Spence Riggs at the last city council meeting on July 13 made a proposal to the city leaders to be more inclusive as to where dogs would be allowed on the beach in the city limits.  Currently, there exists a dog beach in a little armpit beach just south of the Loomis Street Boat launch.  Riggs, representing the group Mason County Mutts (MCM), a self-professed "non-profit organization that advocates, rescues and cares for animals within our community", requested that the city allow dogs to legally utilize the beach facilities between the west end of Ludington Avenue and the north breakwall that the lighthouse is on.  Here is a map showing the applicable areas, north is to the left:

This proposal by MCM allows some strict stipulations to apply in this area.  First, the dogs must remain on a leash while in this area.  Second, the owners would be responsible for the clean up of dog waste in the area.  Third, violations of the first two stipulations, and other city laws involving dogs, would be enforced.

MCM would for its part would fund the signage for this dog accessible area and provide a dog waste receptacle.  Furthermore, it would pay for replacement waste bags and do a beach sweep up to two times a month.  The City itself would be responsible for enforcement of the laws and emptying the waste receptacles, when needed; they alone would benefit from the fines received. 

The city manager and the Parks Committee has reviewed the Mason County Mutts proposal over the last two weeks and have come back with a reply where City Manager John Shay has expressed that he 'feels' this use of the beach would be ill-suited for the population overall:

Before proffering the question as to how you feel about a dog beach in that area, I would just like to point out that this area in question for the new dog beach coincides with the area that is to be used for the first phase of the West End Project, the concrete walkway between the breakwall and Ludington Avenue.  If the project ever gets Michigan DNR Trust Fund money coming in to help build it. 

Shay and the Parks Committee obviously know this fact and seem to overlook explaining their desire for this half of a million dollar project and Mr. Riggs simple request may clash.  Seeing dog poop containers, signs, and dogs doing their business on the beach, is not something they want in the limited amount of beach left in that area if the first phase is ever funded.

What is hopeful is that Shay, and by extension the City's Parks Committee, admit that this area of beach is precious to those locals who want quietude and calm waters, something they have turned a deaf ear on during the public's almost unanimous decrying of the project in wanting to keep that area intact and as it is.

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Yep, they put them in the shopping cart where you put your groceries . Yes the butt is setting right where you put your milk, but maybe they licked their butt clean right before they gave their owner a big sloppy lick. YUCK

We take them everywhere because we love them and they love us. They feel bored, sad and lonely when left home all evening after we've been at work all day. We would rather spend time with them than with you and people like you. They are positively better companions than most people!

Now the little dogs in stores is annoying, if I walked in with my 100lb black lab I'd be asked to leave but these weirdos who bring their little dogs in stores are crazy. They are allowed in some stores(tractor supply) but le I said if my 100lb black lab is y allowed your 5 lb chi should not be either. And I keep doggie poop bags in my car at all times. Those who leave poop all over are gross and lazy!

In a way, I'm positively pleased that John Shay's recommendation to deny the dog beach request was effectively ignored, his body language throughout the discussion was interesting.  This is something the present council has rarely done. 

But, I have my own negative dog experiences on the beach out in Buttersville a few years back, where some big, unleashed dogs romped around the beach barely mindful of their owners, scaring the kids and kicking sand onto my oiled-up body as they checked to see what I had on my blanket.  The owners laughing, saying sorry, and doing nothing special to control their mutts.

Those dog owners and dogs give the rest a bad name.  Still, I can commiserate with the good dog owners wanting extra facilities for their canines, and so cannot figure out why they are not asking to use Lincoln Lake just north of the dog park, where there would be no real conflict with swimmers and sunbathers seeking a quiet beach experience in the midst of summer.  With minor modifications, they could even allow the dogs to go leashless there.

Lincoln lake would make more sense but I wonder if the current in there is more 'river' than lake?

I've never spent any time at Lincoln other than a stop once In a while at the dog park. Is it full of weeds? No easy ingress/egress?

I like buttersville and usually don't see any out of control dogs out there. I mean they explore a bit but considering that it's the only place in the area that does allow dogs I think the people who really want to avoid them altogether can go to first curve for the same privacy and experience but without dogs. It's nice to have *somewhere* to take them and let them run around and act like a real dog, not model dog citizen! We try to spread as far from other dogs and people as possible and leash up when someone comes past with another dog just for safety. But really I guess I would say sorry and not really do much either unless my dog got right up where they would get someone's blanket wet shaking off. The sand is AWEFUL dog or no dog! I can never keep it off me and the blanket even if it's me alone!

The weeds close to shore at Lincoln Lake have been a problem at times, but they can be controlled as they have in the past.  I'll try to check out their current status later today.

It should be noted that I have been at the beach at Buttersville Park on multiple occasions without negative incident, however, there have only been a couple of those times with dogs on the beach.  Leashed or trained dogs often are no more of a nuisance than other beachgoers.

As noted in the main article, you have to believe that Shay, Venzke-Tykoski, Tom Coleman, and other people interested in the West End Project would like to have this issue go away, because the calm, quiet, out-of-the-way, dunes-y area that currently exists would be forever lost if the walkway is installed, along with the beach, when the water is at high levels like it is. 

In such a competition of interests, I wish the Mason County Mutts success, with the expectation that they would resist the WEP walkway.

That might be the best for all X, in that the MCM have a backup plan B to go to if plan A is unsuccessful. You know, I'm really getting sick and tired of Dog Haters across this fruited plain of the USA. No dogs allowed here, there, everywhere. Yeah, BS to you too! Maybe if many more of the public owned and loved a dog, the kind of animal that knows unconditional love to it's owner, they might be more adaptive and understanding of the other dog owners. They might also be more human and kind in their daily lives themselves, instead of being dog hating mongers! Thanks Jane for standing up for our four-pawed friends. There is certainly enough hate to go around on so many other subject matters, please kindly respect and honor the rights of your fellow citizen dog owners. 

I have always owned dogs. The responsible dog owner is not the problem. It's the idiots who say "my dog won't bite" then let them roam and let them get into everyone else's space. In my early years I worked as a delivery person and I can say without out a doubt the domestic dog is the most aggressive animal on Earth aside from the Polar Bear. I can't count the number of times I was bitten by the "dogs that won't bite". The aggressive and unpredictable nature of dogs makes this beach idea not worth considering. X's idea of Lincoln Lake would make the most sense but we all know that's not what these dog owners want. They want the beach so they can enjoy it while letting their dogs run loose. If this passes I'm curious how big the lawsuit will be when some large dog attacks a small child and the City will again have to dig into taxpayers pockets to pay for another mistake in judgement.

I know I always get more worried when dog owners tell me that their dogs don't bite, I've heard of and experienced enough interactions with dogs to determine that these typically are the most dangerous ossibly because their owner doesn't know his dog's desires or that he does indeed bite.

That's very perceptive and exactly what kills the Lincoln Lake idea.  The owners want to go to enjoy what a public beach offers.  But if they swim, sport, spectate, socialize and sunbathe, who's left holding the leash while they do so? 

I'll never forget one delivery I made years ago, as I was leaving the yard I reached over the fence gate to make sure it was latched and a huge dog grabbed my arm as I was pulling away. I had deep teeth gouges from my elbow to my hand as I pulled my arm out of the dog that "doesn't bite's" mouth.

"The Dogma of Dogs": almost all dogs do the following: follow traits/habits of owners, instinctively protect their owners and their space, protect their property, respond to strangers by their respective actions and smells, respond to attacks with like behavior, protect their water and food. Willy, when you enter another persons property, you are considered by most dogs as an invader into their space. The dog's owner is responsible to friendly and admitted strangers if permitted to enter. Most people post signs of "beware of dog". Some kids consider dogs dangerous after they tease them, throw rocks at them, or taunt them. Then they wonder why the dog responds in kind. There are dogs that are trained for security and attack more readily than an untrained dog. A good dog owner will properly train and reward or punish the dog for expected behavior. Some dogs are bad tempered due to being treated badly when young, or they may also have distemper, due to not vaccinating the dog. Dog IS MAN'S BEST FRIEND! Dog's have and continue to save many lives when emergencies happen. Bad dogs are usually put down and destroyed when repeated unwarranted threats or injuries occur. Read books on differing breeds and see what dog is best for your wants and needs. Overcome and conquer your fears and anxieties of the past with dogs, or suffer the future as such. Just some common information and guidelines on the relationships man has with his canine companion. 

I don't hate dogs, I hate their owners who let them take a dump in my yard and don't pick it up. They probably left there bag in the car.

Spray it with the hose right afterward, and it will disappear very fast into the ground. Or, better yet, ask the dog owner to do that for you, and they probably will if asked nicely. I don't want dogs pooping in my yard either, but then again, I have lots of woods around me, and could care less, unless that poop comes from a sick dog. If other dogs eat that, they too can get sick, and sometimes die. Ownership of dogs is like any other animal, birds, monkeys, cats, mice, or other domesticated animals. Good owners are the vast majority, the bad owners are very minute in numbers. The last time my dog pooped in a public place, it was on an island in Fl.. A nasty NY guy yelled at me and I told him this wasn't the city, but an uninhabited island, and furthermore, KMA! The second time he yelled over, I showed him my 45, then he quickly left and ducked down in his boat, lol. 


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