After a string of recent deaths, the Coast Guard is warning residents and visitors to Northern California’s coast not to try to rescue their dogs from the ocean.
Five people have drowned since November as they tried to save pets swept into the ocean by rogue waves.
Coast Guard, National Park and SPCA officials held a joint press conference Friday, aimed at spreading public awareness about water safety for pets and their owners.
Allison Lindquist, executive director of the East Bay SPCA, was among those advising pet owners not to go into rough ocean waters to save their dog.
“Dogs are naturally better swimmers because of their horizontal body mass,” Lindquist said. “They are built better for riding out the current.” She said the best thing to do is to follow the dog parallel to the shoreline and call its name.
“Just let the dog do its thing,” Lindquist said. “When the current subsides, the dog will swim back.”
Rogue or “sneaker” waves have claimed five lives in three separate incidents this winter, according to the Santa Rosa Press Democrat.
In each case, their dogs survived.
In November, a powerful surf swept a family dog out to sea at Big Lagoon Beach near Arcata in Humboldt County. The teenage son swam out to save the pet. Then the child’s mother and father noticed him struggling and swam out to save him. All three died. The dog made it back to shore.
On New Year’s Day, Charles Quaid, 59, of Richmond, died after attempting to rescue his wife and dog.
Last Sunday, Susan Kay Archer, 32, of Shelter Cove, was walking on Little Black Sand Beach with her boyfriend when she was swept out to sea with her dog and drowned. The dog made it back to shore.
Gabe Pulliam, a 13-year veteran of the Coast Guard and rescue swimmer, said most citizens they lack the equipment and training to rescue a dog from rough and frigid waters.
“People who walk their dogs on the beach and notice strong surf should stay above the line where the water laps up,” Pulliam said. “It’s fun to watch the waves roll in, but respect the ocean and never turn your back on it.”
Pulliam is featured in a handout about pets and ocean safety released by the Coast Guard.
Posted by jwoestendiek February 5th, 2013 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animals, beaches, california, coast guard, dangers, deaths, dogs, national park service, northern california, ocean, pacific, pets, rescue, rogue waves, safety, sea, sneaker waves, spca, swept, trying, warning, waves
Mary Elena Scott, 57, and her husband Howard Kuljian, 54, died at Big Lagoon, according to the Eureka Times-Standard.
Their bodies were recovered Saturday.
The couple’s son, 16-year-old Arcata High School student Gregory “Geddie” Kuljian – who was the first to go into the water after the family saw their dog, Fran, struggling in the waves – is still missing.
Students at Arcata High School honored Gregory Kuljian and his family yesterday by starting a Facebook campaign for people to “Wear Green For Geddie.” Green was the student’s favorite color.
U.S. Coast Guard officials said the search for Gregory Kuljian was suspended Saturday due to the fog and cold water temperatures.
Witnesses say the family of four was walking along the beach. One of them threw a stick in the water and the dog chased it. Seeing the dog in trouble, Gregory Kuljian entered the water and was able to grab the dog’s collar, but it fell off and the Gregory got swept up in the waves. The father entered the water after him, and the mother followed. All were unable to make it back to shore, according to the coroner’s office.
The dog survived, later managing to get out of the water on its own.
(Photo: An Arcata High School student writes on a poster memorial for fellow student Gregory Kuljian; Arcata High School Pepperbox)
Posted by jwoestendiek November 27th, 2012 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animals, arcata, arcata high school, beach, big lagoon, dog, dogs, drowned, drownings, eureka, Gregory Kuljian, Howard Kuljian, humboldt county, Mary Elena Scott, ocean, orick, pacific, pets, rescue, save, saving, swept, waves
(Which is why we didn’t stop there during our travels across America.)
Now, with conditions, the California coastal city may let them back, the Santa Cruz Sentinel reports.
The impetus? Not so much love for dogs as love for sales — specifically, those of downtown merchants who say they could use the boost, and that visitors who arrive with dogs often pull out once they learn their dogs aren’t welcome.
At the request of merchants, the Santa Cruz City Council on Tuesday will consider temporarily overturning the rule banning dogs on Pacific Avenue. The Sentinel says there appear to be more than enough votes to make it happen.
The council is expected to approve a three-month trial, during which licensed, leashed and vaccinated dogs would be allowed on Pacific Avenue and several feeder streets during daylight hours.
If passed, the revised ordinance would kick in within 30 days and be made permanent after Nov. 30, unless the council changed its collective mind.
“I think the economic benefits to our downtown merchants will be most welcome,” said Councilman Tony Madrigal, who owns a miniature dachshund named Shortie and is one of three council members proposing the rule change. “My hope is that by allowing dogs on a trial basis that more people will feel welcome to come downtown with their pets, many of whom they consider part of the family.”
The Santa Cruz Downtown Association board voted unanimously this spring to pursue a change.
The city banned dogs on the Pacific Garden Mall in 1976 and side streets several years later after numerous complaints about out-of-control dogs and unscooped poop. Merchants may allow dogs inside, but dogs are not permitted on the street, which, short of beaming your dog in, would seem to make it difficult to get them into a store.
The city council will hold a discussion on instituting the trial period Tuesday night.
During the trial period, the ban would be lifted for three-months in the area bounded by Water, Laurel, Cedar and Front streets, and including the Town Clock and Scope Park.
The rule change would not affect dog bans in effect on some beaches and at the Santa Cruz Municipal Wharf.
Posted by jwoestendiek July 11th, 2011 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animals, ban, beaches, business, california, city council, dogs, downtown, leashed, lifted, merchants, ordinance, pacific, pacific avenue, pets, revised, revision, santa cruz, tony madrigal, tourism, trial period, wharf
On our last west coast afternoon, Ace and I were wearily headed back to the motel after spending the day touring Monterey when the beach beckoned.
Knowing our route was going to take us inland, that there’d be no more Pacific Ocean views in our travels, I decided we should soak in all we could before we left. Ace didn’t object.
Marina State Beach was nearby, so I pulled in, only to see a sign that said dogs weren’t allowed. Hang gliders have dibs, it seems. So I headed north, probably less than a mile, and saw two trails leading to the beach. With more than an hour until the sunset, I grabbed a dog-hair covered blanket from the car and we hiked up a sandy path to the highest dune I could find, overlooking the ocean.
Winds had blown its surface smooth, so there was not a track anywhere to be seen, except those we left behind us.
I curled up under the blanket, and the sun came out from behind the clouds, providing some warmth, but not quite enough considering the cold winds that were blowing. I also noticed, even with my eyes closed, that something kept blocking the sun out — not for long periods, like clouds do, but in quick flashes. I opened my eyes to see what it was — a hang glider.
Then I re-situated myself, head on my camera bag. Ace curled up next to me, then nosed his way under the blanket. I rearranged it so it would cover us both.
I thought a pre-sunset nap was in order, but Ace, after a few cozy minutes, felt otherwise. He decided it was playtime, so he started squirming around under the blanket, then sat up and looked me straight in the eye. I stared back, knowing that he was in perfectly still alert mode and that the slightest movement I made he would interpret as playing.
So I got up, and he ran circles around me. Then he repeatedly charged at me, veering at the last possible second, looping around and coming back again. It’s our version of bullfighting — violence, blood, bull and cape free, though he does sometimes playfully snap at me when he passes by.
After 30 minutes of that, the sun began a quick descent. Ace lay still on the dune — which our playing had turned into a pockmarked mess — and watched with me.
Part of me, a very small part, felt as if I should smooth the dune out before I left, like I should have one of those little sand trap rakes golfers use and return it to its original condition.
The larger part of me said, naaaah, they were joyous divots, and merely temporary ones. Overnight winds would blow the dune smooth again — just as sure as the sun sets over the Pacific.
Posted by jwoestendiek November 25th, 2010 under Muttsblog.
Tags: america, animals, bay, beach, beaches, california, coast, dog, dogs, dunes, hang gliding, marina, monterey, nature, ocean, pacific, pets, photography, play, road trip, sunset, sunsets, travel, travels with ace
We are moving very slowly down Oregon’s Coast.
Majestic as it is, it’s the only way to do so.
With its sheer cliffs and magnificent rocks, crashing surf, and multitude of breathtaking vistas, one would be a fool to rush through, even in the rain and fog, and we had plenty of both. Even then, it was dazzling, the sort of place that, back in the days of film, you would quickly run out of it.
While fully recovered from the diarrhea that plagued him for a few days, he seemed a bit wary as we walked over the sand, dodging the occasional wave that would creep up higher than the others. Maybe the loudly crashing waves had him on edge, or there were just to many pieces of driftwood and washed up sea vegetation to sniff.
I, while awed at the beauty, wasn’t in the mood to frolic, either.
We got back on the highway, passing through several more quaint towns, and stopping at scenic overlook after scenic overlook. I don’t think we overlooked a single overlook. We weren’t covering much ground, but that which we did was stunning, right up there with Maine’s coast, which, scenic beauty-wise, has been my favorite part of the trip so far.
By early afternoon, I started looking for an inexpensive and dog-friendly motel, and pulled into what appeared to be one in Rockaway.
From the road, the Sea Haven Motel didn’t look like much — with its modest little sign, six rooms, and a hostel next door.
Why the rush? Because I had something similar to what Ace had, if you get my drift — and if you were in Room 5, you might have.
For two days, other than a trip to the store, I stayed inside, eating only chicken noodle soup and toast, and becoming so familiar with the bathroom that I could describe it for you in great detail.
But I won’t, except to say the Sea Haven was probably the nicest, coziest, amenity-laden motel I’ve stayed at on this trip — and the perfect place to be sick.
The room had a full kitchen, fully equipped, including a little basket of treats — cookies, crackers, teas and coffees, popcorn and more, none of which I ate, but some of which I stole when I left.
I slept, sipped soup, watched the log trucks roll by, viewed some television and soaked for hours in — thanks to a bathroom well stocked with amenities, too — an ultra-moisturizing foaming milk bath.
Ultra-moisturized, I slept some more in the big fluffy, satin-sheeted bed.
The next morning I felt almost good to go — as long as I didn’t go to far. We drove a few more hours, about half of that spent stopped at pullovers gawking at the sea and the rocks and the perpetually crashing clash between the two.
At times, the view disappeared, and road, cliff, sea and fog all became one big blur, leading me to squint my eyes and slap myself awake, and making my belly roil a little more.
We only got as far as Coos Bay, where the rhythm of the roils told me to stop. We Motel Sixed again.
We plan to continue down the coast tomorrow, probably another two hours worth of driving, which — given “rest” stops, as they say, and given all there is to overlook — will take four.
One of these days we’ll make it to California, but I’m in no hurry.
Posted by jwoestendiek November 16th, 2010 under Muttsblog.
Tags: 101, ace, america, animals, beauty, cannon beach, cliffs, coast, coastal, coos bay, dog's country, dogscountry, highway 101, ocean, oregon, pacific, pets, road trip, rockaway, rockaway beach, rocks, sea haven motel, tourism, travel, traveling with dogs, travels with ace
The body of the Pacific Northwest’s most famous dog trainer still hasn’t been found, but authorities have charged his ex-wife’s boyfriend with his murder.
T. Mark Stover was the Seattle area’s dog-trainer-to-the-stars, with clients that ranged from members of Pearl Jam and Nirvana to Starbucks chairman Howard Schultz to Seattle Mariners outfielder Ichiro Suzuki, who entrusted Stover with his Shiba Inu.
Last month, employees at the kennel, Island Dog Adventures, 55 miles north of Seattle, found Stover’s dog, Dingo, shot in the face, but authorities could find no signs of Stover, other than smears of his blood in a downstairs bedroom and hallway.
Prosecutors have charged his ex-wife’s boyfriend, Michiel Oakes, with murder, according to an Associated Press report.
Stover, 57, and ex-wife Linda Opdycke, 45, opened Island Dog Adventures in the early 1990s on an island owned by her wealthy family. Her father was one of the founders of Washington’s biggest winery, Chateau Ste. Michelle.
Posted by jwoestendiek November 13th, 2009 under Muttsblog.
Tags: arrest, belgian malinois, blood, chateau ste. michelle, dingo, divorce, dog, homicide, ichiro suzuki, island dog adventures, kennel, linda opdycke, mark stover, michiel oakes, murder, nirvana, northwest, pacific, pearl jam, seattle, shot, stover, suspect, t. mark stover, trainer, washington, winery