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Tuesday, December 30, 2008

It IS a dog's world

I have been going through a lot lately. So in an attempt at some healing I cranked up my Amy Grant, then went to the beach (poor man's therapy). I spent quite some time on the internet last night and this morning trying to find a beach where Samson could really just be a dog: run around, get dirty, bug other dogs, whatever. I found a beach in Carmel (of course) and I was so excited to go. I had this image in my mind of sitting on the beach while Sam sniffed

around, of playing in the water with him and letting out some anger and hurt with a long game of fetch... oh, how could I have been so wrong.

Gabe came along - which I wanted because we don't get enough time together alone and I knew that if I needed some time to think or write he would take Samson on a run or something. We took the Balls' TomTom and drove to gorgeous Carmel. The instant I saw the ocean I felt myself relaxing. I felt a sense of relief and some unfamiliar happiness that only accompanies a trip to the Pacific. It was so blue - the water calmly beckoned me with quiet breaks and aquamarine curves. The sand was cool, but not too cold as I ventured through the seaweed to a spot where I would (I thought) find some peace. I laid out our blanket and rolled up my pants. I unhooked Sam's leash and grabbed his frisbee to go splash in the water... Soon after my day was ruined.

Samson has been pent up for a while. And he doesn't get to wrestle around with big dogs very often (in fact I think Charlie was the last formidable opponent Sam has had). So when we take him to dog parks or something he goes crazy at first. He is also the alpha dog so he likes to make sure the other dogs know it. I cannot fault a dog for being a good dog (instictually that is). Taking off his leash was probably not the most reasonable action for me to take right away, but no matter how rough Sam plays I know he is never trying to hurt another dog. If he wanted to, quite frankly, he would.

So here we are, in the ocean, having a great time. And then Samson sees about 3 other dogs (one about his size and 2 smaller) playing roughly 100 yards away. So he bolts. Before I even know what is happening he is racing down the shore towards these dogs. I wasn't too concerned; like I said, he may get in scuffs but he isn't going to hurt anyone. Well, scuff they did. And as I am yelling his name at the top of my lungs this obnoxious, blood-curtling scream suddenly invades the realm of my hearing (I thought someone was doing it just to be annoying, quite honestly) and it turns out to be the unhappy owner of the dog Samson looks as though he is attacking. Once again, no blood was drawn and if either dog had wanted to do some real damage, real damage would have occurred. But it didn't.

They broke up (not really because of us, either which makes me believe that Samson had established some dominance there - which I am proud of because judging by the owners that dog is probably an unbalanced dog) and then these people seriously start cursing at my dog. He's a dog. He's being a dog. He doesn't even know what the F word is. And then she repeats about 7 times that we need to have better control over him and that we should have reacted quicker.... Thank you, Freak-Out Lady. I had totally forgotten that taking a dog to a no-leash beach meant that he might get away and tussle with other dogs. Or that I might have to deal with people like you... I mean really. If you are so afraid of an altercation maybe you should keep your dogs at home. Or not take them to a beach where other dogs (not as perfect as yours no doubt) might viciously attack them. Really. I am always amazed when people who have big dogs freak out over normal dog behavior. Uptight people should not be allowed to adopt large breeds. Or maybe they should be forced to adopt 2 so they can get over being anal.

So that was my "peaceful" day. I will try again tomorrow.

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