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Back You are here: Home Opinion Opinion Section Letters to the Editor Solution For Dogs On The Beach

Solution For Dogs On The Beach

Dear Editor,
Let's approach this from a dog's point of view:  It's hot, the air is hot, the sand burns his paws.  An umbrella shields him from the sun but not the hot air.  The water dish get hot and the ocean saltwater beckons-- but it's suicide water--a rolling mirage.  The umbrella doesn't cool a furry body.  He wants to dig a cooling hole in the sand and it begins to fly on others trying to enjoy a day at the beach. Now, he's not a "good dog." He is physically miserable and the  owners are beginning to wish Fido had not tugged so on their heartstrings begging them to bring him along. The tides ebb and flow and so does the waste ... it floats and you are swimming ... yuck.
Most of us are supposed to be smarter than our dogs, you know, caretakers with a brain to know what is best for Fido and the beachcombers.  We make the decisions for our dogs.
When I lived near Folly Beach, we had the same dog issues. I have Boykin Spaniels. Enforcing poop container ordinances are a nuisance, and plastic bags create another issue. 
You know the dogwalker who says, "Well, I had one but he used it already..."  He's probably the one who kicked sand over the top of the chocolate castle.
And leash laws are great for humans who don't want their picnics and sandcastles ruined. But dogs whine and whimper to run free. Oh, and there IS a Dog Park for that very purpose! Therein lies our answer to the difficult question of what policy should Carolina Beach put in place for dogs on the beach.  Here is the simplest answer:
From April 30 through September 30 there shall be NO dogs allowed on the beach, period.  During the other months, leashed dogs can be on the beach and run free with a leash attached and under whistle or voice control.
The dogwalker must pick up after pooches poops, and you know, the cell phone is a great tattletale. The beach patrol can arrive quickly to levy fines.
I know some will whine that this policy is too strict, but our beach and the ocean's clean water is a huge part of tourism here in Carolina Beach. This is THE treasure from which we derive businesses that benefit from this treasure. 
If our natural treasure is tarnished by dog intrusion and defecation [and other beach trash], we will suffer the consequences. Let's not tiptoe through this subject; let's be proactive, not selfish, and cooperate to keep our Carolina Beach a very special place to live and vacation.
Keith Richardson,
Carolina Beach, NC