Jessie, the beach and squirrels
My daughter and I took Jessie to Salt Creek yesterday. This is a dog friendly area although you cannot take them on the actual beach. But there is a path right beside the beach that you can walk on and dream of walking on the beach with your dog. It is a beautiful area; typically it is a sea of bodies in the summer but right now the people are few and far between. There are alot of surfers at this beach, walking down the path to the beach the ocean is littered with bobbing surfers waiting for their wave.
Yesterday as we started down the walkway a lady in front of us had two pomeranians. Both of these dogs wanted a piece of Jessie; obviously they did not know who Jessie was. Jess tried her hardest to ignore these obnoxious girls for a while but as we passed them it was just too much for her to bare. Being called out in public like this is a bit much for a very dominant little Jack Russell. I felt like taking the two poms aside and telling them that they were messing with the wrong girl. Being the good little JRT that she is, we talked and walked past the poms without incident.
Jessie hasn't been to Salt Creek before; so she didn't know about the squirrels. If she did know about the squirrels she would have completely ignored the other dogs and dragged me down to the beach path; all 15 lbs of her. Once we got to the path she could smell them; and she knew they were around. Jessie knows when she smells a hole if there is an occupant or not. So she knew she was in for some fun. The first glimpse of a squirrel projected her like a torpedo. She wears a body harness and it is a very good thing in these sort of situations.
The pathway runs along the beach, out to a lighthouse type thing and around a rocky corner with a small cliff to the water. Having lived with Jessie for almost 12 years now I know she would run off the cliff in a heartbeat. There will be no stopping to see if it is safe while she chases a squirrel. She sees the squirrel and goes after the squirrel, she sees nothing else. So I tightened up her leash just as she went over the edge. Its not a big cliff; maybe 8 feet in total but she only dropped a foot over the edge.
As she clammored her way back up onto the path a little white Maltese type dog was ahead of us. He hadn't noticed Jessie coming up behind him. Some dogs read other dogs very well and this boy definitely did that. He got excited; took one look at miss bossy pants and decided to keep to himself. That was until we passed him and I could hear him then trying to catch up with Queen Jessie. Jessie always gives other dogs the look first; the "don't even think about it," look. And if they do think about it, she tunes them up.
No one would ever think that she is a 12 year old dog; she doesn't think she is. As we came to the end of the path the squirrels seem to entertain themselves by shreiking at the dogs passing by. It amazes me how some dogs have no interest in them. All of my guys would love nothing more than to grab one. And the entire time we are there; they are in hunt mode. Even as we walked up the path to the park area; Jessie was trembling in anticipation. Every once in a while she would make a death defying leap; but the squirrels always manage to stay one step ahead of her.
Of course; this is because I'm in control. If I let her off her leash those squirrels would be in for a big surprise.