I've lived most of my life in a somewhat country/rural setting. I've had dogs for most of those times, too. I never went to a dog park before until the last time I visited home. Stephanie took me and Prince out to the dog park in Fayetteville and I must say it's an interesting experience. I suppose it's a lot like other dog parks across the country. You have a couple of big fenced in areas to separate the big dogs from the little dogs. You have a nice trail to leash walk them around. Usually water, doggy bags, and a trash can are provided. People are friendly and want the dogs to interact. Lots of butt sniffing, stealing of toys, and, of course, when you throw a ball for your dog, about 12 others join in.
There's a dog beach here in Fort Myer's off Lover's Key. It's your usual dog park but since it's on the beach there a few differences.
There are no fences so big dogs and little dogs all have to learn to fend for themselves. I guess the water could be considered a barrier but otherwise if your dog has a tendency to run off you'd better keep a good eye on him. Hence, there's lot of yelling and whistling and clapping by people trying to keep their dogs under voice control.
Since this is the beach you are also subject to tide levels. The bad part is if you go during high tide you will have to wade through a bit of mucky backwaters before you reach the beach itself and then you only have one small strip of sandy beach to share. The good part is that the main areas are always being kept washed off, so even if you get an owner who doesn't clean up, it will eventually get washed away.
You must bring fresh water with you and a lot of it. Because they end up inadvertently swallowing salt water, you have dogs all around that are literally frothing at the mouth.
Dusty is an only child so I worry about how she reacts with other dogs. The neighbors have several very large dogs next door and they spend a lot of time barking at each other trying to defend their territory. (Hey, guys, there's a fence between you!) She was a little snappish at first, especially when one of the bigger dogs would come running at her out of nowhere but she soon settled down and was very interested in everything that was going on around her.
And of course, there is a lot of butt sniffing going on.
I forgot to bring a ball for Dusty so I had to improvise! (How could I forget that!?)
Yes, and everybody wants to join in on the game.
I'd highly suggest that you bring chairs to sit on. I know it's the beach and throwing a towel or a blanket out should be enough but that stuff gets sandy and sopping wet fast. Remember you have 27 million dogs running free who don't always pay attention where they are headed. They will run you over.
The whole swimming factor is a lot of fun. Dusty doesn't swim too much. The water reaches her belly and she's pretty much done but this time she did swim with us a little. The big dogs just love the water, and romp through with joy. They'll swim way out there to get a ball shot from a slingshot. The little ones try really hard, but some just love to swim. It is so funny to see a tiny wiener dog out there in the water. They look like rats but their long skinny tails stick up out of the water and spin like a top. Too cute.
This German Shepherd was a sweetheart and she and Dusty had a good time.
This is a great place to take your dogs and spend some time at the beach but remember you must really like dogs, and I mean everybody's dog, not just yours!
I think Dusty has had a long day.....