The family was running around, making sandwiches, filling hampers with ice and getting out all kinds of good-smelling food. I have been kicked out of the kitchen twice now, Chris says dogs don't belong in the kitchen. I must strongly disagree. Just because I happen to be of the canine persuasion is no excuse for rejection and total disregard of someone's feelings. I mean, gosh, dogs have egos too.
But it's hard to get too upset because I hear we're going to the beach, and I get to go!
I just love the beach. Actually, I was born in a little house right on the beach. That was Venice Beach in California. That beach is crazy. Jillions of people, half of them have roller blades and go racing down the sidewalk. Joggers, weightlifters, people in incredible costumes, and sunbathers are everywhere. There are so many people out in the water it looks like minestrone soup.
The beaches here in Southern Oregon are really different--no people. Well, there are some people, but none of them pull out a badge and write you a ticket for having your dog on the beach.
Today there were just three of us: Chris, Stuart, and myself. Chandra was visiting friends. I was the only dog; the other four are home guarding the ranch. It's not often I get both Chris and Stuart to myself, this is going to be fun.
The beach we stopped at was beautiful. I ran and ran--I probably made about a million doggie footprints in the sand. I ran over to get a drink of water. Yuck! I forgot this stuff is saltwater.
I went back to where Chris and Stuart were spreading out their blanket. In a mile of beach there were only about two other people.
It's a shame more people don't come here, the Southern Oregon coastline is one of the most beautiful in the world. Miles of white sand, huge rocks dotted across the sea front, with massive waves breaking against them. It's really quite spectacular. Some of the people say it is sort of cold here, even in the summer. That's not a problem for a dog--I'm warm until it gets below freezing. Today is a beautiful warm day without a cloud in the sky. When it got really warm, we all went for a swim. This is the first for me. I've gone swimming in the river and our pond of course, but never in the ocean. The ocean looks scary, but if my people are going in, I'm right there with 'em.
This ocean swimming was going fine and I remembered not to drink the water. You barely had to swim, the water moves you around by itself. Then this huge wave crashed over my head.
I was pulled way under the water and tossed and turned until I didn't know which way was up. I swam, but I didn't know which way I was going. All of a sudden my head popped to the surface, boy did the air smell good. Now I know there are two rules for the ocean--don't drink it and watch out for waves.
We went back to the blankets and they started to put out lunch--oh boy! A van stopped on the edge of the highway. The driver got out and opened the side door. He looked all around but didn't see us watching him. He took out two brown dogs and a litter of puppies and put them on the sand, then he got back in the van and drove away!
The two dogs just sat there looking in the direction that the van had disappeared. The puppies started playing in the sand. We all walked over to them. It was easy to tell from a distance that they were all malnourished.
The dogs didn't even look at us, just stared after the van. I didn't know how to tell them that they were probably abandoned.
The two older dogs were males, nobody knew what happened to the puppies' mother.
We invited our new acquaintances over to share our lunch. They were polite, but so obviously starved that the rest of us lost our appetites and gave the entire lunch to them. The older dogs even ate the pickles--YUCK! I don't care how hungry I was, I WOULDN'T eat a pickle.
We have the same problem of dumped dogs and cats in the rural area where we live. People drop them off probably thinking that someone will take them in, but how many dogs and cats can you take in? Mostly they become dinners for the local coyotes.
Listen folks, when you adopt a pet it is a major responsibility. Usually the cost of the pet is negligible compared to the total cost of ownership of the pet.
First, unless the animal is show quality, or you definitely want lots of them, plan to spay (girls) or neuter (boys) when you obtain them.
Yeah I know some of you guys think neutering a male dog isn't real macho. Speaking as an expert, let me tell you that having your male dog in anguish every time some neighborhood female is in heat isn't real macho either. Between all the howling, chasing around the neighborhood, and fighting with other males, it's very hard on our health.
Chris and Stuart loaded all eight dogs into the back of the Jeep with me and took them to Miss Sylvia. She is a retired nurse who spends her time taking care of, and trying to find new homes for, strays. She loved all eight of our friends on sight and took them in. She immediately started mixing up a special formula for the puppies and feeding it to them out of a syringe. Soon the puppies' bellies were bulging and they fell asleep.
Miss Sylvia said that it would not be a big problem to place the puppies. The older dogs would be much more difficult, but she would find someone to love them. Stuart promised to bring her a load of dog food to help with her expenses.
Miss Sylvia gave me a big hug and waved to us as we drove away. I bet God is reserving a special place in heaven for Miss Sylvia.
When we got home, the other four dogs in our family were there, eager to see us. It made me feel so good to be part of a family that was well fed, cared for, and loved all to pieces. Well, that's my day at the beach. It didn't turn out the way I had expected, but it sure gave me something to think about.