Today I took Pip to the dog beach for the first time. At first I kept him on his lead. He was desexed just before we got him and the lady from the Border Rescue Group told us not to get the wound wet for at least 10 days. So it was 36 degrees and I was held hostage, sweltering on the sand with my poor pup still recovering from the loss of his manhood.
D1 and D2 headed straight for the surf with their boogie boards and were having a whale of a time. Fortunately, a year’s intensive swimming lessons and a few weeks of Nippers means I don’t have to be quite as eagle-eyed when at the beach. This is lucky for them; because Pip has a habit of distracting me.
Like me, Pip hates the heat. Together we ended up in the only patch of free shade on the beach – in the shadow caused by the rubbish bin. Poowee! So we sat there for a while people watching and dog watching. I reckon the ratio of human to dog was about even. I love watching the dogs arrive at the bottom of the steps, get off their leads and pelt head long into the sea. They seriously love it!
After a while I decided to let Pip off his lead and see if he could make some doggie friends. I was reasonably confident he’d be too scared to go in the water and this theory proved correct. He had a few exploratory sniffs but most of the dogs were so busy frolicking in the waves that he didn’t really have the opportunity for a proper play.
Actually, his greed gene rather than his play gene, went into overdrive and he discovered an unattended plate of goodies that someone had left on their towel. Now, said goodies would not have been particularly edible for humans having sweltered in the sun for who knows how long. But I’ve read up on how sweet treats are especially evil for dogs and was not going to let Pip indulge, nor set a terrible precedent for flogging unattended food.
So I dived at him, picked him up and moved him on to another area.
Later that night as I collapsed on the couch I begged Him-In-Doors to take a turn at walking the dog. So he saddled up – coming back twice for forgotten treats and plastic bags – and set out.
About 15 minutes later, he returned. Pip had staged a ‘sit-in’. I’m not sure if this is a dominance issue or a puppy thing but sometimes when we go to walk him, he sits and refuses to budge. You get out the treats, he moves forward a couple of metres, devours his treat and sits again. In this situation I try and persist but Him-In-Doors is not quite so patient.
Later, D2 and I succeeded in taking him for a very late walk – around 9.30. Perhaps, he too, needed to wait for the day to cool down.
D2 has been keen to have her special bonding thing with Pip. I’m the Mum – goes without saying – D1 scratches his tummy which D2’s a little bit uncertain about – and Him-In-Doors – is still in the process of bonding. But the last few morning walks, D2 has run with Pip. Together they pelt full bore and then wait panting for me to catch up. This has given D2 her ‘thing’ – now if she just walks or runs a little ahead and Pip is staging a sit-in all I have to say is ‘Where’s D2?’ and he’s off! As we walked around the lake together, I experienced one of those heart-melting parent moments.
‘You know Mum,’ D2 said. `When we first got Pip I liked him but I didn’t really know him. But I really love Pip now!’