Mia loves the beach.
I think her life with us is fairly boring. She gets to walk to school with us. She is crated while I’m at work, but Sara the neighbor girl comes over and lets her out to run around after school every day. (Mia used to come to work with me on Thursday, but she ate my seatbelt on the way home a couple weeks ago, so she lost the car ride privilege for now.)
She runs around outside and plays with the kids on Mondays and Fridays when I don’t work and weekends too. She (thank God) is overall a very mellow dog and doesn’t seem to be too broken up about her fairly dull suburban life.
However, she comes alive and becomes a different dog when she goes with us to Galveston. We have a house down there, a client told me today it was my refuge. Definitely. It’s the refuge for the whole family. We love it there.
Mia does too. She sleeps in the car the whole six-hour trip there. The only down side to taking her out there is we can’t stop at real restaurants for meals anymore. Our current favorite stop is Buckee’s. It’s a monster truck stop (not for monster trucks, its just really big) with nice big, clean bathrooms, every snack in the universe and this crazy deli where you order your sandwich on a computer and it magically appears a few minutes later. You’d think a computerized truck stop sandwich would be gross, but au-contraire…it’s actually super yummy with home-made chips.
There is a big side area where we walk Mia, taking turns with her while we order our food. Then we sit next to the building and have a picnic. Mia just hangs out with us while we eat, she’s such a good girl (usually).
When she was a puppy, she pooped next to the Buckee’s ice machine right in front of the store…we like to reminisce about it every time we walk by the spot. We also tried to sneak her into the store when she was little bitty, but we promptly got kicked out. We were hoping her cuteness would get her in, but no dice…darn health codes.
So anyways, we get to Galveston and pretty much as soon as we get out of the car Mia gets this crazed look in her eye and tries to head for the beach. We have to drag her upstairs to unload all of our stuff, then it’s time to see the sea.
I walk her on a leash til we get to the sand dunes, then I let her go. I wish you could see it. She tucks her tail between her legs, her eyes to wide, her ears go back and she takes off like a bat out of hell (pardon my language). She runs a crazed victory lap, tongue lolling maniacally. Then she checks in with me and shoots off to the water, scattering all sea birds on the way.
Mia’s favorite things at the beach:
1. Chasing sea gulls
2. Dead fish parts: you should see her, her favorite favorite are fish vertebrae. She takes them and tosses them in the air jumping after them. She takes a break to roll on it, then throws it again. This can go on for 15-20 minutes before she gets bored or loses the bone. By the end of a Galveston trip she smells like a catfood factory, she has to take a well-earned bath before she goes home. In case you were wondering, I use my vet skills to help prevent her from getting sick from all the fish guts by putting her on an anti-diarrhea cocktail. So far it works (it’s a mixture of probiotics, binding agents, antitoxin clay stuff, and anti-inflammatories). I have a beach vet kit that I take with me when we go.
3. Playing with whatever kids or people on the beach are doing something fun, especially if they’re in the water. She’s a little less attached to my family at the beach. I can’t tell you how many people in the water she’s startled by swimming up to them. You’re out in the ocean lost in your thoughts and this big black dog comes paddling up to say hello…sometimes a little spooky.
She hooked up with a couple of kids in the water last time we were there and got carried away and tried to pull off the little girls bikini bottoms!
One time I tried to make her go home (it was lunch time) and she walked with me from the water to the dunes and then turned around and tried to ingratiate herself with another family that was playing football on the beach. Another time, I was going in to use the bathroom and Mia was coming along for company. As I approached the dunes to go to the house, she paused. She looked at me, looked back at the Husband and the kids, looked at me again…then turned tail and hauled #ss (pardon my language) back to the beach.
4. Chasing anything that’s blown by the wind: sea-foam, flotsam and jetsam, paper, leaves, feathers, you name it.
5. Deadly Dog House. This is a game that the kids made up with her when she was little. Here’s how it goes: the kids take off running like a bat out of (well…you know). I hold Mia until the kids tell me to let go. Then Mia chases them and catches them. When she was little “catching them” involved grabbing their clothes til they stopped running. When she got big, it evolved into tackling the kids and generally ended in tears. Thus Deadly Doghouse games don’t last very long anymore. Problem is that Mia now thinks that any child that is running should be tackled.
This happened while I was strolling down the beach with Mia one fine day. A little 9ish year old girl was running from the water over to her parents. Mia saw the girl, her eyes lit up, and her brain turned off. Deadly Doghouse! Yay! She took that girl down like nobody’s business. Poor kid landed on her little green bikini’d butt. I was horrified. Fortunately or unfortunately, her parents were dog people and thought it was hilarious. Thankfully only the little girls pride was hurt. Mia and I apologized and we actually ran into the girl and her dad on another beach stroll later. Mia and the little girl posed for a picture taken by her dad, and Mia was forgiven.
6. Pooping on the beach. Mia refuses to poop at the house. She will pee there, but that’s it. Guess she likes the wind rushing at her bootie…I don’t know, but rain or shine, twice a day she has to go on a long beach walk to do her business. Yes, generally I scoop it, but sometimes she likes to use natures toilet and go in the ocean. Yes, it’s gross, but she’s on heartworm preventative so she’s parasite free and we live on a fairly unpopulated beach.
7. Sandcastle duty. She helps the kids. It’s really cute, whenever they’re digging in the sand, she comes along and lends a paw to the operation.
I think the next beach trip is in May. Mia will just have to bide her time til then. My father in law owns a lake house in east Texas. Mia hasn’t gotten to go there yet. We’ll see what kind of fun stories we get out there.
I’ll try to post some beach pictures soon.