Lukey and Jasmine at the beach
I remember this day - the goldens, Lukey and Jasmine, now five and rather frighteningly overweight, were much younger here. My sister Lori, seen belown, and I took them for a day at the beach, in Tofino. They were so excited when they got out of the car, after an hour and a half through the winding mountain roads, that they wouldn't take time to drink water.
Tearing along the ocean's shore, and plunging in and out of the waves, they had a blast, but began to drink the salty water.
Down the beach, in the distance, we could see the By-Law Enforcement Officer standing at the end of the trail. We put the dogs on leashes right away, even though there were no other people or dogs within half a mile, and loitered, hoping she'd give up and go away. Nope. She waited there till we finally arrived, and gave us a resounding lecture on having our dogs off-leash.
Now I can understand if the beach were crowded. Of course we'd control our dogs and not allow them to bother anyone. But this was off-season, there was no one around and the mile upon mile of empty sandy beach was too inviting to keep them leashed up when they wanted to run and cavort.
Having lived there for ten years BEFORE the days of bylaw enforcement (read stopping all the fun! campfires at sunset, dogs running free in the surf etc), I was too annoyed to speak. We were given a ticket. Grrrrrrr.
By the time we loaded the puppies, they were ill from the salt water and looked like this:
We haven't taken them back.
A younger Pup
I know my boy, Pup, who is an old man of thirteen now (91 in human years, to my dismay), would be ecstatic if I were to point the nose of the car in that direction one of these days. Every time we do, and he realizes we are going home! he starts panting and barking, leaping from back seat to front seat to back seat, his tail whapping me in the face with every leap, till he finally settles down for the long drive to our favorite place in the world. Pup spent his puppy years racing ahead of me along all the beaches and forest trails in Clayoquot Sound. He shares my wild wilderness soul, and my longing for the ocean and all of its wild places. But I worry.
For a few years now, his rear end has been giving out on him, and he is lame in his front leg and paw. I have to be careful not to over-exercise him. The last time I did, he was unable to get up for two or three days. I worried he might never get up again. So I need to guard him carefull against collapse. There is no way he could be on the beach without over-doing it. Then there is the problem of him being unable to jump back into the car after exercising and he is too sore for me to boost in. Plus he'd stiffen lying in the car for so long.
Sigh. I would love to take him back one last time, if I could know it wouldnt be too much for him. He would so love it.
But maybe I had better just play it safe and take him to the lake, where he can enjoy a short swim. Whenever I do, he always carries a stick back to the car as a memento of his outing. They arent as frequent any more and while he mostly sleeps now, I know he misses them as much as I do. My poor boy.
Pup at Stamp Falls