I’ve been wanting to take Emmett to dog beach in the worst way, but life keeps getting in the way. Emmett gets Very Excited at dog beach. The first time I took him was not two weeks after I brought Mulan home; I didn’t know her too well so I was focused on her while we were there. Emmett went nuts. He was having the time of his life. So much so, in fact, that he followed his new doggie friend out of the beach, down the sidewalk and onto a busy road. The whole time I am running after, dragging Mulan by the collar because I didn’t want to stop long enough to put her leash on and lose sight of him. The people he was following eventually heard me screaming and stopped long enough for me to catch up.
That was 6 years ago. It traumatized me for a bit. We took a break from unsecured dog beaches for a spell, and stuck to fenced in dog parks. We went a few more times after that, after both dogs were a little better trained, but only when I had my husband with me so we each got one dog to watch.
Then I had the kids, and we were outnumbered again in terms of creatures to supervise. Back to dog park it was.
When he was diagnosed with lymphoma, I made a Doggie Bucket List of things I knew Emmett would want to do. Dog Beach is on there, as is “eat filet mignon,” “eat chocolate,” and “joyride in Dad’s car (check)”. Dog beach is easy at this point- only one dog to watch, and the kids are pretty independent now. The only problem is, I’m nervous to take Emmett to a place with dogs running amuk since he is fairly immunosuppressed from his chemotherapy, so it needs to wait until he is on a less frequent regimen.
In the meantime, we decided to go to the lake and feed the ducks. It will do for now.
First, find a pleasant spot with eager ducks eyeing you for food.
Next, convince your dog that the ducks are in fact the main attraction.
Bread is an alluring attraction for both mammals and avians. You get bonus points if you manage to scare passers-by who mistake the Gentle Leader for a muzzle and clutch their children to their breast as they scurry by, loudly proclaiming that no, they may NOT pet the dog.
Our maneater also doubles as an effective shepherd, pausing in his exploration to give the ones with the shortest legs a chance to catch up.
I know it’s not Dog Beach, Emmett, but it was a nice day nonetheless. I promise you, we will go soon.