We understand there has been an ongoing battle over whether Willard Beach should be accessible to dogs. We spent 10 days in South Portland last summer. We rented a house by Willard Beach and it was a fantastic vacation. In fact, the main reason we chose Willard Beach is because we knew our dog, Lucky, could play there in the morning.
He was out on the beach with one of us by 6 or 6:30 and played for an hour or so. Then, we would walk over to Scratch bakery for breakfast, then head back to the beach for a final doggie romp. By 9 a.m., Lucky was tired and was content to stay at the house and sleep while we went to the beach for a couple of hours, or shopped in the Portland area.
Changing the rule to allow dogs on the beach from 7-9 a.m. and 7-9 p.m. sounds like a decent compromise to me. Changing the rule to ban dogs from the beach altogether in the summer is a horrible idea. If that happens, we will not be back to Willard Beach. Our tourist dollars will not be spent at Scratch or Hannaford or Thai Taste on Cottage Road. We won’t be buying lobster in the Old Port or going on a schooner ride or shopping at the Maine Mall. And I bet we’re not the only ones. Can Portland afford that?