -- and killed -- by a passing car.

  • Take lots of poop bags. Sometimes dogs get excited and ingest salt water while playing in the surf. Invariably, it gives them the runs. You don't want to leave that lying on the beach! Plus, you'll have extras to share with nearby not-so-great dog owners.

  • I've seen these for $30-$80
  • Bring lots of water and a cooler to keep it in. I can't tell you how many people say "See I have water for my dog" and show me a gallon jug that has been sitting in the sun for the last hour and a half. Also, rethink the metal bowl. It gets hot quickly. Would you want to drink hot water?

  • If you plan on being there all day, bring your own shade. Whether it be a large pop-up canopy or a small portable beach tent, your dog needs something to keep him out of the direct sun. You may be in a bikini, but your dog is wearing a fur coat.

  • DO NOT TAKE YOUNG PUPPIES TO THE BEACH. First of all, young pups are more susceptible to heat stroke. Also, there is a lot of crap (figurative and literal) on the beach. We have hundreds of dogs visit my 2-mile stretch of beach every month. Guess what? Not all of those dogs are owned by conscientious, responsible people. For me, that's job security. For you, that's a possible exposure to parvo, distemper and all kinds of nasty diseases and parasites. (FYI: We also have foxes, raccoons and feral cats on the beach -- I've seen them during early morning patrols -- and they carry a wide variety of cooties as well.) Until your pup is fully vaccinated, avoid the beach just as you would the pet store or dog park.
Yep, I'm Debbie Downer today. That's what I do! Love ya, -- K