WILDWOOD – The dog days of summer 2017 will go down in history as the best ever for our four-legged friends – if they happened to be in Wildwood.
The decision to move the city’s nationally-ranked dog beach from its previous location at Poplar Avenue to its new digs on the beach between Maple and Glenwood avenues has proven to make pups’ tails wag and people grin.
Both Arlene Fiala and her husband, Kenneth Fiala, of Sleepy Hollow, NY were fans of the city’s old dog beach, but when they brought their 6-year-old rescue dog, Kloey, to the bigger dog beach, they were over the moon.
“We were looking for a place that welcomed dogs,” said Arlene Fiala of Sleepy Hollow, NY about her first trip to Wildwood last year. “I had never been to Wildwood before. I read online that there was a dog beach here. When I came, I was so amazed. We had such a good time. It was the best vacation we ever had.”
Wearing her pink sunglasses, Kloey cavorted on the sand with her puppy pals while the Fialas recalled how their initial 2016 visit to the dog beach inspired them to book two Wildwood summer vacations for 2017.
“Last year when I read the dog beach was closed, I said ‘We have to cancel our reservation. We have to go some place else. There’s no reason to go if the dog beach is closed,’” Arlene Fiala said.
Kenneth Fiala said a quick note to Wildwood Commissioner Pete Byron about the dog beach allayed their fears. Byron explained the dog beach was not closed but was moved in order to offer more space and even more canine amenities to the city’s furry visitors.
According to Byron, who advocated to bring a dog beach to Wildwood, Kloey’s experiences on the dog-designated beach is not uncommon.
“When we put the dog beach at Poplar Avenue we anticipated it attracting more people to the city,” Byron said. “Wildwood is a family-friendly beach resort and we wanted to expand our beach to include the whole family, including four-legged members.”
Response to the city’s dog beach was overwhelming. In its two years, it was lauded as the second best dog park in the United States. By moving the dog beach to its new site and offering a larger area and more activities for pooches to have their day of fun in the sun, Wildwood hopes its dog beach will soon be rated number one in the country.
“This is a great place to bring your dog,” Kenneth Fiala said as he watched Kloey play on the sand.
“Dogs are people too,” added Arlene Fiala. “People should know the really, really good time dogs have here and how much they enjoy it. They really get into it. They love meeting other dogs, they love getting out in the sun, they love going into the water. This is the best dog park I’ve ever seen.”