Posts Tagged ‘walking on the beach’

While in Wales, we had a number of amazing and fun adventures: Caerphilly Castle, the Welsh Life museum, a tour and tasting at the Penderyn Distillery, the dog show, the field trial, a Joshua Bell and St. Martin in the Fields concert at St. David’s Hall in Cardiff, and sitting around the dinner table eating Sandie’s wonderful cooking and talking with our friends.

But I think of all of them, my favorite were the daily walks. Martyn has the very good fortune to live within 10 minutes of a wide variety of terrain where he can walk his dogs. Plus, he lives in dog heaven — rural land veined with foot paths, public right-of-ways that have existed for centuries, allowing the public access through private farms, pastures, woodlands, and even a quarry. Sometimes walkers have to crawl over fences and through gates, but the right of access still exists.

Martyn makes sure his 5 dogs go for a long walk twice a day. And while Russ and I were there, one or both of us went along each time. One day, Martyn and Sandie, plus three dogs, went to two beaches, which were about 45 minutes away, and well worth it (even during the fierce 10-minute downpour).

Here are some pictures from our walks:

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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.

Oooh! Is Trice getting a stick?

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.

What are you looking at?

Which one has chicken in her pocket?

Didn't we leave that stick somewhere around this rock?

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.

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We lucked out. Our late September day at the beach was sunny and warm. Just fine for throwing sticks into the Pacific ocean for two very eager Irish Water Spaniels.

Tooey and Cooper, with Trice throwing a stick toward Japan

Tooey and Cooper racing through the surf line

An Irish Water Spaniel or two swimming through the surf

Tooey crashing through a wave

Russ sending the dogs for more sticks

Admiring the view after a hard day at the ocean

After a day like today, I always think I must come back to the beach more often. I love it. The dogs love it. And it’s just been much too long since the last time, just about two years ago.

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Sometimes all you need is one picture:

Tooey and Trice on the beach

Tooey and Trice on the beach

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