Monday, March 22, 2010

Bonita Dog Beach - Ft. Myers, Florida

Hi all -- Dianne here. The "doggy express" truck (Chuck, Cindy, Roger, Me, Jasper, Chaplin, and Sophie) spent two glorious days at the dog beach on Lover's Key near Bonita Springs, Florida last week. We had such a good time after our first visit that we went back again the very next day! Roger and I plan to return with Amanda, Kaia, and Cinnamon with our dogs. (Chuck and Cindy are now back in Indiana after a long drive home).

The dog beach is an off-leash beach. It is a peninsula surrounded on three sides by shallow water.

We were even able to let Chaplin off his leash for a while. (He's notorious for being an escape artist). I tried to get a photo of Sophie at the dog beach, but try as I might, she was too busy running, chasing, and playing from one end of the beach to the other, so that I couldn't get a photo of her that wasn't a partial-dog blur.

I did manage to get two great shots of Jasper as he raced through the shallow water.

He loves the water, even though he is definitely not built for swimming. He couldn't help himself from running into the surf each time another dog chased a ball or frisbee into the water.

Only problem was, Jasper's fur is so thin that he then got chilled from the wind and had to be dried off and covered with a towel. This would last until the next dog led him into the water; then the whole process was repeated.

Chaplin hates the water.

He spent his time flirting with the pretty girls on the beach, sniffing dog tails, and begging for dog treats from a kindly couple who brought a large bag of them to distribute.

We packed a picnic lunch both days. You eat lunch at your own risk at the dog beach! One german shepherd almost got Roger's sandwich right from his hand as he lifted it toward his mouth to take a bite.

There were dogs of every size and shape,

from tiny chihuahuas to pit bulls and mastiffs, but all got along well, at least while we were there. I always kept an eye on my dogs, however, just in case.

A lot of folks drive up in their boats and let their dogs jump off, swim to shore, and play at the dog beach for a while.

There are a few things you need to be aware of if you go to this dog beach: First, there are no facilities other than one porta-potty. Second, depending on the tides,

the walk-in area might be covered with water. Both days we walked in on dry sand and exited by wading through ankle-deep water. At high tide, parts of the peninsula beach become submerged, so keep tabs on your chairs and mats. We left both days before 3:00 because the

beach started to disappear.

This beach also is not a place to try to lay on a blanket, unless you want some sandy paw prints on your back. There's not much point in bringing a book, because there is so much action that it's just fun to sit and watch.

The funniest incident of the day occurred right after the scariest moment. Sophie, who was in constant motion, took off on a run to the land-locked part of the peninsula which leads to the parking lot. Chuck, Cindy, and Roger ran off to try to catch Sophie, while I stayed on the beach with our dogs to keep them from following. Chuck did catch up with Sophie; she had run to Chuck's truck. I was sure glad to see them coming back down the beach with Sophie, because the parking lot is off of a busy road.

While my attention was on Chuck, Cindy, Roger and Sophie's return, a large golden retriever (we named him "John Dillinger") walked up to Cindy's beach bag, stuck his head completely into the bag, and pulled out a gallon-size Zip-Lock bag of Milk Bone dog biscuits. He then proceeded to run down the beach with it in his mouth! I immediately jumped up, but I couldn't grab the bag in time. Everyone sitting on the beach was laughing at the sight of the big retriever running down the beach with that bag of dog bones in his mouth, followed by Chuck and I running after him as fast as we could go (it's hard to run fast when you're laughing)! We never did get the dog bones back. "John Dillinger" was smart enough to take them into the water, rip the bag apart, and then scoop up the dog bones from the surf as though they were minnows. I did manage to retrieve the ripped-apart plastic bag and gave it back to Cindy, minus its treats.

"John" wasn't through for the day, though. About an hour later Roger got a good photo of him rummaging through another person's beach bag, searching for loot.

Like I said before, don't bother to bring a book to the dog beach!
There is far too much canine entertainment to need one.


Margie and Roger said...

Sounds like such a fun day for the dogs and poeople as well. Jasper looked like he was having a great time.

Karen and Al said...

Beautiful pictures of the beach and the dogs! They looked like they were having such a great time. The water looked as clear and beautiful as the one time we were in that area. We looked for a good place to put the kayaks in, but never found anything.

Mark from Missouri said...

Just added this to our list to visit. Thanks for all the great descriptions of places you staid at. I've been reading your blog from the start. When looking at this dog beach I discovered the Bringfido web site where I can now look for dog friendly spots by state.

Karen and I are leaving in 2019 for our journey, not sure which of our two cats and two dogs will be around by then, but bringing however is around.