The Animal Advocate: The Scoop On Poop At the Beach
By Rebecca Stroud // August 8, 2015
Warning! The following contains information that may be too graphic for some sensibilities so if you have an aversion to anything that is less than lily-white, stop here. However, if you have a “dirty” mind, please feel free to continue reading.
Because of Florida’s temperate climate, our beaches are usually occupied to some degree as fun in the sun and surf attracts tourists and residents alike.
By the thousands they flock, rarely unencumbered.
Coolers full of food and drink, blankets, towels, pails, umbrellas, radios, plastic cups, diapers, sunscreen, cigarettes, lounge chairs, bottles, balls, fishing poles and surfboards are just some of the standard accouterments lugged down to the seaside for a day at the beach.
So much stuff, it’s a wonder the sand doesn’t sink under the weight, sucking us all down and out with the tide.
Yet Mother Nature behaves and accommodates, freely allowing us to enjoy her pleasures. And how do we repay her? By leaving half that crap behind when the day is done and holidays always add double-digits to this non-biodegradable mess.
For some unknown reason, people think it’s okey-dokey to flick a butt here, throw a can there, drop a diaper on the dune, or bury an old fishing hook beside an embedded broken bottle.
Therefore, you may slice open your heel, snag your toe like a mullet, or slide through little Billy’s last bowel movement, yet praise the Lord and the Brevard County Commission, you will not step in any dog-doo.
No sirree, not to worry. Other than one small stretch in the southern end of the county, man’s best friend has been declared way too unclean to share the beach with us because how downright unhealthy it would be to touch a bit of poodle poop. Well, do I have news for all the folks out there who cringe at the thought.
You know those pitiful feral cats that hang out everywhere looking for handouts? Those coons that scour the beach like FBI agents searching for turtle eggs? Those seagulls and crows that badger you for potato chips? Do you think they have facilities tucked away somewhere marked “His” and “Hers”?
And what about the men, women and children who just can’t “hold” it? Do not tell me you are so naïve as to think that no one ever wee-wees – or worse – in the water. That very same clean, beautiful ocean you so happily frolic in without a second thought has been heavily used as a toilet and there’s nary a Tidy-Bowl in sight.
If this subject matter is displeasing, I’m only trying to put things into perspective. The bottom line is that reciprocal responsibility and common courtesy would go a long way in allowing our canines to legally play with us in the Atlantic; two virtues that are woefully lacking in beach-goers, be they dog owners or not.
However, for those of us who always “scoop” yet are still penalized, there is one bit of consolation: For those who quiver and quake at the sight of some dog droppings, just remember the next time you go in the water to be afraid – be very afraid – of that floating brown clump that looks a lot like seaweed.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Rebecca Stroud is a former newspaper reporter and columnist. She is now an independent author who has published numerous books and stories, including The Killing Sands, Murder 9.0, Dragon’s Moon, Devil’s Moon, Do Unto Others, The Animal Advocate, A Three-Dog Night, Zellwood: A Dog Story and Jinxed.
In addition to writing, Stroud is an editor and avid animal lover. She lives in Cocoa with her husband and their adored catahoula-boxer mix.
To contact Stroud, e-mail RebeccaStroud@aol.com