It was a truly glorious morning on Inverloch beach on Sunday, February 2.
At 8.30am it was calm and tranquil with a clear blue sky and a definite warmth in the sun.
People walked and children played, as did happy dogs.
The tide was out and my husband and I, along with our elderly dog (on a lead) were enjoying a dip in the shallows.
But all too soon it was 9am.
We would have loved to linger a little longer, but of course we would then have been breaking the law, and as law abiding citizens, and responsible dog owners of some 30 years, that would never do.
But as people who have always walked their dog/s on a lead and always picked up after them, to be suddenly banned from the beach because it was 9am seems nothing short of ridiculous.
We did have a lovely morning prior to that though.
Pity is, what about later in the week?
You see, while our elderly dog loves to cool off with a swim, his arthritis means he cannot handle waves, hence low tide is the only time we can take him.
It is indeed a pity our council, now determined it seems to exercise control over everyone and everything without consultation, didn’t attempt to exercise some control over the tides!
By the next weekend, if we wanted to take our elderly dog for a “legal” swim at low tide, we’d have to have done it at midnight, because the other option is in the middle of the day when council obviously feel our dog would be a bother or a danger to countless other people on the beach.
So in the heat of the day he just had to swelter at home.
There were lots of people at the beach though, and sadly amongst them were people who leave rubbish, food scraps, discarded fishing tackle, old thongs, papers and countless other pollutants. That’s obviously not of such concern though.
Forgive me if I’m wrong, but I thought local government was meant to represent and act for the very people who voted for them, rather than sneak in laws as they see fit without community consultation?
We too filled in the survey about proposed “off lead” areas, but it failed to mention council’s plans to ban dogs from the beach altogether for the majority of daylight hours.
This is deceitful behaviour if nothing else.
Clever of them too to congregate all of Inverloch’s dogs on the beach at the very time that our endangered coastal birds, hooded plovers for one, are at their most active.
They really thought that one through.
Council members who do not feel the need to listen to the very people they represent best enjoy the ride of power while they can, because it surely won’t be a long one.
And while the tourists who thought Inverloch had something really special going for it for the whole family are heading elsewhere or staying home, the community and our four legged citizens are left lamenting this appalling decision.
We can only hope council comes to its senses and revokes this “trial” and allows our dogs the comfort and joy they deserve.
Dogs walking on a lead are not a bother to anyone, no matter what the time of day.
Let’s hope we don’t get cleaned up by a car whilst trying to walk our dog along Surf Parade in the meantime.
Kate Marshall, Inverloch.