Saturday, September 11, 2010

Dog beach

Yesterday was an adventure. The boys had a chance to earn their kibble (or raw chicken, as the case may be) by working with me on a dog distraction case. The dog in question is a working guide dog and the handler has been having trouble controlling him around other dogs. So out came the border collies. Both Scorch and Wolfie did a fantastic job playing distraction (especially whiny-butt Scorchie).

So I decided that since we were in Venice, we'd take a visit to the dog beach.

Now, we've never been there before, for a couple of reasons. First of all, Wolfie is not the most pleasant dog-park dog. He has that irritating tendency of thinking that "play" involves bowling over other dogs and grabbing anyone (canine or human) by the butt that happens to run by. Secondly, this was the real deal gulf, not the calm, reliable bay. The currents in these waters are stronger, although not as rough as Florida's east coast.

Still, it was the middle of the afternoon on a hot, still day, so I knew we'd be unlikely to encounter many dogs, nor large waves.

And what a day it was.
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Scorchie spent most of the day frolicking with his tennis ball toy and happily ignoring the other dogs.
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He's not nuts about the saltiness of the gulf (compared to the freshwater lake we used to have access to), but he will gladly cool off in the shallows and return soaked to demand more ball throwing.
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Wolfie, while not a total butthead, was definitely feeling his oats. He charged at a few dogs, and even bowled over a small one, but luckily the dogs and owners were good sports and recognized him for what he is: a social idiot. I realize that although he had a lot of positive dog experiences in puppyhood, he did grow up with Jack, and while Jack was a number of wonderful things, he was also pushy, loud, and occasionally aggressive with other dogs. Wolf learned a lot of bad habits from him, and they have been tough to break. He means well, but comes across so poorly, I often have to remove him or leash him up. Hence, our trips to parks are few and far between.

Once he got that out of his system (and realized no one wanted to play his version of tag, which involves teeth), my views of him were generally this:
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He spent a lot of time running back and forth in front of me, occasionally plunging into the water, drinking a bit of it while making a yuck face, and then diving face-first into the sand for a good roll. He had a big, toothy grin pretty much the entire time.

And apparently, the birds and squirrels in the backyard have made Wolf fancy himself a hunter. See that brown dot waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay off in the distance?
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Yep, that's Wolfie, after some long-gone pelicans. Birds were infinitely more interesting to him than they used to be, and he tried to swim after a few. His recall has diminished significantly since he's been retired. I think it's time to bring him back into the world of being obedient, if not the obedience world.

However, overall it was a successful day and it concluded with two sandy, hot, tired dogs (and the same can be said for their owner!).

1 comment:

Ellie said...

Looks like you guys had a great time. I love the beach!!! I can't wait to make it back to my favorite spot on the Oregon coast.