I have two dogs that are very good boys. They are loving and like to play: They love to cuddle and wrestle with me in equal measure. But some days, like Sunday, they lose their friggin’ minds.
Let me draw up a comparison for you…
Saturday-our first BarkswellSF meetup! It was a glorious success. We have over 40 members in the weeks it’s been open, and we had TEN RSVPs for the first event! I felt so accomplished-we did it! The boys were on their very best behavior, playing well with the new group member Pepper and her parents…I was over the moon. They are familiar with Fort Funston, we go their often enough that Wes and Barn are comfortable with their surroundings (I will save for another post the horrifying death defying tumble they took after I first got Barnaby years ago). They basically feel like they own the place, along with all the other dogs, and know the routine. This was a good day.
Sunday- our second trip to Pt. Isabel in Richmond was night and day different than Fort Funston. The smells were overwhelming, the external stimuli too much for their brains to manage. I trust them enough to leave them off leash at off leash spots but our first visit taught me that I CANNOT go there without a ball for Barnaby or he’ll spend the whole time chasing birds. Wes doesn’t care about any living thing beyond his brother, but he will run along Barn for a bird chase every day of the week. And there must be something about Pt. Isabel that automatically makes both of my dogs deaf. They have “PT. Isabel Self-Selected Doggy Deafness” or PISSDD. Which is funny because that is exactly what I was too-pissed!
So, after multiple times leaving his ball (on Saturday, he was diligently in charge of carrying, tracking, and protecting it) we lost it somewhere under a picnic table. And of course, it is the nice Whistler ball from Chuckit, rubber and sturdy and blue. I hope the picnic table takes good care of it. The loss is heavy for poor Barnaby because he jumps and dives at the empty Chuckit, thinking I am just carrying the ball away from him, but alas, no Blue Whister for you, my love. It now belongs to the Pt.
“Saturday-our first BarkswellSF meetup! It was a glorious success.”
And, I don’t know if yours are this way too, but without me creating distraction, my dogs find their own. No ball=swim time. Normally, I don’t mind them swimming-I go to these types of outdoor places knowing nine times out of ten, I will be giving them both baths when we return home. In fact, they both love to swim so much that I try to get them to water as often as possible. But Pt. Isabel is problematic in that the water comes up to a rocky shore, not a beach. My two dogs go roaring over the side and all I see roaring back are the crashing waves. It sends my heart to the pit of my stomach when seconds pass with no sign of them. Thankfully, they’ve both been fine on each visit, but the unknowns are great enough that I worry about visit number three.
Swim time leads to bird time and holy cow, I have never seen Barnaby run so fast on his short little legs. And then Wes trailing just off and to the left, thinking “what a fun game this is” or taking a swipe every so often to run Barnaby off course. They run so fast and so far that before I have time to really soak it in, they are all the way down the path and once again over the rocky shoreline. I give up yelling, or never even had time to start. They are making their own bed, I tell myself. They will be fine, two seconds. Where are their tails?, five seconds. I need to hustle, seven seconds. I should have worn running shows, ten seconds. There is one! Where is the other?, twelve seconds. Ah, there is he, (the turd), thank goodness!, fifteen seconds. And fifteen seconds lasts a lifetime when you are a mother to these two pups and they are unknowingly putting themselves in danger. They come to me like nothing was ever wrong…
My dogs are good, and sometimes outright bad, but they will always be too stubborn for their own good, and for my own sanity. But they sure do look cute wrapped in a towel, post bird chase and ocean swim….