Malibu is well-known for its many beautiful beaches. However, dogs are not allowed on almost all of them, not even if the dogs are on leash! That’s because, according to one of our community police officers, people have been irresponsible about cleaning up after their dogs. As a result, dog policies in the city of Malibu have become very strict.
To me, a dog running on a beach is one of the most beautiful sights in the world. You can see how much they love being on the sand and in the water! If I want to see that now, I go to the Montecito/Santa Barbara area, which is much more dog-friendly than Malibu and is only about an hour north of where I live. I especially love Butterfly beach, which is directly across from the Biltmore Hotel in Montecito. Butterfly is a wonderful beach, where not only are dogs allowed but they’re also free to run. And this beautiful hotel even allows dogs to stay, although they charge a little extra for that.
However, this is not to say that Malibu is no place for dogs, not at all the case. There are many, many dog lovers in Malibu, and we often talk to one another about our dogs when we’re out walking. I love doing that, and of course, I love petting every dog I see.
Yesterday morning, for example, I saw a guy I’ve seen a number of times walking his two extremely smart Shelties. One was carrying a very large plush ball almost its own size, which the two Shelties began fighting over. Shelties fighting over a ball! That surprised me, because Shelties ordinarily wouldn’t be interested in a big ball like that. Their owner told me that, at heart, Shelties like to harass. He’s had Shelties for over thirty years, so I’d assume he knows what he’s talking about.
Then there are these two men with their bulldog. All three look as though someone pushed them out the door. They all walk so slowly, the dog usually out of breath, clearly not happy with this walking activity. Then there’s the couple who go on marches with their very well-behaved German Shepherd. A disciplined group! So early in the morning, and yet that whole little family is so alert. Then there’s the really big Husky, who looks so intimidating but who really is so sweet. She and her master walk very fast. Sometimes I get to pet her, but most of the time I can tell they’re on a mission.
Wonderful dogs, and so many different kinds. And regular folks just out walking them, no celebrities, as far as I can tell, although, I probably wouldn’t recognize a celebrity even if one were right in front of me.
ABOUT CHARLIE: A LOVE STORYCharlie: A Love Story tells of the beautiful love between Charlie, a Golden Retriever, and the author, Barbara Lampert. It takes place in Malibu, California. When Charlie turned eleven years old and started having some health problems, a journal Barbara was keeping about her garden quickly became mostly about Charlie. Charlie: A Love Story is an intimate look at an incredible connection between a canine and a human. And as a psychotherapist who specializes in relationships, Barbara brings that sensibility and understanding to Charlie’s story as well. Charlie was Barbara’s loyal confidante and best friend. He was indomitable, had a zest for life and an uncanny emotional intelligence. Charlie: A Love Story is about devotion, joy, loss, and renewal, about never giving up or giving in. But mostly it’s about an extraordinary dog and an extraordinary relationship.
Barbara Lampert is a Marriage and Family Therapist specializing in relationships. She’s been in private practice in Brentwood, California for over twenty years. She considers her work a calling and loves what she does. She has a doctorate in medical sociology and two master’s degrees – one in psychology and one in sociology. Barbara has adored dogs her whole life. They’re her passion! She notes that for many people, their dogs are their best friends. She loves helping people know that’s ok – that a soul-satisfying relationship may be found with any being and needs to be treasured. Besides her love of dogs, Barbara is an avid gardener and finds herself gardening in much of her spare time. She sees her garden as a work of art. She loves being in nature – the miracle of growth, the ever-changing landscape, its beauty. Today Barbara lives happily in Malibu, California with her husband David (married twenty-eight years!) and their six-year-old Golden Retriever, Harry. Barbara hopes that Charlie: A Love Story will be a tribute not only to a magnificent dog but to all dogs everywhere. You can visit her website at www.charliealovestory.com.