pupdate: first run on the beach, and puppies in love

We had been waiting to take Cookie for a run at the beach -- waiting until she was more bonded with us, until she had a bit of training, until she seemed to understand that we five are a family. There are no enclosed dog parks near us -- or, to my knowledge, anywhere north of Campbell River. There's a baseball field and a schoolyard nearby, but both too near the road for comfort. We knew that at some point, we'd have to make a leap and hope for the best. Today was that day.

First we let the dogs loose on a semi-enclosed field near the beach. It was the first time the Kai and Cookie have really had room to run at full speed together. It was a sight! They were flying. We practiced some recall, trying to give Cookie the idea, then we went over to the beach itself.

Diego does not appear to feel sad or left out. He also doesn't try to run after the littles or keep up at all. The beach is still his favourite place, and he's still super excited to go. He seems to enjoy it on his terms.

It breaks my heart a little bit to see Diego so slow and mellow. It wasn't long ago (was it?) he was running like a maniac at Cherry Beach. But I remind myself that every day with him healthy and walking is a gift. He's enjoying his life, and that's all we can ask.

It was a little scary, and I wondered if we would ever see Cookie again. Both Cookie and Kai ran and ran and ran, mostly circling back to us when we called them. Then at one point Kai circled back and Cookie continued trotting away. Allan went off to follow her, so far down the beach I really couldn't see her any more.

Unfortunately I had all three leashes -- and the treats! Allan took a long walk, but eventually he shepherded Cookie in the right direction.

Here's a random heron for you.

Back at home, we are reaping the payoff of the well-exercised dog: the quiet. How quiet? They actually went into the same crate! That's Kai's empty crate beside them. We have never seen this before.

I also think that Cookie is beginning to calm down. She's a young, very active dog, no doubt. But she must have been extra hyper from the stress of abandonment and rescue. Tala was the same way -- when she was stressed, she flipped to a higher speed. I think something just clicked inside Cookie. She knows she's safe and can relax.

There's still nearly constant playing and running and crazy. But we're beginning to see moments like this, too.


Amy said...

It all looks like so much fun, though I do feel sad for Diego. How old is he? It seems so recently that he was the "new" dog.

Your experience reminded me of the first time we took Cassie to the beach in the fall of 2001 just a few months after we'd rescued her from the pound. She took off down the beach, and we felt pretty secure knowing it was a long beach with high dunes between the beach and any road. And then she took off UP the dune! We raced to climb up the dune, figuring we'd never see her again. But there she was at the top waiting for us! We put her on the leash, climbed down the dune, and waited until we trusted her more before we ever let her loose on the beach again. She spent many summers running on the beach and never disappeared up the dune again.

laura k said...

We think Diego is around 10. He was maybe 2 when we adopted him.

Can't think about that too much...

So funny, Cassie heading up the dune. Great image of her waiting for you at the top. I wish Cookie was like that!

Jay Farquharson said...

Thank you Laura,

In these time we need good things and you provide.

In time Diego will get some running back.

laura k said...

Thank you, Jay. That's nice of you to say.

I feel like enough people are covering all the crappy stuff that's happening. There's no point adding to it, unless I have something to say.

Random kvetching I mostly save for Facebook. :)

Amy said...

Maybe she will be once she really settles in. We'd had Cassie for about three and a half months when that happened, and it was her first time off leash since we couldn't let her off leash at home. But she was used to being near us so probably was just excited and forgot to wait! It wasn't too long after that that we knew we could trust her to come back if we called her. But she sure had us scared! And out of breath running up a dune!! (We were much younger then--not sure we'd have been so quick up that dune today.)

johngoldfine said...

I don't know which makes me happier: to see our guys stretched out, tongues and ears flying, nothing on their minds but the running--or to see them an hour later, flopped, completely limp with afterglow. You've got wonderful pictures to cover both angles.

Stephanie said...

Oh my, I can't wait to meet these guys!

With God's Help said...

This is so lovely.