Month: April 2016

Don’t look now — you’ve been adopted

Reprtinted from the Palm Coast Observer

The best pet isn’t the one you adopt, it’s the one that adopts you.

Car riders


I have written columns, had my own pet blog, and worked with humane societies for more than 20 years, and there are certain things I know to be true.

First: Puppies and kittens are adopted first. Litters come into shelters with moms, and the kids go first — mom is left behind.

Second: Everyone is looking for a dog or cat of a specific breed or age.

I don’t blame them. I too have my favorites. Right now it’s Pembroke Welsh Corgis – only because that is what my son adopted from the St. Augustine Humane Society nearly 10 years ago.

My first two dogs were given to me, they were both purebred breeds –- with papers. I never really found a need for those papers.

The last dog type I would have gone into a shelter looking for, was a Labrador/chow mix with a squinty eye – but that’s what my Shadow was. She was joined by Luna, a golden retriever/chow, and the two became my “girls.”

I have learned that letting the animal adopt me works out quite well. Oh I would love to have another corgi – absolutely – but if my pet adoption history has taught me anything, I need to be ready for the unexpected. Buddy, the new shorty Jack Russell in our pack, certainly meets that critera. Now there’s a dog I definitely never thought we would have. Now I can’t imagine the household without him.

Pet Dish

Another group that gets overlooked are those with special needs. No one wants shelters to euthanize animals, but what if no one wants the animals? Are the animals supposed to live in cages their entire lives? No, they are supposed to be surrounded by a loving family.

The Flagler Humane Society has two special needs kittens up for adoption.

Natalie and Stephanie came to Flagler Humane Society together. They are only a couple of years old, but Natalie tested postive for the feline leukemia virus. Stephanie is negative for the moment, but, since they came in together she has already been exposed. They have also bonded and are unhappy when separated.

FHS is hoping to find someone who wants to open their heart and home to these kittens. If there are cats in the home they would need to have to be feline lukemia positive. No one wants to infect a healthy cat. If that person is you, please go to FHS and meet these beautiful kitties.

Another National Scoop the Poop week almost over

It wasn’t on my calendar, no one mentioned it on Facebook – no, I had to learn about National Scoop the Poop Week from a fellow blogger.

How is it this is not an official holiday? You know, a holiday where the banks are closed, the kids are off from school and we all stay home to scoop poop.

Pet Dish

Gifts of doggie bags and long-handled scoops could be exchanged – and greeting cards! I drove down to Publix and in the greeting card aisle I found birthday cards, get well cards, anniversary cards, graduations cards – and more than a month early – Mother’s Day cards. But not one solitary Scoop the Poop Week greeting card. Hallmark you are missing out on a “gold” mine; watch your step.

According to my sources, which can’t agree on anything, this vital week-long observance either starts on April Fools Day or on April 4th. Either way it lasts a week. To be on the safe side I will celebrate through next Monday, April 11.

In all seriousness, this shouldn’t be one day, or one week. It should be celebrated every day, every time you take your dog out for a walk.

Doggie doo is more than an unattractive nuisance. It’s bad for the environment, as the poop not scooped, leaches into the soil and eventually runs off into water supplies. This makes it a health hazard for you, your pet and the fish in the sea. You know the fish you’re having for dinner tonight? It is one of the leading sources of Parvo in dogs, a potentially fatal disease, and of E. Coli, bad for the rest of us.

So as you celebrate this holiday, please bend and scoop, and encourage others to do the same.

Next holiday I need to remember – Hug your cat day on June 4.

Dog Friendly beaches on the East Coast of Florida

Here is the list of East Coast Counties in Florida. Counties with Atlantic Ocean frontage. Some allow dogs, some do not. The best suggestion I can give visitors is to check with your hotel, or call the local Chamber of Commerce so they can help you find a place to stay that is near a dog-friendly beach.

Pet DIsh

If you are a resident or a visitor, please be responsible and pick up after your dog. DO NOT bury their mess in the sand or expect the ocean to “wash it away.” This is disgusting and unsanitary.

Show the counties that do allow dogs that you appreciate their efforts by being a responsible pet owner.

Brevard County
The only dog-friendly is the Canova Beach Park which gets rave reviews. The park includes other amenities like being wheel-chair accessible, a small pavilion, grill, picnic shelter, outside showeres and restrooms.

Broward County
Hollywood and Fort Lauderdale allow dogs on the beach in the afternoon and early evening hours on Friday through Sunday. Dogs are allowed Pershing and Custer streets in Hollywood; and at Sunrise Blvd. In Fort Lauderdale, but beach passes are required for both. Daily and six-month passes are available.

Duval County
Pets are allowed in Atlantic Beach and Hanna Park full time; and on Jacksonville and Neptune beaches late evening to early morning.

Flagler Beach
Dogs are allowed on Flagler Beach, north of N 10th Street N, and south of S 10th Street. There are state parks along this stretch of beach that may not allow dogs. Please check with the park.

Indian River County
I could not find any area where dogs are allowed on the beach in this county. If you are aware of one, please contact me and I will update this.

Martin County
Dogs are welcome in designated areas.

Miami-Dade County
Dogs are allowed on Haulover Beach which has a dog park and scheduled on-beach dog-friendly times. Hobie Beach (aka Windsurfer Beach) is dog-friendly with leash. The North Shore Open Space Park is a beachfront park that allows dogs to run.

Nassau County
Dogs are allowed on Nassau County Beaches, including Amelia Island.

Palm Beach County
The city of Jupiter allows dogs on unguarded beaches (no lifeguards). Dogs can be off leash in isolated areas if they respond to voice commands.

St. Johns County
St. Augustine Beach, and most of the beach access areas allow leashed dogs. There are state parks along this stretch of beach that may not allow dogs. Please check with the park.

St. Lucie County
St. Lucie allows dogs at Walton Rocks Beach, and allows horseback riding at Frederick Douglas Memorial park.

Volusia County
Most of the Volusia County’s East Coast does NOT allow pets. This includes Ormond by the Sea, Ormond Beach, Daytona Beach, South Daytona Beach Shores.
Pets are allowed to access the beach in Volusia County at the Smyrna Dunes County Park in the city of New Smyrna Beach. The 73-acre park has a boardwalk and nature trails to the ocean. There is an admission fee for vehicles entering the area.

Beach Buddy

Buddy the shorty Jack was interested in taking a walk on the beach, unlike Kodi the Corgi who is quite firm about not getting anywhere near water.

Buddy Beach

Sadly Buddy couldn’t enjoy sand between his pads since our beach in Vousia County doesn’t allow pets on the beach. Why? because most of our residents and visitors are not responsible. So sad. It works well in other areas of the state and country, including Flagler Beach just to the north of us, and parts of St. Augustine Beach, north of Flagler.

Buddy 3

Check back for a list of dog friendly beaches in Florida.

Pet DIsh