My friend Rusty came down today (see his blog in the links listing) while dogsitting his friends dog, Hud. We grabbed some food nearby and then decided to take Hud to the Dog Beach in Long Beach. I hadn't been to the dog beach before, but my friend Darrin has told me a lot about it. It was even better than I imagined. Essentially, Long Beach has zoned a 3 acre strip along the beach as an off-leash area for dogs. People hang out on the beach while their dogs romp freely with them and others just walk with their dogs much like at a typical dog park. I was surprised how agreeable everyone was and how there wasn't any of that tension you get at dog parks sometimes when dogs get a little too playful. Hud seemed to be in sensory overload as though he was not sure what to do first. He seemed to be looking at us like "what, no leash? I can just go...play?!" He was well behaved as far as being friendly, but terrible at stealing other dogs toys (or good at it, depending on how you look at it.) Even though we apologized, noone cared; everyone laughed. How refreshing. Hud hasn't taken to water yet, though we tried to get him to. The more he played, the more worn out he got, and the less willing to try going in the water. But he seemed happy anyway. Then again, so did everyone.
Long Beach should be applauded for their dog zone. There has been a campaign for years to open one in LA at Dockweiler Beach behind LAX. Despite support from the mayor and city council, it looks like the bill has died the last two years in the State Senate. It sure would be great to have something positive like this in our community instead of having to look to Long Beach. You can email Assemblyman Ted Lieu to express your support for giving dogs a beach in LA at Assemblymember.Lieu@assembly.ca.gov; and til then, the drive to Long Beach is well worth it.