Sunday, November 15, 2009

Just Beachy

I really wanted to take Marge for a hike today, because it's now been a couple of weeks since our last woodland adventure.  However, I slept in pretty late following a night-owl kind of night yesterday, staying up and browsing the internet for who knows what.  So, the beach would have to be the best substitute.  Marge, my sister and I headed for the shore.

Dogs aren't allowed on open New York City beaches during the beach season, spanning from May to October, I believe. This excludes the strip of beach near my house where there are no lifeguards, park personnel, etc (I suppose you can call this a "closed" beach), but does include other nearby beaches.  So, this marks the first time in a long time that we've been on this particular stretch of sand.  Since it is so vast, I knew that despite the warm weather, we'd be able to avoid the throngs of people out enjoying the end of the really rainy week we had.

The colors were so vivid.  The sun was striking at an odd angle, since it sets so early now.  As long as we could avoid the shadows, we got some pretty nice pictures.  All the while, Marge explored and trotted gingerly from rock to rock, shell to shell.

She looks so focused and determined in this shot, like she's following some sort of strong and promising scent.

Here, she wonders why we've told her to pause and pose next to the crashing ocean.  I have a similar picture of her from the summer of 2008 on one of our very frequent beach outings.  It's funny to see how gangly the yearling Marge looks back then compared to how she's filled out and grown almost a year and a half later.

And, of course, no beach day would be complete without a big wide Marge grin, her eyes glimmering and specks of sand dotting her otherwise pitch black nose.

She explored the rocks next to the jetty, but the waves soon came pouring over them, causing Marge to want to get to higher ground as quick as she could. She leapt from the rocks onto the big cement pier. After all our excursions at the beach, she still wants absolutely nothing to do with the water, since it isn't still and peaceful like the lakes and ponds in the woods.

We kept going, Marge leading the way in a flowing, full-out trot.  She did very well passing a large mastiff and a puppy mastiff in pretty close proximity.  We encountered a couple of other dogs, but most either didn't notice Marge or she didn't notice them, so it wasn't a problem.  She hasn't seen many dogs outside of training class or agility events in quite some time, so it was encouraging that she didn't get too scared or reactive.  I need to get her back out to the parks for walks, where we often do have to pass dogs out for a stroll. 

Similarly, she had no reaction to the people dotting the shoreline, walking or fishing.  She did get a little nervous as we meandered closer to the park headquarters, where they'd begun forming few-foot high barriers out of the sand, in what looks like an attempt to prevent erosion over the winter.  Park personnel vans drove along the asphalt path, and the crowd seemed to have thickened.  Even though they were at least a couple of hundred feet away from us, the noise carried; we had walked far enough, so this seemed like the perfect point to turn around.

Marge seemed tired on the way back, as we navigated through the minefield of bird prints, dog prints, and human footprints. Our walk was about an hour long total, and it was unseasonably warm, so it wasn't surprising that Marge was a little slow as we made our way to the car.

Another day gone, another five o'clock sunset.  But what fun we had.  I hope we're going to have a spectacular offseason all by ourselves along the shore.


Sara November 15, 2009 at 6:23 PM  

Sounds like a great, relaxing day. I loved looking at Marge's pawprints in the sand. Too cute.

Quiet off season walks along the seashore sound like paradise to me (and my dogs). Wish we lived closer to a beach!

KB November 15, 2009 at 7:34 PM  

Darn, I can't see the photos. My browser says that it can't find the photobucket... I'll try again later or tomorrow because it sounds like you have some nice ones.

It also sounds like a very nice hike! Lucky Marge...

The Thundering Herd November 15, 2009 at 8:00 PM  

Has been a while since we have been to the beach (about 6 hours away), but the dogs love romping down the beach and playing in the surf. Can't go in the summer because it is too hot for them, but they love the cold winter days.

Anna the GSD November 15, 2009 at 8:29 PM  

I'd LOVE to be so close to the beach! I'm so jealous! Great photos and LOTS of pretty pawprints in the sand!

Deborah November 15, 2009 at 8:41 PM  

I love the beach so much. I wish we lived closer. Those are great pictures and it looks so relaxing.
Thanks Marge for sharing with us!

The Army of Four November 15, 2009 at 9:25 PM  

Wow. Your beach is so cool. The Kansas Ocean is REALLY lacking when it comes to beachfront.
Play bows,

Kathy Mocharnuk November 15, 2009 at 9:29 PM  

wow, that makes me want to head to the beach, that looks like a perfect day!

BlackDog's Photographer November 15, 2009 at 9:33 PM  

Looks like it was a great day for a walk on the beach. It's pretty cold up here in MN so there'll be no more beach walks for us this year.

Dexter November 15, 2009 at 9:37 PM  

It is wonderful that you can find places where you can both have fun without people scaring you. What a beautiful smile!


PoochesForPeace November 15, 2009 at 10:12 PM  

Ohh, this makes me jealous. I havent been to a beach in a few years and I'm pretty sure I have ocean withdrawl, ha! Beautiful pictures, it looks like you had a great day.

Lorenza November 15, 2009 at 10:56 PM  

Sure you had a pawesome walkie by the beach!
All the pictures are great... specially the one where Marge is smilling!
Thanks for sharing them!
Kisses and hugs

NAK and The Residents of The Khottage Now With Khattledog November 15, 2009 at 11:12 PM  

The smiling pikh was my favourite!

Tank woo fur sharing your khool day!


BRUTUS November 16, 2009 at 8:53 AM  

Great pictures! Love the one of Marge staring out at the ocean, as well as the grin! What a nice way to spend the day!

Michelle & Brutus

Life With Dogs November 16, 2009 at 9:13 AM  

By the looks of it, you will have a superb offseason. It's great to follow Marge on a leisurely stroll - and honestly, she looks truly happy from here!

Sue November 16, 2009 at 12:09 PM  

What a wonderful outing. I wish we had a deserted each near us for my pups to run around. They would think it was heaven.

Martha November 16, 2009 at 2:09 PM  

What a great day! We are glad you are now allowed on the beach - it is a great fun walk for humans and dogs.
Something just so relaxing about the sea!
Great pictures.
Martha & Bailey xxx

Unknown November 16, 2009 at 4:50 PM  

Aw...Marge looks like she is having a great time! Our beaches here also have certain months (in the summer) when dogs are not allowed - at least, the ones in the inner city. The ones further out are accessible all the time but are a bit more of a drive!

Love that picture of her sitting and looking out to sea...


Gus, Louie and Callie November 16, 2009 at 5:29 PM  

Oh what fun Marge you are one lucky pup to have a beach so close...

Callie did warm up to Marley Saturday afternoon when she stayed with us Heeler's.. Callie was way to fast for her to keep up in a good game of chase.. Now they are very good friends..

Big Sloppy Kisses
Gus, Louie and Callie

Roxanne @ Champion of My Heart November 16, 2009 at 8:13 PM  

I'm giggling because *only* someone who lives near a beach would consider a walk there "settling."

I love the shot of Marge facing the ocean with those things sticking out of the water. She looks so regal.

Seriously, you should make photo greeting cards of that one. Very iconic.

Ms. ~K November 16, 2009 at 9:07 PM  

Wrooo wrooo,
You are soooo lucky live near a beach!!!
We just got home from our cross country trip!

RILEY AND STAR MY MALTESEKIDS November 16, 2009 at 9:53 PM  

You lucky, lucky doggies you! You got to go to the beach!

We never been to a beach before. The waves would swallow us up!

You lucky, lucky doggies!

But we are so happy our pals got to go.

Riley and Star.

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