Category: Pets at home and on the road

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

Where oh where has my little dog gone?

A Dog running down the street doesn’t mean he isn’t loved

Many years ago a bride in her 20s stood at the front door saying goodbye to her mother. She knew Buttons the Fox Terrier was behind her and she wanted to close the door. But mother had more to say and kept a firm grip on the open door.

Then the inevitable happened. Buttons darted into the night.

“He’ll come back,” my mom said.

But he didn’t – not for several daysPets_Lost

(When our oldest son came along he had a dog to love thanks to caring women)

My husband and I searched for Buttons. I took the next day off from work, searched, called his vet, other vets, visited and called the local humane society and animal control.

He was an escape artist and too smart for his own good. Usually when he got out he would go a few blocks and then wait on a corner for me to come and pick him up. Once, while visiting relatives in Iowa farm country he watched as people came in and out of the front door and upon figuring out the mechanics, dashed to the door, leapt up, hit the door lever and took off.

But this time he wasn’t so easy to find. I was frantic. I went back to work, still calling the humane society a couple of times a day. There were no microchips but he had tags and the inside of his leg was tattooed.

Finally the call came from a local veterinarian who had called the humane society. Apparently the vet’s receptionist only read the first few numbers from the tag when the person at the humane society said, “Please tell us you’ve found Mrs. Estes’ dog.”’  Yes, I had been a regular caller.

Two ladies took my dog to the vet. He had been attacked by some pack dogs that had killed other dogs in the neighborhood. He was in bad shape. They shouldn’t have picked up such an injured dog. They could have been hurt. The vet told them this. He also told them they had saved my pup’s life.

I tell this story because there are many of you who are just as wonderful as these women. You don’t think twice about helping an animal that is lost or in distress.  What you do next is what is important.  While not all dogs and cats are being looked for by their owners, there are many that are. I can tell you first-hand these owners will be forever grateful to you.

There’s a lot of confusion as to what shelters do with lost animals. I cringe when I hear someone say, “Don’t take it to the shelter they will kill it.” This is not true. They want to find the animal’s owner if possible and if not, find him a new home. Shelters are a first stop for anyone who has lost a dog, but if they don’ t  know  you’ve found the animal they can’t help.

Introductions take time, and oh so much patience

One of our “souveniers” from our holiday trip was a Jack Russell Terrier named Buddy. My husband has also tagged him with the nicknames, “Boudreau” and “Spuddy.” but that’s another story.

Two adults in a one-bedroom apartment, with a one-year old child, and another dog, made for crowded conditions which were intensified by the fact that Buddy became flaky around the baby. He guarded the child from birth, but when she became mobile his mood began to change. I love dogs, but my son was right, Buddy had to leave before something happened.

So of course…….

The first test

Before officially adding the dog to the household, we had to make sure he and Kodi (the corgi) got along. This was a road trip, and there was no way I was breaking up fights in the back seat for more than 2,100 miles.

Car ridersThe dogs were driven around, and passed the test. A few days later, we were off. A few times I looked in the backseat and only saw one dog. That was because Kodi was either sitting on top of Buddy, or had him squished against the door.

At hotels we put them in their individual cages when we were out of the room.

New dog fears

Understandably Buddy had no clue as to what was going on. On the road I would catch him staring out the window. Looking out the window  It’s hard to explain to a pooch that this is the best for him. In the apartment he was being shuttled between rooms so he wouldn’t have contact with the baby. He would have full run of our house.

He is slowly figuring out that he has a new home, and is safe. But still, sometimes I find those big, woeful brown eyes asking, “why?”


Buddy is younger than Kodi, or so we think. Kodi is 9 years old, when he arrived as a youngster, he drove my sweet Labrador, Shadow, a senior citizen at the time, to distraction by running under her. Shadow was tolerant to a point. She and Kodi had their “words.” Now Kodi is the senior citizen dog and is getting a bit of payback.

There have been a couple of scraps, Kodi defending his territory, and Buddy trying to establish himself in his new home. This is clearly evident when the go out to potty. Kodi raises his leg, Buddy waits and then remarks over the same area.

We continue to take them out together. They have to co-exist. We are a family. I believe separating them will only intesify the rivalry.

The cat

In all of this, Samantha seems to be more of a bystander. Maybe Buddy doesn’t know what she is, but he ignores her.

Best Friends

I have no expectations that they will become best friends. That’s OK. My goal is for them not to fight. Considering they are both males, I think we have done pretty well. The process continues, and precautions are taken. I don’t know if I will ever feel comfortable leaving them both out when we are not home.

Your experiences

There are “experts” about animal behavior. In my experience, dogs and cats, and even birds, are not a “one-size-fits-all” deal. Each is very different, and how you approach things should reflect this. You can read books and blogs, and even take them to obedience classes, but it is important to recognize your dog or cat, as an individual with their own personality. An excellent source is to listen to how others have addressed issues like this, and take bits and pieces from all, until the puzzle fits for your family.

If anyone has experience – stuff that worked – stuff that didn’t, please share. I would enjoy hearing from you.

Please feel free to share this blog site with friends and family. If you haven’t started following me, please do. If you have a blog as well, I will most likely follow you as well.

Check out my weekly Pet Dish  column, Fridays, at, for more tips and tales.