Best Place to Walk Your Dog (2002)
Observe canine near ocean: head aloft, nose sniffing air, body in full alert. With our much inferior olfactory capabilities, we cannot know the rich text that a dog reads when it gets near the beach. A German shepherd has some 225 million sensory receptors with which to decode scent in its nose, whereas we have only about 5 million. So while we might catch a whiff of suntan lotion, the dog can detect clumps of seaweed at the shoreline, bits of sandwich tossed in the sand, dead fish a mile away, salt sprayed into the air when a wave crashes. Dogs live for smell. How sad it is, then, that most beaches bristle with signs featuring a big X with the outline of a canine. But not all. Here's a little secret: There is one place where dogs are legal on the beach. And they don't have to be tethered to a leash if under voice control. For the past eight years, the Friends of Jupiter Beach have labored to make sure a two-mile stretch of Jupiter Beach remains open to dogs. They provide 250,000 doggie bags yearly to pick up poop. (Look for doggie-bag stations at beach accesses.) They do monthly beach cleanups. They patrol the beach for infractions. All the Friends ask is that you bring only dogs who are friendly to both humans and canines, that you not allow your dog to bother other beachgoers, and that you clean up after your pooch. Follow those commonsensical rules and your dog can romp in the Atlantic, roll in a pile of seaweed, sniff the shoreline, or happily chase and retrieve a Frisbee.