The afternoon the news broke of Martin Senat's death, the waves crashed, a sharp ocean breeze blew, and a dozen dogs gamboled around their owners on a short strip of beach off Pacific Coast Highway.
Senat, who died July 25 at the age of 81, co-founded and served as president of the group that maintained the Huntington Dog Beach for more than a decade. When the beach's nonprofit preservation society announced his passing three days later, there was no memorial for Senat anywhere on the shore between Seapoint Avenue and Goldenwest Street. Still, the scene showed off the legacy Senat left for Huntington: a lean strip of the shoreline where dogs ran around without leashes and splashed in the surf.
Among the dog owners at the beach that afternoon were Gail and Eric Segal of Orange, who brought their 3-year-old miniature poodle, Molly. They had come to the Dog Beach at least once a week since they moved from the East Coast five years ago, they said. Gail Segal added that she had never met Senat, but she appreciated his efforts.