A Magic Beach Day

“You must have some magic,” a man with a black lab called out to me as I walked in the deep sand, towed along by my four dogs.

“How’s that?” I asked.

“They’re all so calm and walking nicely,” the man hollered back. Meanwhile, I kept an eye on his dog, wary it was gonna run amok and upset my delicate dog balancing act.

There’s a reason my dogs were being so lovely. They were tired. See, three and half hours running on the beach will do that.

So it turn out that when you’re unemployed, you have time to do fun things, like go to the beach with your dogs on a gorgeous day in May.

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Being that I am unemployed, I opted to try to sleep in a bit. Of course, Camm chose this morning to have some kind of weird tummy issue that resulted in extremely loud rumbling noises. So if I was already awakened by the two trips outside before 7 am, I was kept awake by the grumblings and echoes from within her tiny stomach. I never knew such a small belly could be so loud.

I finally got out of bed, with the sort of idea of going to the beach, but I was grumpy and needed coffee first. And it turned out that after Camm’s third trip outside, she needed a quick pants bath. See when you have gorgeous flowing feathers or “pants,” sometimes “stuff” sticks there. Luckily for me, Camm knows this routine and is surprisingly cooperative. All I have to do it tell her she’s got “poopy pants” and she races to the tub for a quick scrub and shower.

So. got that done, but then still grumpy and feeling at loose ends. That latter is something I’m going to be fighting. It’s a bit of a shock to go from clocking in before 8 am and just working on getting shit down until it’s done and making sure you’re kicking ass while you’re doing it to pondering what time you’re gonna get up, should you check Facebook, personal email or not and what hike you’ll do or what adventure you’ll take your dogs on today. So it’s like a vacation. An extra long, super extended vacation. Fun, yes, but for a type A personality, disconcerting too.

So after much thinking – because I have a lot of time to think – found myself on a ferry and headed to a beach.

I don’t know where that man was when we got there, but there was absolutely nothing magical about our arrival. Brady has been on restricted activity for three weeks due to a bite wound and the removal of a cyst and was wound up tight. Jasmine is almost always frantic with excitement when we head to a new place and Camm is a handful anyway. Even Youke, “my good dog,” was being a brat and winding around my legs and pulling with excitement on his leash. Yep, me, four dogs, a rucksack, a camera and poop bags, tangled together and flying down the path. It’s a miracle I didn’t fall or trip, so maybe there was something magical there. Nothing magical about people’s faces as we swept by though. Only pure horror.

I finally unclipped Youke and Jasmine before something horrible happened, as in my face being abraded in the sand from all the dragging. They flew into the soft sand and into … an algae-filled tidal pool. Great.

By then Camm and Brady had managed to twine themselves into each other’s leashes, so I let them go to. As I watched Brady fly around in circles at warp speed nine and then leap into the surf, I quietly hoped that he would wear off three weeks of restricted activity between today and the next couple of days or I will be screwed at this weekend’s agility trial.

The first half hour out at the beach was potentially appalling, but a quick call here to avoid other dogs, and skirting around a few couples prevented any interactions with the crew of crazies. Unfortunately, I didn’t catch Brady scarfing down his crab dinner until he was nearly finished, but at least he was the only one who even thought about partaking of a seafood dinner. We even has a red Aussie with a tail momentarily join us with no scuffles. Of course, that’s because no one but Brady even noticed her. I guess to Jasmine, Youke and Camm, all crazy red dogs look alike. Unfortunately, the red Aussie came with a little girl. The little girl started running down the beach to join in the fun. Knowing that Camm has a serious aversion to small screaming unformed human beings, I managed to quickly leash her up and strike out for the deeper water. Luckily, the more fully formed larger human beings saw the small person and called her back.

A half mile out from the way we came onto the beach, and peace and quiet. And very, very happy dogs.

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Nothing. Nothing but us out for a fun day of adventure.

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Three and a half hours of running in the sand, leaping in and out of the water, swimming, trying to catch cranes and exploring the driftwood. Okay, that was JaYoBaCa. I just walked in the sand, took a lot of pictures and got really dirty. And really sunburned. Note to self, this is gonna hurt tomorrow.

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I still am amazed at how different parts of the west coast are. You’d never see a stretch of beach this secluded and undeveloped back east.

And then it was time for us to turn back. Another 90 minutes or so.

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So that is the magic part. Pretty simple really.

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