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Dogs and Humans Keep Cool at Bay Area Beaches, Parks

Chico the Chihuahua playfully charged a towering Rottweiler
at Albany Beach behind Golden Gate Fields in Albany Saturday, one of many Bay Area
residents seeking relief from the Labor Day weekend heat.

With temperatures soaring above 100 in some cities, people
and their animal companions sought refuge in parks and the Bay Area beaches
that remained open. The smoky air from local wildfires and heat wave on top of
the pandemic have dealt the Bay Area a triple whammy.

“We’ve been cooped up all week. I had to get out and
get the little guy some exercise and feel like a normal person,” said Ally
Marshall of Albany as she kept a watchful eye on Chico and her other Chihuahua,

Referring to the combination of COVID-19, devastating local wildfires
and broiling heat, Marshall said, “I think ‘2020’ is going to become an
obscenity. As in, ‘How are you doing?’ ‘2020.’ ‘Say no more.’”

The beach and park located off the Bay Trail behind the
racetrack were even more crowded than usual around noon Saturday. Every parking
space and picnic table was taken, with cars circling in search of a spot.

A woman standing up on a robin’s-egg-blue kayak paddled
parallel to the shore, which was dotted with blue, red and yellow beach
umbrellas. Cyclists, moms and dads with strollers and a doggie cast of
thousands frolicked at the beach and on the open land with the San Francisco
skyline in the background.

Masks were ubiquitous, and other than family and friendship groups,
most people seemed to be observing social distancing.

“I went swimming. The water was wonderful,” said
David Wampler of Berkeley, who jogged to the park from his Berkeley home with
his dog Gemma.

“She’s a COVID-19 dog. We adopted her three months ago
to keep us company during the lockdown,” said his wife Victoria Eisen.

“The pandemic has been tragic in some ways, but in
others it has brought opportunities,” Eisen said, referring to the

Saturday’s heat was ferocious, hitting 101 degrees in
Concord and 98 degrees in Antioch during the afternoon, but the breeze coming
off the water kept things cool at Albany Beach.

Luckily, many East Bay Regional Parks are scheduled to
remain open this weekend, though several beaches, including Pt. Reyes National
Seashore, are closed to help deter the spread of COVID-19. Lake Berryessa
Recreation Area is closed due to wildfire.

Clambering down the rocks and plunging into the water at
Point Isabel, King the German shepherd mix was clearly having the time of his

King and Nala, a boxer mix, accompanied their human Vanessa
Bruning to the 23-acre dog park at the west end of Central Avenue in Richmond.

“It’s 102 degrees in Dublin and the dogs needed to have
some fun,” said the Dublin resident, whose T-shirt read, “Be nice.
Drink wine. Pet dogs.”

Summing up, Bruning said 2020 “has been OK for me – but
I think we’re all ready to put up our Christmas trees and call it a year.”

Source: NBC Bay Area

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