Dog Beach Day

Chico and I were down by the lighthouse in Santa Cruz today, walking in Lighthouse Park. A woman with two dogs passed us, then instead of walking along the ocean on the footpath like most folks do, she disappeared down some stairs to the beach. When I looked, she had walked right past the two signs reading “Dogs on Leash Only” to join about twenty-five dogs romping, leash-free, on the beach.

I watched for a while, and it seemed like the dogs were friendly with each other, and the owners seemed on the whole to be tuned in to their furry companions, so we went on down those stairs too. And I figured if that many locals were doin’ it, we didn’t stand much chance of getting in trouble.

We walked the whole beach. Chico had a great case of the zoomies, dashing in circles around me until he was bright-eyed and winded. And after Chico told one dog (firmly, but politely) that he didn’t want to play rough with the gang, the other doggies left us alone. Heck, they were having so much fun, they had no time for a grumpy guy like Chico was being.

Then we met Scout, the Beagle, at the far end of the beach. Not for some time has a dog said so clearly to Chico “Hey dude, let’s play!” And, in his limited and sort of socially clumsy and LOUD way, Chico did play.

And I had a chance to positively represent dog owners and pick up someone else’s dog’s poop from the beach. Jeeze, no wonder the town is in the middle of a hot debate about dogs’ access to almost everywhere. If your dog poops deep in the bushes, OK, maybe there’s no reason to retrieve it, but leaving it on the beach? Eeeuww.

Anyhow, a happy time was had by all and maybe next time I will have my camera with me.

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