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Dogs adore the ocean! If you are a dog parent and have ever taken your dog to the beach, you probably don’t need to be a genius to figure out how much your dog loves the beach. At the sight of the ocean and the vast area of sand, your dog starts wagging his tail and pulling at his leash excitedly. All it wants is to be let go so he can run boundless across the sand or take a dip in the ocean. It is an absolute joy to go to the beach with your dogs and enjoy having your toes in the sand, and soak up the sun, and breathe in the salty sea breeze while your dog has the time of his life too.
Sadly, not all beaches allow dogs. The rule makes sense, though, not everybody is comfortable being around dogs, and it would be unfair to bring a dog along to a public space when some people do not appreciate its presence there. That is why there are some reserved beaches where dogs are allowed. These dog beaches are little pockets of heaven for dog lovers, as you can enjoy a day at the beach in the company of your furry best friend.
However, with the state of our beaches in recent years, this simple pleasure has been taken away from us, through no one’s fault but our own. Beaches have started resembling trash dumps rather than serene spaces where one could enjoy the view and forget about the troubles of life.
Looking at the once-beautiful beaches, one cannot help but wonder what happened? What went wrong? How did we turn these gorgeous spaces into such dirty, ugly ones? And it simply is not the case in the US alone; beaches all around the world have suffered the most due to excessive consumerism, irresponsible trash handling, and lack of government policies to curb pollution and protect our environment and our beaches.
Even less than two decades ago, the beaches were considerably cleaner. But the rate at which consumerism and production grew in the past decade alone wreaked havoc on our environment, our water bodies, and our beaches.
The damage is wide scale and undeniable. Directly or indirectly, we are to blame. Large corporations and conglomerates won’t step up and take responsibility as long as their pockets are getting fatter with profits. It is up to us to save our beaches. It is now or never. If we all contribute in our small ways, we can perhaps reverse some of the damage that has been inflicted and turn the story around. There is still hope. There is still time. Together, we can salvage our beaches and turn them back into the wondrous places that we once knew.
Beach cleanups sound daunting and next to impossible, no? Who can possibly clean up acres and acres and acres of beaches? Surely no one person can do it. But together, it’s really not so hard. If we come together, form groups, and clean up just one section of the beach at a time, within months, we can see an actual difference. Why should we leave the cleaning up to the poor authorities and NGOs who are already low-staffed and underpaid? Clean beaches are simply not a possibility anymore unless everybody chucks in and plays their part. It is hard work, yes, undoubtedly. But it can also be incredibly fun. If you go along with a group of friends or if you make a fun game out of it, where the team that collects the most trash wins a small prize, it can become quite a fun way to spend the weekend morning.
Another super fun idea for beach cleanups is to bring along your dog. Your pup already loves the beach, and once you train him on how he can assist you in cleaning up the beach, you guys can spend quality time together while doing something nice for the community and the planet.
How can your dog help? Well, he can help you dig up sand to free trash that has been buried beneath the sand. He can pick up plastic toys, slippers, and balls at the beach and bring them to you. He can dip into the ocean and collect the trash floating in the waters. Or maybe he can simply carry your trash bag for you and drag it along while you pick up the junk.
Later, you and your dog can meet other people and their dogs at the cleanup and socialize a bit in the freshly cleaned patch of beach and congratulate each other on a job well done.
After a day at the beach cleaning up, your dog might have gotten very dirty himself. Rolling around in the mud, picking up all sorts of junk with his mouth, and diving into polluted waters may not be ideal for your dog’s hygiene. After returning from a satisfying day at the beach cleaning up with your dog, you might want to give the dog a good, long shower. You must brush his teeth and brush out his fur to get rid of anything that might be stuck in there. After a bath, your dog will be squeaky clean and ready for another cleanup by next week!
It is extremely selfish to ignore the situation and do nothing about it. We share our beaches, and we must all do our part in ensuring they are clean and healthy. The onus of cleanups should not be on a certain fraction of those whose job it is. We must all pitch in and do our part in protecting our beaches. Not only that, we must also donate to the organizations who have dedicated themselves to cleaning up our oceans and beaches, so they can have access to better resources and tools to do their job.