Letter from River Edmunds
Hello Cape Charles Humans,
My name is River, and I am 28 years old in dog years – because I am a dog.
In fact, I am a very happy dog; English Labrador I’m told, but that does not matter to me. What’s most important to me are my family and friends, and the unconditional love we share.
My human family is very busy, so I treasure every moment we spend together – especially outside. You see I have 4 legs and they only have two. I NEED to be outside at least a few times a day; for private matters of course, but mainly to RUN. Dogs like to run. Dogs need to run. Yes, like a song I once heard – we were Born to Run!
While my vocabulary is a bit limited, there is one word that get’s me super-excited in anticipation, and that’s “Beach”.
Whenever I hear my family say that word I just can’t control my enthusiasm; my ears pop up, my tail wags like crazy and I swear I start to say things in English – maybe that’s why I’m called an English Lab? I get excited because I know Beach also means Water, and I LOVE the water. My four legs NEED to swim in the water to stay healthy – it’s even better than running. Beach also means friends. Not just my dog-friends, but my human family gets to chat with their friends when we all go to the beach early in the mornings.
Sometimes all of us dogs at the beach start to have so much fun, that one of us might get a little rowdy. For me, all it takes is a little reminder from my family to chill out a little and be a good dog. Usually, it’s just by calling my name, but if that doesn’t work for some reason, I have an electric collar that gives me a BIG reminder. Believe me, if humans had one of these collars – they would never misbehave. So, I’m always under the control of my family – which is fine.
The other day I heard the humans talking about some possible new rules for the Beach. They said something about dogs needing to be on a leash – at the Beach! This made me very sad. Hey, I’m a dog and I’ve gotta be honest with you, if I’m walking down the sidewalk and I see squirrel – I’m going after it, bottom line. Having me on a leash when I’m not at the beach in the morning under the control of my family is actually not a bad idea. It could keep me from getting hit by a car – or killing an innocent squirrel – if I could ever actually catch one!
I’ve actually heard of humans being unkind and aggressive to other humans on the beach this year for the first time. Maybe there should be a rule to put one of these electric collars on mean humans, instead of leashes on good dogs.
All of us dogs need to socialize for our mental health too. I know it sometimes looks a little weird how we say hello to new friends, but hey you humans poop INSIDE the house -now that’s weird.. If all of us dogs are on leashes ALL the time, we will never learn how to get along.
Now don’t get me wrong. Any dog that has not had the benefit of a good family, is not under control by a trained human, and does something bad — makes ALL of us dogs look bad. But please don’t punish all good dogs and humans, with bad rules. It’s unfair, unhealthy, and frankly, it’s un-American! Freedom is fundamental. A leash on the beach is cruel and unusual punishment. How would I swim, pulling a human behind me on a leash?
I love Cape Charles. All of my friends – dog and human – love Cape Charles too. We all Love it because it represents freedom, fun, relaxation and, friendship. Please don’t destroy that with a bad rule for good dogs and good humans.
Make a leash rule all around town, but please let us continue to be free on the beach before 9:00 AM in the summer, as long as we are under the control of a human. If a human has a bad dog that is not under their control, and it causes a problem… that is the human’s fault, not the town’s fault …..and not even the dog’s fault!
Bad humans are worse than bad dogs.
Thank you for your kind consideration.
Lick you on the Beach!
River …and all of my Cape Charles dog (and human) friends.