Golden Retrievers Speak: First Beach Day of 2017!

Jeter:   We got on the beach for the first time in 2017 last weekend!   We went on Easter Sunday, when the crowd was a bit more sparse than what a typical Sunday crowd would be.   New Jersey doesn’t allow dogs on most of their beaches, but there is a stretch of beach on Island Beach State Park where we are allowed to go.  It is so much fun – we get to play in the sand, meet new dogs, etc.

Alanis:  It also represented the first time I ever went to a beach.  It was so relaxing, and so much fun.  I didn’t even bark when I saw so many people and other dogs.  I guess there is something about the beach that calms everybody down.    I even met a new friend – a tiny hound dog mix who came running up to me as I was sitting in the sand.

Jeter:   Many people let their dogs go off leash, even though the rules say you shouldn’t.  It isn’t a big deal, of course.   That little dog was cute…

Alanis:  So cute that you snapped at him!

Jeter:   Let me explain:   Mommy and I walked all the way down the beach, and came back to Alanis and this other dog playing and sniffing each other.  I wanted to get in on the action, but I am a little nervous when I meet a new dog 🙁   On top of that, Mommy and Daddy know that I am protective of other dogs in my pack, and I was likely trying to help Alanis, even though they were only playing and sniffing.  I have great intentions!

Alanis:  As proven by the other dog you met…

Jeter:  Correct!  There was a much taller version of me walking down by the water, and Mommy brought me to that dog…Alanis stayed behind.  When I was sniffing that dog, there wasn’t any snipping or barking.   That is likely due to a few reasons:   1)  My pack mate wasn’t with me, so I had no need to protect anyone; 2)  I was the APPROACHING dog, instead of the dog being approached.  I like it better when I get to make the call on whether I want to say hi to you.

Alanis:   Everyone knows you are a sweet dog, Jeter.    We all have our little quirks…

Jeter:  And it isn’t like I actually bit the other dog.  I was just a bit “snippy”.

Alanis:   I wasn’t fond of the water.  I was scared of the waves.

Jeter:   Josh was never a fan of the water, either.  He wasn’t scared of the wave, but he had no real interest in getting his body wet.   Me, however…

Alanis:  Jeter loves to run into the water, and even drinks some of the salty crap.  Ewwwww!

Jeter:   That is still better than running away from the big bad waves, you chicken shit.

Alanis:   All I know is that my family was very proud that I handled my beach experience very well.   From early impressions, they think I may be a “beach bum” type of dog that doesn’t really have a need to walk on the beach, but loves to lay down in the sand.

Jeter:   I loved the walk Mommy took me on.  I have never been a Golden that likes to lay in the sand.  When I was younger, I played a lot of ball with daddy while Josh walked the beach with Mommy.

Alanis:  Why doesn’t our schmuck Daddy let us off leash?

Jeter:  He is just a paranoid idiot.  He probably thinks a Great White will hop out of the ocean and take us.    I don’t care, though – being on or off a leash is meaningless to me.

Alanis:  Why were their people sitting in chairs with big poles next to them?

Jeter:   You can be so dumb sometimes, girl!  They are obviously trying to make it easier for dogs to see them so we can go greet them.  Duh.  Why else would they just sit there like that?

Alanis:  Makes sense now.    You are always so good at explaining things.

Jeter:   This wasn’t a long beach session, but it was still a fun beach session.  Hopefully there are more to come this summer!

Me:  We were pleasantly surprised by Alanis’ behavior.  She is our “diva dog”, and we were fearing the worst – a dog that would bark at everything, try to run after every dog she saw, and attempt to even steal their toys.  She was none of the above.  Was she hyper?  Of course.  But she seemed content with just hanging out.  She was excellent with the tiny dog that approached us, which wasn’t too surprising as she is a playful dog.  A bit rough, but playful.  Jeter has always been a bit more skeptical of other dogs – he needs to be a bit more comfortable before he allows them in his domain.  And, again, I think some of it is that he is protective of his pack.  Once he sees you pose no threat, he is comfortable.

As for beach tips, just be aware of your surroundings. A beach full of dogs can lead to all kinds of adventures, so make sure you assess the situation – look for the dogs that are loose.  Many of them have no intentions of approaching you, as they are off in their own worlds.  But if they do, just make sure both your dog and the loose dog are comfortable before you allow them to play and sniff.  Don’t assume the dog approaching you is friendly, and don’t assume your dog will act fine around the approaching dog.   If you play it right, nobody will get hurt.  We have never had a bad dog incident in our years going to the beach, and we have come across many dogs.

You will see that different dogs like to do different things on the beach – some like to chase things into the water.  Some like to play chase in the sand.  Some like to just lay down and chill out.   Some love to take a long stroll with their owners.    Just like you enjoy the peace of the beach, the dogs likely do as well.  It is an adventure for them filled with enough exercise to knock them out for an evening.

Golden Retrievers Speak: Happy Birthday, Mommy!

Jeter:   Alanis, today is Mommy’s XXth birthday!     Be sure to give her many licks and hugs!

Alanis:   I love birthdays, even though I have no idea what they actually are.  Why do humans celebrate the day of their birth?

Jeter:  I don’t know.    I know when I was born, it wasn’t the best thing I ever experienced – popping out of the womb with so many other puppies, all blind, and all needing our mother just for survival.   We couldn’t do a thing on our own.

Alanis:  That is the part I don’t get.  For the most part, the day of birth doesn’t seem all that pleasant, right?    Babies come out of the womb as if it is the worst thing they have ever experienced…..

Jeter:  Well, it is, given it is the first thing they experienced.  But, whatever…

Alanis:   Shut up, wise ass.   Why is this day so much more important than yesterday?  Why don’t they celebrate the first time they could eat without drooling all over themselves?

Jeter:   Daddy still can’t celebrate that…

Alanis:   True, that.

Jeter:   I think we just have to recognize their weird customs and just go along with the gag – give them some extra attention on their birthdays for the sole purpose of them giving us some more treats.   That is the goal, right?  Brain wash them into thinking their birthday is so important to us, so we can get more treats.

Alanis:      But we must remember that this is our Mommy, and she loves us, so we should really wish her a Happy Birthday.

Jeter:     I agree with that – she deserves that from us since she is so good to us.  Do you have any idea how old she is?  I am looking into age-specific cards.

Alanis:  Given you are seven and I am three, Mommy can’t be older than ten.

Jeter:     Wow, that’s old – but your math makes plenty of sense to me.

Alanis:   Why isn’t she covered in gold hair like we are?

Jeter:   Ugh, must I explain this to you, Alanis?    Obviously, they lose their hair when they give birth to us.   It is probably a traumatic experience.

Alanis:   Thanks for explaining the birds and the bees to me.  Thankfully, I am spayed – I will never lose my hair.

Jeter:    Correct.  Let us please respect that this is Mommy’s first birthday since living here without Josh around.

Alanis:   Yes, that is indeed sad.  There are many milestones we will be passing that will be the “first without Josh”.  This is our first major hurdle.   What did Josh do for Mommy on her birthday?

Jeter:  I don’t know.  The same as us, I guess.  Not much we can do but be dogs, ya know?   Isn’t like we can hop on Amazon and buy her more scented candles.

Alanis:   Yeah, I guess we will just have to act like dogs…easy enough to do.

Jeter:   Well, I think she would appreciate it if you didn’t bark needlessly all afternoon on her birthday.

Alanis:  Asking for the impossible again, I see.

Jeter:     Any way, even though we both don’t understand what this day is or why it is meaningful, it is time to wish Mommy a HAPPY AND HEALTHY BIRTHDAY, filled with many tennis balls, treats, butt sniffing…..

Alanis:  That’s us, Jeter…

Jeter:  Oops.   See?  Josh was much better at this stuff.     It is time to wish Mommy a HAPPY AND HEALTHY BIRTHDAY!   We love you every much and appreciate everything you do for us.   We wish we can hand you a check for $1,000,000 (mostly because that can really be a boon for our treats stash), but our Golden smiles, wagging tails, licks, and cuddles will hopefully be more than enough.  We’ll let Daddy handle the other stuff.

Alanis:  That is scary.  Did you hear he got her a PAPER SHREDDER?    I have seen better romantic gifts given by Sheldon Cooper to Amy Farrah Fowler.

Jeter:  Yes, I heard.   I don’t even know what to say.   Maybe she should look into purchasing a Husband Shredder.

Alanis:   That being said, I also want to wish MOMMY a very HAPPY BIRTHDAY!    We both appreciate how much you care for us!  I know I can be a pain in the ass with my quirky ways at times, but I love you.   There isn’t a better Dog Mommy on the planet – I am so happy I landed here when I was put up for adoption.

Jeter:   WAIT!  You were adopted?

Me:    The dogs get a bit confused around this time of the year.    It indeed is Colleen’s birthday today, and it does have a milestone attached to it.   Yes, her “big gift” this year was a paper shredder, but she got a lot of goodies out of the deal as well.  Sheesh!       Colleen has been through a lot over the past several years, but she enters this birthday feeling healthier than she has in years.  We hope it is the beginning of nothing but healthy birthdays forever.    The dogs and myself both appreciate EVERYTHING about her.  She has a heart of gold, has a sense of humor (look at what she married), and is definitely the one great thing about waking up on any given Monday morning.    Everything good that comes her way is deserved – she fought hard even on her toughest days to get to where she is today.  The dogs are much happier for that, obviously.   It is another blog post I can write at some point, but Jeter was always “in tune” with her health -to the point where it was amazing to watch him as he watched over her.   I could not have ever asked for a better wife or a better “Dog Mother”.     I am happy to be celebrating this special day with her, and am looking forward to the nicer days filled with so much sunshine.   Sunshine is appropriate, as my first ever nickname for her was “Sunshine Girl”.  I won’t reveal what her very first nickname for me was.   Happy Birthday, Colleen!  I wuf you! 

Golden Retrievers Speak: Beach Weather

Jeter:   I haven’t been to the beach in a long time.  Josh and I used to go to the beach often.  He would prance along on the beach with Mommy while Daddy would play ball with me.   Daddy has always been petrified of allowing us to actually go in the ocean water to swim or retrieve, so we would need to be on leashes.    Josh was a beach bum – much more than I was.  He had no trouble just finding a spot and laying down for as long as he wanted to.

Alanis:  I have yet to go to a beach..

Jeter:  I cannot imagine your insanity on the beach.    We once had a hound dog in this house, and the only time they took him to the beach, he barked at the waves.   I bet anything that is exactly what you would do, as well.   Plus, I cannot imagine you with other dogs and people on the beach.  What an adventure.

Alanis:  Yeah, yeah yeah.  Don’t assume how I would act, Jeter!

Jeter:  One time, Mommy went off to collect shells and left Josh and me with Daddy.  A person walked by with their dog, and Daddy told him that it was OK – that we would be calm as they walked by.     We stunned him when we both made a big lunge towards the dog, knocking Daddy over.  He lost his glasses in the sand.  It was so funny.

Alanis:  I wish I was there for that!

Jeter:  Another time, he got tangled with Josh in his leash as they were walking, and he fell right into the ocean.  With his cell phone in his pocket!   Bye, bye cell phone!

Alanis:  What a jackass.

Jeter:  Never a dull moment with that Einstein as a father.  Anyway, playing ball on the beach was amazing for me.  Daddy would find a quiet spot, and we would play for seemingly hours.    The walks were long, and the fun we had was incredible.   Especially Josh.  He was made to be a beach dog.

Alanis:  I understand there were birds that intrigued you on the beach…..

Jeter:  Oh, yes!  I was intrigued by sandpipers.  Those birds are so cool with how they walk around by the water, plotting their moves for their next meals.  Nature is so intriguing….

Me:   Josh indeed had a certain way about him on the beach.  He would walk for miles with Colleen, but was also just as content with laying in the sand without a care in the world.   I am naturally petrified of letting my dogs in the water, though I would sometimes walk Jeter into the water on his leash, because he loved getting wet.    In our area, there are beaches where dogs are allowed to go, as long as they are leashed (not everyone obeys that!), and most dogs will probably enjoy the occasional frolic.   Just remember that if you are unsure about another dog that approaches, don’t put either dog in a position where they are uncomfortable.  It is supposed to be a fun day, not a fight day!

As for bad things dogs can get into on the beach, there aren’t many.  Eating a little sand or swallowing a touch of sea water won’t kill them, but obviously, you want to limit that.  There is always a possibility they can cut themselves on a sharp piece of shell, etc.