Sunday, June 22, 2008

Beach Dogs

We just returned from spending a few days at the coast, blessed by glorious weather and plenty of time for wandering down the beaches, playing fetch with the dogs and reading. We had a great time, the dogs had a great time and, of course, it all went by too fast.

We decided to let Kirby have a wee bit more exercise this time, and I think it was good for his little heart just to have the freedom to frolic on the beach. Kirby learned a few things about coastal fauna (yes, sometimes those little shells in the sand MOVE), and we learned that Kirby has the ability to jump with all four feet simultaneously, at least a yard in the air.

Some of Kirby's mystery ancestry also came through this time... When walking with us off leash he suddenly turned into a little shepherd dog... We couldn't figure out what he was doing at first. I thought he was just frightened and hiding behind our legs. Then I realized that he was, quite methodically, running back and forth behind our heels, from my husband to me to Baxter back to me and back to my husband. He'd circle around the side, pull in close, fade back, cross back over to the other side, etc. We were being HERDED down the beach. Yes, Kirby's mother was some sort of shepherd mix... whether that be German or Australian or what, we're not exactly sure. But our little "terrier" suddenly reminded me an awful lot of my friend's Shetland Sheepdog. I guess Kirby was just doing his part to keep the pack together and fulfill some sort of genetic destiny.

Now, Baxter's a pro at going to the beach and he always approaches it with absolute glee. Among Baxter's favorite beach attractions are:
  • driftwood sticks -- pick it up and look exceedingly eager to play fetch, get someone to throw it, then chase it, grab it, pretend like you're going to bring it back, then run right past the thrower, lay down on the beach 100 yards away and proceed to pulverize it into wood chips before they come and take it away
  • dead birds -- great to roll in, and nothing gets the whole family to come running any quicker
  • salt water -- so delicious and it works like a laxative!
  • dried seaweed encrusted with shells -- crunchy, salty goodness
  • wet dogs -- it's a big, wet, sandy dog party out here
  • freedom -- get that gentle leader off and GO!

And for us, one of the sweet side effects of spending the day romping on the beach is sleeping in the next morning... the sun rises without the dogs, who snore away until well past 8am (a record for Kirby).

More to come...with pictures!

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