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Going To The Dogs

May I talk about something other than Covid, fire, flood, and politics? (and my book? 😊)

I think I would rather revisit a pleasurable experience that happened yesterday at Dog Beach. The great thing about a stroll along Dog Beach is watching all the action. And there is plenty of action.

Dogs totally get it. They know exactly what to do when invited to the beach.

While humans shoot selfies, conduct loud phone conversations, have marriage ceremonies, sketch intricate designs in the sand, jog grimly up and down, or engage in unbelievable yoga poses, dogs at the beach are simply, insanely happy.

Ears flapping, tails wagging, they streak up and down with no particular destination in mind. Their toes barely touch ground as they leap for Frisbees, and crash through the surf to retrieve balls. They form happy little groups of pushing, shoving buddies, but never a fight. They know whose toy is whose, but they don’t mind sharing with another who has none. They dig holes and cover them back up. They lift their legs on clumps of seaweed and inspect each other’s tail section.

They have a glorious time.

After a while you recognize the regulars. There's the pink-collared puppy that only jumps up on me when I’m wearing white. There’s the tiny chihuahua that selects the biggest dog on the beach to try and rip to shreds. Then there are the two boxers that never (NEVER) quit running. They have this elongated bone-shaped toy that their owner throws out into the water, and they dive after it. No matter which one gets it, the other latches onto it in a death-grip. So they have to run in a synchronized tandem back to their human with the thing clenched between.

But my favourite are the pair of Australian Shepherds. Constantly hunched, bellies low to the ground; ready to spring and dart. Instead of sheep, they fasten their unblinking stare on the Frisbee in their owner’s hand. Waiting for the twitch that signals a throw. No matter how high, far, or awkwardly thrown, they always catch it And whoever catches it spends the next ten minutes avoiding his partner who is trying to take it away.

I was standing by, watching this Aussie Shepherd tableau yesterday morning when something unexpected happened. One of the dogs caught the Frisbee, then loped over and dropped it at my feet. He crouched, expectantly. He wanted me to throw it! I looked at his owner, who gave me a thumbs up.

Now I was faced with a most embarrassing dilemma. I hadn’t thrown a Frisbee in years. I gingerly shook off the sand, leaned back, and flung it with all my might. It sailed through the air beautifully. And even more beautifully, the dog twisted skyward into a graceful arc and caught it.


I grinned all the way back home.

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