March 15, 2004 - Ed Goes To The Dogs
If there were such a thing in Santa Barbara as a local’s beach, it would have to be Hendry’s Beach. It does not have the best waves for surfing, and the restaurant there is not known for its food, but there is abundant parking, plenty of places to put down a towel, and lenient dog leash rules. In fact, on any non-summer holiday weekend, your dog can go from sticking his nose out the window to swimming toward a stick in the ocean in a matter of minutes. The dog rules at Hendry’s are simple - dogs can be off-leash once they cross the creek. They must be on-leash everywhere else.
Last weekend, the dedicated staff of edhat.com went to Hendry’s to quantify canine diversity at the local stick-and-ball hangout. We looked in the waves, along the cliffs, and on the sand for dogs. And once a dog was spotted (seen, not Dalmatian), we classified it according to its most prominent breed. When there were questions about the dog’s genetic heritage, we consulted the dog’s parental guardian, who in all cases was amenable to a discussion about their ‘precious’.
All of the dog owners we talked to were very nice. Many of them were quite concerned about an upcoming March 30th City Council meeting which could potentially restrict off-leash recreation options – on the beach and otherwise.
It is easy to find dogs to count at the beach. But, it is much harder to classify them. First of all, they don’t sit still - they run into the water after a ball, chase other dogs, smell, pee, smell where other dogs peed, etc. Secondly, they run up and down the beach in such a random fashion that it’s difficult to keep track of ones you have seen, and ones that still need to be counted. You wonder if the dogs themselves, with all their sniffing and smelling, are really keeping track of friends and foes. It could just be an act.
On Saturday afternoon at the beach we saw Terriers, Corgis, Labs, Retrievers, Pit Bulls, Dachshunds, Huskies, Collies, Boxers, Malamutes, Wolfhounds, Beagles, Dobermans, Pugs, Dalmatians, and Shepherds. We even saw a Norwegian Elkhound, a hunting dog that originated in Norway as early as 5000 B.C. – that’s 7003 B.E. (before edhat).
Individually, the breed we saw most were labs – chocolates, yellows, and blacks. However, it seems as if Golden Retrievers are found in groups. And the total number of Goldens found just edged out the Retrievers. In a distant third place was the not-so-rare ‘Dunno’, a breed of general good temperament and intelligence whose heritage and genetics cannot be determined.
We had a record number of entries for the “Hendry’s Top Breed” contest, but the winner for a record of 3 times, AdultEd was the only contestant to get the three breeds in order. AdultEd wins the movie ticket coupons. There are lots of good dog movies to see … there’s even Scooby-Doo 2 coming opening up on March 26th!
Want to get instant fame and cool prizes? ... enter today’s contest
We want to hear from you ... tell us what you think of this tidbit