Ahh the beach, it takes but one trip to the beach to collect several blogs worth of behavior material. Yesterday was no different; there was a wealth of happenings to talk about.
Driving down the narrow roadway and slowing our speed; we crossed the whine zone. This is when the almost inaudible sound is emitted by Luke. The tiniest of cries can be heard, but only if you are listening for them. It almost like a heavy exhaled breath with a whistle on it. Even though he knows long before we get to the narrowing road that we are going to the beach, he waits for close proximity to start the whining. I think the point of crying is the spot where he is beginning to lose it; the reality of our destination is simply too exciting.
Once we finally get to the beach the dogs must wait to be hooked up and then we head out. They are so excited that they can barely contain themselves. Through the fenced sandy path we finally get to the open beach and have a look around. We usually enter midway so that we can choose either left or right. Luke is released first and runs out; turning around, he waits for Elsa's release. She has learned that she must get enough control of herself to sit first, then wait for me to calmly unhook her. As she's free the two run off some steam immediately.
Next it's onto socializing, being the weekend yesterday there were way more dogs than during the weekdays. There was a large pile of dogs to the left, too many for my liking so we steered them away from that crowd and moved right down the beach. I chucked Elsa's ball for her and she charged off after it with a feisty Jack Russell going for it alongside her. The Jack made it first scooping up Elsa's ball; but not only did this little munchkin steal the ball, she told Elsa off as well. She ran down the beach with Elsa in hot pursuit. The tiny albeit mighty Jack was leaping and growling at Elsa and Elsa gave it right back at her. After all this was Elsa's ball; and the little dog was being quite nasty about the acquisition. It was the first time I've seen Elsa get angry at all. Finally the Jack decided that the angry ball of fur wasn't worth the effort and dropped the ball. Elsa scooped it up immediately and we moved on.
We ran down some great open beach until we came across a huge big lab mix digging a hole. There was a small Manchester terrier looking mix leaping around the labs head barking and barking. It was all in good fun and the lab didn't seem to mind the enthusiastic commotion from the obviously much younger dog. The big lab stopped long enough to say hello to both Luke and Elsa and went back to his hole. I am always very cautious around dominant males as Luke tends to draw attention to himself being the confident guy that he is.
We passed a herd of dachshunds which Luke took the time to meet. There was also a large black hairy dog in the mix that Luke went to say hi to as well. Luke is a very social guy, he is very confident but not a fighter. He carries himself accordingly, he has a high and proud stature and because of it is often challenged. More often than not he will simply walk away, he's much more a lover than a fighter. When pushed he will not back down, but he will never throw the first punch.
As we head further down the beach we lingered in some alone time. We had a big stretch to ourselves and quickly enjoyed it before we had company. Glancing over my shoulder to the left I saw a Rhodesian coming our way, a very large and very dominant female. She locked eyes onto Elsa, tail high with a slow but deliberate pace. "Oh, oh, she's going to give her a lesson" I thought to myself. None of this hopping around the beach like a butterfly. Elsa ran over cautiously, wagging like crazy she was obviously not what the grouchy old girl was looking for as she turned her gaze past Elsa to Luke.
She redirected her steely stare to Luke; he noticed immediately and approached her just as slow and upright. They met standing neck to neck; rare for a male/female encounter but she obviously owned this beach and was going to let everyone know. I watched for a second before calling Luke; standing too long in this position can not lead to anything positive. You could feel the tension; Luke was not backing down to any girl on the beach. Being the lighthearted guy that he is; he bounded off in my direction when I called him. You could almost see the grin on his face as he kicked sand in her face as he left.
In most everything that I do; I try to always "quit while I'm ahead." So with a wonderful trip to the beach we started towards the car; but not before running into another bunch of dogs. There were three dogs coming our way, a beagle mix, a scruffy sand colored terrier mix and one that I could not make out. From a far the shape resembled a small Vizsla; but the color was wrong, it was white. The tail was docked so it was most likely a breed but it had me stumped. As they got closer I was shocked to see that it was indeed a poodle, go figure. I never see poodles shaved down like this.
She immediately let Elsa know that there were to be no niceties. She froze and growled deeply; Elsa quickly hopped away happily. Luke approached her cautiously seeing right away that she was not the warm and fuzzy type. She gave him the same message and he too turned and followed Elsa off happily down the beach. We had a quick chat with owner; she said the dog was actually a labradoodle, it certainly looked like a poodle. I guess the woman had got her when she was older but her tail was docked and she looked exactly like a poodle. The dog growled at my hubby so we took that as our final cue to leave.
Walking through the parking lot to my xterra I was stopped by a commotion. A man was walking his two very large Goldens to the beach. He was yelling at them and stopped to yank on one, screamed closer to the dogs ear and slap him on the rear. Hmmmmmmm (Blog tomorrow on this) Have a great Monday everyone.