I am proud to be Canadian and a responsible dog owner, but I feel embarrassed to be a resident of this area. On a number of occasions now, I have been treated as a criminal.
This morning, I was caught with my bichon frise in a ‘crime’ of being 100 feet on the White Rock side of a sewer pipe at East Beach. I carried my puppy from the parking lot to water’s edge, and we were walking to the old ‘dog beach’ by Semiahmoo Park, when the officer said we could not be there. No reason – just “the law said… talk to your lawyer.”
I tried to clarify, since I was told the tidal line is the start of federal land and East Beach was allowed.
Last summer, I was nearly assaulted by a woman who claimed she owned the beach. I promised her I respected her point of view, would pay better attention to the rules and get accurate information on where exactly my dog was allowed.
I went directly to city hall and they kindly spent 20 minutes getting the boundaries and winter/summer policies sorted out on a city map.
Truth be told, the dog-hating lady was wrong, and the officer basically lied by telling me city hall had not given me correct information.
Feeling very delinquent again, I mentioned this to another woman walking her dog on the beach, and she said there have been a number of encounters and that, yes, we are on federal land but it is “preferred” that dogs play east of the drainage pipe.
I am fine with that. In that case, welcoming signage is warranted so dog owners and visiting families know where they are welcome. If I was treated like this, even once, as a new visitor, I would never visit again. We are not criminals… we understand dogs are not welcome everywhere all the time.
Right now, White Rock has no dog park or designated walking area, other than the parking lots and north sidewalks along Marine Drive. Please give us a place and time when we can just play a bit on the beach.
Sandra Hartley, Surrey