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There’s been some keen back and forth in our newspaper over the past few weeks about the prospect of opening up our North Shore beaches to pooches, particularly in West Vancouver where all the richest dogs and sandiest beaches reside.

The barking first started with a letter to West Vancouver council from a witty unnamed citizen questioning why dogs were banned from beaches, particularly in the rainy winter season when all the West Vancouver humans were sheltered away indoors counting their swimming pools and keeping an eye out for riff raff. The zinger gets even better once you explain to anyone under the age of 30 what “speed dial” is. This request for more canine beach time led to a discussion in a council meeting that included the suggestion from one council member that the district investigate the possibility of using DNA analysis to catch dog owners who don’t bag the brown.

Reporter Brent Richter sniffed out a great little story, noting that dog DNA detectives are not a made up thing, with firms marketing themselves to condo and townhouse complexes who want to track down dirty deeds with hard evidence rather than engaging in any unfounded smear campaigns.

CBS is even working on a new hit show, CSI Dog Park:

Hotshot detective: The DNA came back from the lab, Rex. It puts you at the scene of the crime.

Dog: I wasn’t anywhere near that beach. I was sleeping.

Hotshot detective: You know what they say about sleeping dogs, Rex. (Tears off sunglasses). They lie.

(Rock music wails: “Who are you? Poo poo, poo poo. Who are you? Poo poo, poo poo.)

Somehow the DNA detective idea didn’t gain much traction in West Vancouver council, but the dog doo drama continued when we received a letter in support of the unnamed citizen, arguing that dogs should be allowed on our beaches not just in winter, but perhaps all the time.

“Some of the most beautiful beaches in the world, with glorious sand stretching for miles thrive with the coexistence of people and their dogs; off leash even!”

I posted this to our newspaper’s Facebook page and was surprised to see most of the commenters come out in support of the give the dogs their day position. I was looking for someone, anyone, to add two little words to the discussion, but no one did.

I’m no Judge Judy, but she seems to be a respected figure in this matter so I’ll channel her in handing down that two word verdict: Hell no.

If my family is on a sunny West Vancouver beach, the second last thing I want to see is a dog squatting over our bamboo mat. (The last thing I want to see is a bottle of Bud Light Lime. That’s just gross.)

Now please, don’t get me wrong. I’m not pointing fingers at any of you brilliant North Shore News readers who are responsible dog owners. Your dogs are stupendous. Your dogs pee rainbows and bark Mozart. They can smell my crotch whenever they like.

I’m talking about the dogs owned by the people who don’t care about the welfare of other people or animals. You know this dog owner. He may or may not have an MMA shirt on. She may or may not be wearing Ugg boots with black tights in the summertime. This dog owner doesn’t notice or doesn’t care that his schnauzer, Hairy Squatter, has just taken a triumphant poop in the middle of the Seawalk.

If all the good dog owners could guarantee that all of these dog owners would suddenly have their poop bags ready at all times and their pups trained to come to a heel at the gentlest of calls, then we’d be all good.

But you can’t guarantee that, can you? You know you can’t guarantee that because you’re around dogs all day, and you know that a lot of their owners are as bright as chew toys. They own the dogs that are running rampant on the mountain trails, bothering you and your dogs while you’re trying to take a pleasant on leash hike. They own the dogs that left the present that you stepped in on your last trip to the dog park.

I know some of you are going to tell me to open my heart and let all the little pooches dance right in and lay a big sloppy kiss on my left ventricle. But I can’t. My heart is already filled up, mostly with bacon grease, but also love for my dog shy children with all of their limbs fully intact and their toes unsmeared by hidden sand poo.
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