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Visitors and residents love bringing their dogs to Pawleys Island beach, especially this time of year

What could be better than taking your furry best friend to the beach, allowing him/her to run, splash, meet other dogs and play ball?

From left, A.C. and Speed Stodghill with their dog, Ellie, and Barbara Cobb with her dog, Hippo. (Photo by Clayton Stairs/Georgetown County Chamber of Commerce)

Not much, according to some dog owners who brought their dogs to the beach on Pawleys Island recently. They say the sensible rules make the island a great place to bring their dogs.

“Pawleys Island offers dog owners more freedom than some other beaches near here,” said A.C. Stodghill, who was visiting from Louisville, Kentucky with her husband, Speed, and their Labrador retriever, Ellie. “We bring Ellie and our other dog, Cordelia, to the beach whenever we can.”

The rules for having dogs on the Pawleys Island beach are:

The rules, Police Chief Michael Fanning said, keep everyone – humans and dogs – safe and happy, and that is the way everyone likes to be when on Pawleys Island.

The Stodghills said October and November are their favorite months to bring their dogs to the beach because of the cooler weather and less stringent rules.

“We love this time of year because if our dogs are under voice command, they can be off the leash,” A.C. Stodghill said. “They love seeing other dogs, seeing other people, and being the center of attention.”

Peggy Black and her dog, Gus, walk along the edge of the ocean on Pawleys Island. (Photo by Clayton Stairs/Georgetown County Chamber of Commerce)

Barbara Cobb, who lives on Pawleys Island, was walking her Labrador retriever, Hippo, and talking with the Stodghills. She said she has two other dogs, one also named Cordelia and another named Pi, who both love coming to the beach.

“This one walks the beach, Cordelia plays ball early and late in the day, and Pi just likes to run in the waves,” she said.

Peggy Black of Charlotte, North Carolina, who was walking her Corgi named Gus recently on Pawleys Island, said it is important to her that the town allows dogs on the beach. She and her family have been vacationing at Pawleys Island for decades.

“We love having Gus with us,” she said. “He doesn’t like going in the water, though, or even getting wet. If the waves come up, he is a scaredy cat and goes the opposite way.”

Even though the rules allows her to let Gus off his leash for the season, Black opts not to do so. He’s a small dog and can be intimidated by larger dogs. Dog owners being courteous – and always mindful of their furry friends – is what’s important for making Pawleys a dog-friendly beach.

David Bell talks to his dog, Luna, after visiting the beach. (Photo by Clayton Stairs/Georgetown County Chamber of Commerce)

“I would suggest people have their dogs under very strict obedience to voice commands if they let them off the leash,” she said.

David Bell from Atlanta, Georgia, had his dog, Luna, on the beach recently and said it’s nice to bring his Labrador retriever to Pawleys.

“She loves to play in the water and run around and see other dogs,” Bell said. “It helps her sleep because she gets all of her energy out.”

He likes the freedom that dogs and their humans get to enjoy the beach together.

“I think that as long as the dogs are not aggressive, and their owners can control them by voice command,” Bell said, “it is great that they don’t need to be on a leash this time of year.”

By Clayton Stairs / tourism manager for the Georgetown County Chamber of Commerce