Fun Times: Dogs at the Beach

What do you do for fun with your dogs? My dogs enjoy many of the same things, but each one has their own favorite thing to do. Jade loves to swim and run. Jade is the dog swimming in the header photo of this blog. In that photo she is swimming in the rain. Nothing will stop Jade from swimming if there is water nearby.  Charlie loves to follow his nose and he loves to share his joy with people. Ella, well, I am not sure I want to admit this, but she likes to tickle me! Other than that she likes to look beautiful (who knew that was a thing), whatever Jade is doing, and snuggling! Oh, and Ella does not like to swim – not one teeny, tiny bit!

I was  at a conference in Coronado, California . The hotel was right on the beach which was nice. It didn’t take me long to discover that one end of the beach was used by Navy Seals and the other end was a dog park. You can guess which end of the beach I spent most of my time.

There is something about the beach that makes you just want to have fun. The same is true for dogs.  Some loved getting into the water and running in the waves, others only wanted to run on the beach and avoided getting wet.

walking along the water's edge
walking along the water’s edge

People liked taking their dogs for a walk along the edge of the water. All dogs were off leash and they followed certain off leash etiquette:

  • dogs stayed within their sight;
  • dogs must be under voice control: this means dogs come when called so their person can either put a leash on their dog or the dog stayed with their person if there is a potentially dangerous situation;
  • dogs may not disturb other dogs, people, or wildlife;
  • all waste must be picked up and removed from beach.

Since everyone followed these rules people didn’t worry what other dogs were doing. They knew that the other dogs on the beach were okay and would not bother their dog. If dogs said “hello” to each other it was friendly and didn’t last long.  Mostly, the dogs stayed close to their person.

Dogs loved running free on the sand. People were attentive to their dogs. I loved it that people let the dogs decide what was fun. Some dogs only wanted to run and play on the beach. You can tell that these dogs clearly loved being on the beach. I wouldn’t take this joy from them – not in a million years!

Run free on the beach!
Sheer Joy! Running free!
Let's play!
Let’s play!
I might go close to the water, but I'm not getting my paws wet!! No how, now way!!
I might go close to the water, but I’m not getting my paws wet!! No how, now way!!

Some dogs wanted to be in the water.  Common theme: all of these dogs loved to play! The dogs were having fun whether they ran on the beach or they played in the water.

This next group of dogs wanted to chase balls, frisbees, whatever they could – not just on the sand, but they wanted to retrieve these items from the ocean!

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It is great that this dog had some self-control while he waited for the frisbee to be thrown… If I put a thought bubble over the dog’s head it might read “throw it already!”

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While he had self control he knew the trajectory and could anticipate where it would fly so he could catch it mid-air! I bet the thought bubble here would be “really, that’s all you got!” I loved watching this dog. After he caught the frisbee he ran into the waves with it. Was that a victory dance? Or was it his way of pretending that was where the frisbee was headed… we will never know. It was just fun to see this dog’s joy as he played the game.

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After he ran into the ocean with the frisbee he brought it back…..

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When he was done with the victory dance he came back toward his people, dropped the frisbee and laid down beside it.  It is a good idea to embrace the different play style of  each dog.  How does your dog play the game of retrieve? How does your dog play other games?

There was a little Jack Russell Mix that was a bundle of energy. He tried to be very patient while waiting for the ball to be thrown. Once it was tossed he would bolt for the ball like a horse that was let out of the starting gate during a race! He was a ton of fun to watch too.

Will you throw my ball?
Will you throw my ball?

This picture is fun because it gives you an idea of where the dog park was in relation to the hotel. The conference hotel was the building with the big red roof in the background – about a mile away.  The lady did throw the ball for her dog.

Skipping after the ball
Skipping after the ball

And he bounded after it! Oh the joy. He was such a delight – he had no fear of the waves!

searching for ball in deep water (well, for this dog!)
searching for ball in deep water (well, for this dog!)

Look for the tail in the middle of the photo and you’ll find the dog. His back is almost level with the depth of the water as he searches for his ball. He doesn’t give up though and is rewarded …

bringing ball back - let's do it again!
bringing ball back – let’s do it again!

Success!  He found his ball and brought it back. This little guy didn’t dally. He was in a hurry to retrieve his ball, bring it back, and play again!

A parting thought. Wherever we are, whatever we do – have fun. Dance, laugh, play. Share your joy. Live life without fear – as much as you can. I happened to get a picture that I love that reminds me of how we all have joy to share wherever we go!

Dance, laugh, love...
Dance, laugh, love…

Share the joy
Enjoy each moment
Live fear free as much as possible