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  • Bill Chastain

TOYS AND GAMES: Neighborhood Dogs

Recently sipping cocktails at The Sail, Patti and I were surrounded by a number of dogs and their owners. The scene at the waterfront bar next to the Tampa Convention Center brought to mind a dramatic difference between my youth and now.

Every family in our South Tampa neighborhood had a dog.

We had Jingles, part Terrier, more Heinz 57; the Geigers had Binky, a Beagle; and the Coopers had Captain, who resembled Jed Clampett’s dog Duke–complete with an excess of skin. All were free to roam. They could socialize with other dogs and do dog stuff. Of note, they could use anybody’s grass without anybody having to scoop what followed into a plastic bag. If somebody stepped in a pile of said creation, they simply washed it off. It really wasn’t that big of a deal.

Everybody knew everybody’s dogs. They all had personalities.

Fast forward to The Sail, which is a cool place to take your dog because it’s pet friendly. Still, today’s rules were on display. All dogs must be on leashes and all owners are accountable for every scoop of steaming poop.


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