More walking on the beach, more stick throwing, more swimming and body surfing, more stick retrieving, more watching the clouds, more rejoicing in the unexpectedly sunny weather: That’s how our last-day-of-September morning went. In one word: delightful.
In the afternoon, we were joined by Dave and Liz, who live nearby, and their two hunting dogs, Maxie, the Standard Poodle, and Bugsie, the Wirehaired Pointing Griffon. Together we walked the beach between Netarts and Oceanside, chatting about dogs, hunting, and good places to eat nearby.
The one picture we didn’t ever get (and really, it should have been a video anyway) was of Tooey teaching herself to bodysurf. She was absolutely fearless about throwing herself into oncoming waves to fetch the stick we’d thrown (there is a picture of that on yesterday’s entry), and then coming back in. On one of those trips, a wave took her over as she was swimming in, lifted her up, and carried her to shore.
Being lifted up startled her that first time, but after that, it looked for all the world as if she chose her exact moment to return to shore so that a wave would catch her and carry her in. She was so eager to repeat the ride that she crashed through the waves and beat Cooper to the stick almost every time — and that’s another first. In the past, Cooper has always gotten to the retrieve object first.
And then there’s Cooper’s game. Whenever we throw sticks on a sandy beach, Cooper takes a break from retrieving by playing this game he’s made up. He picks up the stick, runs around with it, and then drops it onto the sand. Then he leaps onto it, paws at it as if digging, and then throws the stick back between his hind legs. Then he turns around and, Surprise! There’s the stick! Oh boy! Whereupon he leaps on it again as if he’s just found it, and starts the game all over again.
Days like today remind me of some of the best reasons to have dogs. They have such fun with simple things like sticks, and are filled with such joy. I’ve watched them play for these 2 days, and I could keep watching them for many, many more days to come.
We’ll go home tomorrow. But I’ll remember these two days fondly, and plan to come back to the beach soon.