It's been a whirlwind of doggy debate for Seaside Heights, with a proposal to allow dogs on the beach year-round getting shot down within about 24 hours...and I'm happy with that outcome.

As I saw my Facebook feed filled with stories and opinions, I was surprised (happy, but surprised) to see that a lot of the opposition was from dog-owners like myself. I have two dogs, both small guys, who definitely enjoy being outdoors, definitely love the beach, but definitely don't belong on the boardwalk.

Bruno & Sebastian, Varacchi's dogs

It seems like most dog owners echoed the same thoughts I had:

  • Dogs make messes, and some jerks don't clean up after them.
  • The boardwalk gets crowded during Benny season, it's hard enough to have your own personal space, let alone worry about your dog getting stepped on or someone tripping over a leash.
  • There are a lot of kids on the boardwalk, and even well-trained dogs can still snap if they're hurt. We've gone through a lot of training with Baby Varacchi, teaching her to be gentle with the dogs, but occasionally she'll still tackle one or pull an ear; if a dog is in a big loud environment, there's a good chance some kid could startle a dog and get bit.
  • I have nothing against any breed of dog, but I do tend to discriminate against the owners of certain breeds. I know that pitbulls are no more dangerous than any other dog, but I also know that a lot of people that I've met who own pitbulls are high on the d-bag scale. Add in the "MTV Jersey Shore" attitude, you're going to see a boardwalk flooded with over-tanned, spikey-haired, tank-top-wearing guys walking pitbulls with spiked collars and chain leashes. No thanks.

I spend a lot of time during the summer at the dog beach in Manasquan, and 90% of the people there are cool and respectful...but the beach is not the boardwalk, and Manasquan is not Seaside.

Bring your dogs out during the off-season, bring them to the dog beach, bring them to Yappy Hour at the Wonder Bar...just don't bring them on the boardwalk.

Varacchi's Dogs- Sebastian and Bruno Beach puppies! (c)Varacchi

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