Allergies, the beach and k9 behaviors

I had my dog at the beach yesterday, Huntington dog beach. One of my daughters joined me; it was her first trip to the beach where dogs can run free; off leash. The day was gorgeous, high 60s by 10:00 am and sunny. As it was good Friday there were a few more dogs than normal but not too many for a quiet run with the dogs. As we arrived a family with three Irish Red and Whites were just leaving; of course I had to talk to them.

Once down on the beach the dogs had a blast; there were no issues the entire time. All the dogs were running, chasing balls and frisbees and having a great time. The thing I did see that was not good was from a very insecure young female pit mix. Nothing happened but I can guarantee that something will happen down the road with this dog. I could see in the distance by her shrunken body language that she was not comfortable interacting with the other dogs. Then they came our way; and I wondered if Luke would sense this. He made an obvious choice not to meet her as she pasted by then changed his mind and approached her slowly. She shrunk at his approach and then when she could tolerate no more she froze with flashing lazer stare eyes, this was the bad sign. I immediately called Luke and he happily came to me. This freeze was definitely going to be an issue for this guardian if she does not address it.

When it is time to leave the dogs are happy; they've had enough time to enjoy themselves and are not left with the "I don't want to go" feeling. They are calm and relaxed and Luke wants water. I bring a colapseable bowl to the beach with a bottle of water; he is a big drinker. This is very different from Tilley who I can barely get to take a sip once in the car. But Luke can chug back alot of water at the beach and he gets a bit more once back at the car.

Once we got back to the car Tilley really needed a lift into the back of the xterra. She just celebrated her 11th birthday and although she is in amazing shape and looks like a 2 year old she is starting to show signs of her age. After a day at the beach or a long run she finds it difficult to muster up the energy to hoist herself into the back. It is either time for a ramp or I'll just resign myself to do the hoisting. Luke will be 8 this August and still has built in springs in his back legs.

So, sitting in bed with my three this morning poor Jessie is itching her face off. She has allergies and it is now very clear that the worst cause is grass, not good. I have suspected grass for a while but with seasonal allergies as well it is hard to pinpoint the worst cause. So I now have to select grassless areas to take her on her walks. She is fine on open natural areas where there is dirt and long grass but it is the manmade grass areas that get her. Probably it is the chemicals that are put onto the grass in those areas so, au natural for this girl. Which will mean carrying her over the groomed grass areas to get the natural areas.

These guys love the weekend, they love to sleep in and they are waiting to see the tell tale signs that Dad is ready for a run in the canyon.

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