Category Archives: For Dogs

Dogs on the Beach

Firstly, I must apologise for not posting anything in here for over 2 months since my last post Dogs and Pools. Its been a very busy time for me and I have so many other projects on the go that it takes forever to get round all the blogs just now. Things should hopefully improve soon as some projects can be left in set-and-forget mode and earn their keep passively.

Now to this blog and it’s website. This place was originally put together as a static site and meant as a bit of a memorial to Chelsea, my German Shepherd who died two years ago and left me with a great big hole in my life. Luckily, my partner has the two Yorkies that have since taken over this blog with their photos and stories of their antics.

So here’s another one which is nice and recent and involves the southern Spanish coast in the closed season (meaning there are relatively few tourists here), a deserted beach, two mad Yorkies and their dozy owners!

Well, as its fairly quiet this time of year, its nice to walk down to the beach with the dogs and enjoy a stroll along the Paseo Maritimo. Even better when a large area of beach is devoid of all human interlopers. That means leads off and dogs free!

Well, they aren’t doing any harm and we clean up any crap they might leave. They love to run around like mad things and get covered in sand! Great fun and of course we enjoy walking along the beach too!

Imagine our chagrin, when we left the beach and started to head back home and saw the sign… in big red lettering that is pretty prominent saying “Perros prohibido en playa” which means no dogs on the beach – anyone caught will face hefty fines (I’m not saying how much). Mmm. Makes you wonder sometimes how unobservant we can be when we’re enjoying ourselves!

…and to all the do-gooders who will doubtless pipe up and quote the rule-book at me as to why dogs should not be allowed on the beach, please allow me a preemptive strike… I couldn’t give a rats…!

Life is for enjoying and when you own a dog, your life in enriched many fold. Its then you begin to realise that the rulebook thumpers and politically correct party poopers of this world probably don’t know how rewarding it is to actually feel so alive and happy!

Anyway, its nice to be back and ornery as ever!

Terry Didcott
For Dogs

Dogs and Pools

Following on from my last serious post about dogs being left in hot cars in the summer sun Hot Dogs, I’m keeping the serious stuff going with a hard hitting article about another equally fatal danger that lurks in many places especially during this hot summer season.

Swimming pools.

Now especially here in Spain but I gather it is prevalent in many warm countries, many homes and community areas have their own swimming pools. We have one in our community and it is open to all residents in our small array of homes. Being in the centre of our communal gardens each home has easy access to the pool. There are signs everywhere saying NO DOGS and for very good reason.

Our pool, like most private or community pools is not supervised by a dedicated attendant, so supervision of children is left in the capable hands of the parents and here in Spain, the family unit is much stronger than in many other countries. This works well as it should do – naturally parents are the best people to look after their children and there are always adults in the vicinity of the pool during the day.

But at other times there is no one at the pool. Children are not allowed in the pool after dark – a rule imposed by their parents for safety reasons, so there is no need.

But what about dogs?

Well, it is up to the owners of dogs to ensure they don’t get into the communal gardens where they are not allowed but mistakes can be made. A gate can be left open and an inquisitive four legged explorer may take a stroll to see if there is anything interesting. It has happened only recently that a splash was heard in the pool after dark by one resident who went down to look only to find a small dog frantically swimming around the pool looking for a way out.

Now most pools in Spain and other Mediterranean countries have the common ladders for people to get in and out, but these are no use to a dog, who can’t climb a ladder! In this case, had it not been for the diligence of that resident, that dog would have swum around and around until it was exhausted and then drowned. Luckily there was a happy ending as the resident got the dog out of the pool.

But we hear reports of many unhappy endings and it is so sad to hear about. Unfortunately, it is often not economically viable to restructure a communal pool to include steps at the shallow end, so changes cannot be made. It is antisocial to cordon off a pool just so a dog cannot gain access and in any event an access gate just just as easily be left open by an irresponsible person. The best that can be done is what our community actioned a few years ago and that is completely fence in the entire communal gardens with lockable security gates. That keeps out dogs who have gotten out of their homes and are wandering around the streets as well as non-residents.

But still this is not enough as some of the homes are rented through the summer to people who don’t respect our security and carelessly and irresponsibly leave gates open. That is how the stray dog got in on that occasion.

There is no easy solution to this problem, because people are not going to spend money on restructuring their pools or fencing them off, especially now that money is a lot tighter with the recession biting hard. Communities cannot police their gardens 24/7 as it is just too expensive. You may pipe up and say:

“What price a dog’s life?”

To that there is no sensible answer, except to retort “What price some education for ignorant, irresponsible people who don’t care enough about the security measures already in place in the homes they are not living in permanently.”

While pools can ultimately kill dogs, the problem can be looked upon in the same way as the safety of guns. It is said that “guns don’t kill – people using guns kill.” In the same way, and this goes for children as well as dogs – “pools don’t kill, ignorance and irresponsibility kills.”

But then, so many people don’t care. Until it happens to their dog, or their child.

Terry Didcott
For Dogs