A Day at the Beach
From the title, I'll bet some or many of you were expecting to see pictures of a beautiful GSD at the beach, weren't you? Nope. I just want to relate several things about our trip yesterday and hope for comments, even from some of the hypercritical advanced members who cause so much consternation on this board.
We wanted to see the beach for the first time this year as the wind forecast seemed to suggest it would be reasonably calm and the wife wanted to take the dog. We should have known better. The March April period always seems to make fools of weathermen and it was blowing like a tropical storm almost when we got there.
We had Zeus (19 mos.) with us and he's grown into one indisputably beautiful animal. He endures the 1.5 hour drive pretty well as soon as he realized we weren't headed directly to the park where we often walk him for hours and, instead, going to places unknown.
But as soon as we got there he was pretty raucous, wanted out in the most desperate way and was bit uneasy on the leash. We decided to lock up the car and walk him first while tossing a ball or a Frisbee to take some of his energy out of him. We didn't want to have to deal with a rowdy dog while we tried to erect our sun shelter in the stiff wind.
It was about 11 a.m. on a Sunday and the beach was only sparsely attended by other visitors and vehicular traffic was light. So, we could walk Zeus a bit to get by an encampment and the have plenty of space to throw a toy with him. It worked out well but for the fact that Zeus on only his second visit to the beach wanted to drink the salt water.
Some years ago I took a black lab we owned to the beach and let him roam a bit before realizing that he'd drunk a lot of salt water. I put him in the folding crate we'd brought to stop it and gave him fresh water which he too drank profusely (due to his previous consumption of salt water, I surmised). Then we set up camp for the night, put a mosquito net over his crate and went to bet.
The next morning he was in pretty bad shape and was having trouble urinating and seemed in pain. It took several days back at home for him to return to normal. So, we learned our less and applied to Zeus - NO DRINKING SALT WATER, PERIOD.
We did encounter several other dogs on our walk, mostly they were small and leashed and most of the owners who saw Zeus coming quietly and without ceremony moved their dogs into their tent, onto the bed of their truck or to the other side of their vehicle so the dogs didn't interact.
Zeus is not allowed to be dog-reactive so all went well even though some of the other dogs ultimately spied Zeus and raised a bit of a ruckus. We don't hold it against other dogs. They've just doing what dogs would ordinarily do if not trained. We just walk on by and admonish Zeus with an occasional "easy".
I also wore the T-shirt I've shown on this board (to the great revulsion of some of the more knee-jerk members of the board, especially the "titled" aristocratic, busy-body members) which warned folks away from our dog. One could see a visible expression of wariness on the part of the dog-owners as we approached and a visible expression of relief when we had passed by the first time and then again on the return trip.
I don't care what anyone here says, that T-shirt helps avoid dog-on-dog confrontations. I'll wear it regularly when my Zeus is expected to be near unfamiliar dogs. It works as designed.
Several people were taken with Zeus' conformation and good looks. One young woman, perhaps in her late teens, even on sight of Zeus loudly exclaimed, "Wow, that's the most beautiful dog I've ever seen in my entire life." I straighten up and strutted proudly until the wife reminded me that there was a high probability that such a young woman said similar things to a scrawny, pimple-faced and pot-marked human she called "my boyfriend". Oh, well.
When Zeus was quite young I used a fishing pole and a cork in the same way some use a flirt pole (I'd not heard of that at the time) to increase his prey drive. So, when we tried to fish in the surf he went crazy crying and straining at the leash.
Now, I wish I'd never taught him that.
We saw only one problem act on the beach with dogs. About two or three cars down a family, a large drunken family, seemed to have two or three puppies on the beach unleashed. But there was persistent big-dog barking from somewhere amongst them.
One of the pups seemed like a GSD so I walked down there to see him. He was but six weeks old and they said they'd had him since he was 5 weeks old and had just stopped bottle feeding him. Then I saw two pit-bulls in a single crate barking their heads off.
Concerned at the viciousness of the pits, seeing the puppies at large and fearing they'd let the pits out I returned to my camp, put on my sidearm and then proceeded to shut the camp down and leave. Those two in a pack would have been very bad trouble for my Zeus.
In the end, the wind and my concern for the pits drove us off the beach and back on the road home. Zeus was exhausted from a day in the sun and slept the whole way back.
Next year we need to wait until May, I think, to try the beach scene.
Got any beach stories?
Sounds like a typical day at the beach for this time of year. I happen to enjoy the cold windy weather at the beach better than summer. There are hardly any people and we do all come home exhausted from being out in the elements. Where I live, the warm weather brings too many tourists, not a fun time.
I'm just sorry you had a long drive and have the day end on a sour note with the pits and puppies. Unless we know a pitbull well, like one of our neighbors we too would leave. After reading about what to do in a dog fight with a pitbull by the ASPCA, we just won't take these kind of chances. You need a wedge type tool to stick in their mouth and who carries one of those?
Sounds like your dog handled the other dogs you encountered well. We always need to be careful when we are sitting down, especially at the beach. Our dog gets very protective when we sit, but when we are moving and walking she's fine. Probably the best times at the beach for us is sunrise/sunset or the few times we've arranged to meet up with other GSD owners and during these times my GSD behaves really well, all of them do and its beautiful to watch them. Hope your next visit is better!
Next time post photos along with a story, I love to see other areas of the country.
Sounds typical for any open area full of people and dogs, good for you knowing to get your SA, would have been my first move as well
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I am jealous you can just strap on your sidearm , and I want to know what this shirt says ;)
We aren't allowed CC here. Political rant left unsaid, lol. But all my beach stories are pretty much the same: dog runs off-leash and swims until exhaustion and then we go home. I live near a river now, so it's currently all riverside rather than beach stories. But it's still the same: have fun and go home. There isn't much drama here, expect for the charging boxer last summer - that hardly counts, when you think of how many times we've been down there, what's one single incident? That's life.
Errr...well....umm...the shirt, O.K. I used a vest on my dog to the same effect.
Other dogs on a dog friendly beach, of all flavors and temperament, to be expected it's a sand filled dog park.
Having to tote a gun, wear a warning shirt, worry about the inevitable mouthy pitties and little yappers, well that's all just too stressful for a day at the beach for little ole me.
Glad you had a good time. :confused:
No beach photos?! :angryfire:
I just found the t shirt you're talking about. Nope not the same as my dogs "do not pet" training vest. Lol!
T shirt, dog and gun...dang that's one dangerous beach you got there.
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