Dogs on beaches

More beaches are being made available for dogs to have exercise. This is fine as they enjoy a scamper in the sand and a good dig.

Some authorities allow dogs only within certain hours so swimmers can take a dip without being bothered by dogs. Casares was the first to do this five years ago.

Dog owners will applaud this development but I do put in a cautionary note. Please act responsibly and keep your dog under control. Do not allow dogs to pester other people. If they jump up on someone - children, elderly or infirm people are especially vulnerable - then you, the owner or custodian, will be held responsible. The financial consequences can be severe.

Do observe the conditions marked on signposts. They are intended so everyone can enjoy the beach. Do not allow your dog to foul the beach. Clear up after them. It is not a pleasant job but why should anyone else do it for you? It is just not fair. It is also unhygienic.

Remember that acting irresponsibly can cause a withdrawal of privileges. We stopped at a hotel we often use on a long trip. It makes a welcome break on a long drive and the hotel accepts dogs. To our surprise that time the hotel had a “No dogs” sign, but we had never had a problem before. The hotel was adamant. Our dog was not accepted. We were told: “Sorry but we have had some bad experiences with badly behaved dogs and cannot make exceptions”.

It is a price to pay, so often seen in life. The responsible people have to pay for the actions of the irresponsible.

As a dog owner please stay in the responsible ranks and make sure your dog is well trained and behaves sensibly or we will see the much-welcomed freedom on the beaches withdrawn.