This past Saturday, we spent a lovely (warm) morning on the beach at Crissy Field in San Francisco. I usually take Lucy to Fort Funston, another well-known “dog beach”, but it pales in comparison to the experience we had at Crissy Field. My friend Michele frequently takes her dogs, Harley (Lucy’s new BFF) and Cookie, there for play time. One thing that never ceases to amaze me about places where large populations of dogs gather is the lack of overt disagreements or fights that occur. Dogs are so much more accepting of each other than most people I know.
I met many wonderful dogs during our time at the beach, but there were three (in addition to Lucy, Harley, and Cookie, of course) that hold a lasting impact on me. I hope to meet them again.
Harley, Michele’s dog, is a rambunctious Maltese-poodle mix, and is the center of Michele’s universe (rightfully so). He is so full of exuberant energy, that I often feel weary just from watching him. Running a straight line is for lazy dogs…when Harley returns from fetching a ball, he hops side to side with his front legs – reminiscent to the course of a mogul skier. As he runs, the tuft of hair on the top of his head bobs up and down, magnifying his endearing nature.
Michele’s other dog, Cookie, is a middle-aged Beagle who exudes a generalized air of nonchalance. If she could, Cookie would spend her life being carried around atop a pedestal like an Egyptian goddess. She is indifferent to anything that may be happening at places such as dog beaches. She prefers walking on the path or on the packed sand at water’s edge – loose sand is too much of an effort. At one point she was “rolled” by an animated dog with no respect for personal space, and I felt so sympathetic to her obvious degree of insult that I carried her for a long ways up the beach.
As you know from previous blogs, I have a newly-developed fascination with French Bulldogs. At Crissy Field, we met a spark of one named Rosie. Rosie, like all other Frenchies I have met, carries an unbridled enthusiasm about everything, and runs as fast as her little legs can carry her to get on to the next thing. She is a little smaller than other Frenchies I have met, and I truly think her head is the exact same size as her entire body. She and Lucy seemed to get along famously after just a brief moment of the famous “Chihuahua stink eye”.
Kelso, a 1.5-year-old Golden Retriever, was a complete joy to watch. When I first saw him, he was reluctantly at the end of a leash being carried by his dad. As they made their way closer to the water, Kelso was clearly doing everything in his power to remain calm and dignified. There was a short physical conversation between him and his dad (which I imagine entailed a certain level of expectation on the part of his dad for Kelso to maintain some composure once freed) and then he was turned loose. There was another Retriever out in the water fetching a ball for its owner, and Kelso appeared very interested in doing the same, but also was a little reserved about completely immersing himself in the waves. In lieu of joining in the game of fetch, he danced along the line of surf so happily, I’m almost sure I could hear his laughter.
Last, but far from least, was Scout. Scout is a 3-year-old Boston Terrier, with an obsession with tennis balls that rivals even Lucy’s OCD. Scout loves tennis balls. There is truth to the saying “pictures are worth a thousand words”.