pupdate? in which i worry about traumatizing our dog who has zero recall

Cookie does not, will not, come when called.

She is just not interested.

At mealtimes, "wanna eat?" will bring her running. And if she's in the backyard or on the deck, the sound of the clicker and the treat jar will usually work.

But at the beach, she has no intention of coming back to us.

We've done the high-value treats, we've done... everything. The beach is simply too wonderful to leave.

I am Cookie, and I answer to no one.
Last year, on a wet, cold day, I was waiting outside the library for Allan to pick me up. He was late. I knew he had taken the dogs to the beach in the morning, and knowing he soon had to clock in to his own work, I thought he forgot about me.

When Allan showed up, I learned that Cookie was still at the beach! It was getting late, he knew I was waiting, didn't have his phone with him -- so he left (with Kai)! Now he was going to head back to the beach to get Cookie.

I was worried and scared! But a few minutes later, Allan and Cookie came home. Apparently at the beach, Cookie was anxiously trotting around the parking area, looking frightened. She hopped in the car and they came home.

I made Allan promise to never do that again. But after this incident, it appeared something had changed.

Now when Allan needs to get Cookie back in the car, he gets in the car and begins to slowly drive away. Then she appears, sometimes trotting alongside the car until he stops and lets her in.

I had never seen this method myself until yesterday. We had a few hours of sunshine that coincided with a low tide and a day off, so we hustled down to the beach. When it was time to leave, Cookie was completely ignoring us. (She was "fishing", even though it's winter and no fish are visible.)

Allan persuaded me to try it. We put Kai in the car, and I drove slowly to another parking area, adjacent to where we had parked, but maybe 50 metres away, where we weren't visible from the water. I waited there nervously for less than five minutes, then drove slowly back to our usual parking area.

I saw a flash of golden colour. I called her name, and Cookie came tearing towards us, running at top speed, then overjoyed, licking and wiggling with happiness. On the way home, she was very affectionate, almost clingy.

It was very hard for me to do this! Was she frightened? Did she think we had abandoned her?

Or is this just how things work now? Has she simply learned that when she no longer hears our voices or can see us, she should come to the parking lot and look for us?

I don't want her to be frightened! But on the other hand, if it takes hours and hours to collect her, we are seldom going to have beach time.

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