I was excited to see the news that Wildwood, NJ would designate a small portion of its beach for the four legged family members of their beach goers. My excitement was quickly crushed by all the naysayers and cynical beach goers that didn't want to see "their" beach go to ruins because of smelly, noisy and defecating pooches.. I will admit, there was some hesitation on my part as well, mostly in regard to the owners, would they follow the rules or make the naysayers say "I told ya so"?
I took a trip to "down the shore" on Sunday and went with family and their 5 lb. pooch to the doggie park. After paying $25 for parking, we will discuss price gouging later, a walk that seemed like a 10 mile treck over the board walk, through the sand while carrying what seemed like the entire contents of my house, we finally made it to the doggie beach!! Held between Poplar and Magnolia Ave and between the Adventure Pier and Mariner's Landing Pier, there it was... It wasn't shoved at the end of the island between sticker bushes and green-head fly country! It was right there with the rest of the population for all to see. The beach was clean, not a poo-mine to found. The people were sprawled out enjoying the hot sun, it wasn't over crowded and it actually seemed like it was the place to be. Doggies from a 2 lb. Teacup Yorkie to a 170 lb. Leonberger were happily playing, romping, and swimming in the 70 degree water right along with their doggie and human friends. Everyone was nice to each other, strangers talked to each other, petted other furry friends and offered up treats to other pooches and owners. I haven't seen comradery like this on a beach before. People were aware of the rules and were constructively reminding others about the rules of the beach.
*Dogs must be leashed at all times, no matter how well they are trained, and they must be cleaned up after. There are life guards in the area, so you can swim with your pup and there are clean up and water stations for those "whoops I forgot" times that we all have.*
I came away from my 5 hour marathon on the dog beach happy and ready to bring my own four-legged, furry family down as soon as I could. Oh, and the best part, the dogs keep the seagulls at bay and we didn't have any issues having a snack or lunch on the beach. Not once did I feel the stare of beady eyes looking down on me from 20ft in the air ready to dive bomb my cheese and crackers. I ate in peace! I give this beach 5 sandy paws up!