I couldn’t resist choosing this as the title. I giggle at it, smiling at the memories that are revealed in the photos for this post, and those memories make me happy.
It’s been a challenging couple of weeks for my pup. I empathize with the curve balls life has thrown him. Nothing insurmountable, nothing that time and patience won’t heal, but still – pain in the ass stuff. Mostly around his car. And travel plans. And work. And logistics. All first world problems, we know. But still, we can feel it. It squeezes him much differently than I squeeze him. I dare say he likes My pressure much more than life pressure right now.
I’ve worked with care to keep him on a short leash during this time. My dog can have his day, but his upset is only allowed to go so far. He is not permitted to bring cranky into the bed. Like dust on a dog, he must shake it off before getting naked and jumping beneath the covers with me.
The other day we went to a small, local beach that is not widely known. It’s our secret gem right outside of the biggest city in the state. Being Maine, that isn’t too big of a thing, but still… it’s so wonderful to have it. It is really only accessible during low tide, and when the waters retreat, a beautiful little stretch of beach reveals itself to whose who know of its carefully hidden location. If there are 15 people on the beach, it’s crowded. It’s a place where almost anything goes. Small groups of adults will gather with a bottle of wine and a plate of nosh and watch the sail boats go by. Kids can strip down to their underpants and take a quick swim before heading home, and no one cares. And dogs are allowed off leash, at all times.
I took my boy there the other day. It was during the height of his crankiness. He probably would have rather stayed home, but I insisted that he come with me. We packed up and off we went. The tide was perfect, the day was stunning. And because dogs are permitted off leash, my boy was under strict orders to be under voice control at all times.
I got him up off his chair and ordered him to find a way to crawl around the beach area on his hands and knees. “But there are people here, all around us” my boy mildly protested. “I don’t care” was my reply. “Find a way to do it, and do it now” was my final answer.
And so he did.
Feigning a make believe interested in exploring up close the tiny sea critters that climb among the rocks when the tide is right, my boy crawled on his hands and knees. I was walking next to him, and to the average onlooker, it appeared as though my man was intently exploring some type of marine biology with intellectual passion, but really, he wasn’t. He was following my softly spoken commands.
“Crawl for Me, boy. That’s it… crawl forward on your hands and knees”.
And he did.
“Dig in the sand, boy. Find Me a gift. Dig for me. Fetch me a sea present“.
And he did.
“Sniff something, pet. Put your face down low, and sniff something for Me“.
“Dig for me, pet. Use that paw, and dig me a hole“.
Of course, he did.
If you’ve been a regular reader of this blog, you’ll know that we aren’t really into puppy play. It is somewhat rare that we actually do this sort of thing. We will use little, endearing dog references, but otherwise, puppy play is not our thing. But on this day, it was. I was enamored at the opportunity to play in public like this. It is one of my favorite things to do. Right out in the open, in public, for anyone to see, my boy was crawling around on his hands and knees, following the softly spoken orders that I gave him. No one seemed to notice. No one seemed to care. People walked by him, engaged in their own conversations, and occasionally someone would smile at the man on his hands and knees, exploring the rocks and seaweed, accompanied by a woman who was taking pictures. The only thing that could have made this better would have been to have him naked, with toy troy next to him. In my mind, and in my imagination, he was very naked. And collared. And leashed. Because even in a playground with few rules such as this one, it’s nice to have order.