Jay Gaskins, San Clemente
I would like to respond to the letter from Mitch Sommers regarding his rules and regulations proposal for allowing dogs on the beach.
In the interest of full disclosure, I do not have a dog (or any pet for that matter) but I like them, and live near a pet-friendly park. The resident pet owners that use the park by my house are very courteous and solidly play by the rules—minus the leash rule sometimes as they let the dogs frolic with each other. It is rare to see dog piles in the grass, as most are very good about picking up after their pets.
This same honor system could possibly work on the beach and would most likely be the only way to do it. If you impose the “rules” that are recommended by Mr. Sommers, it is almost guaranteed that a very small percentage would abide by them, and most would depend on those same people to pick up their slack. In addition to that, there is no way to adequately monitor the results and no way to decide in six or nine months (or any amount of time) if the users are doing their due diligence.
Furthermore, who is going to monitor the 30-foot leash maximum, the 300-foot wildlife minimum and decide what dog is well-behaved and which dog is not? And my next question is this: do dogs that live near the ocean (the saltwater is good for a dog’s skin comment) have better skin, live a better life or live longer than inland dogs?
I apologize in advance, but this wish list is not practical, not unlike most of the other ideas that are based on idealistic wishes and unrealistic dreams for the “betterment” of our city. I would like to see more concrete ideas that are based on practicality and reality, and fewer ideas on how people should or would act in an ideal scenario.
Mitch Sommers, you have much more faith in people doing the right thing while I am picking up “non-residents” trash—in my park—that is dropped six feet from the trashcan everyday.