Saturday, June 17, 2006

Dog Days

It is hot outside. The dog days of summer have begun. The dog-less days, too. Starting this weekend, beach stickers are required for access to all Wellfleet beaches, and beachgoers are kindly requested to leave their canine friends at home. In Wellfleet, during high season, dogs without a lease are only welcome on the beach after 4 pm.

In winter, when Sven and I have more time to beachwalk, we often meet people out walking their dogs. Sometimes the dogs are walking their people. The animals always run up to Sven, waggling their tail. Unfortunately, he cannot touch them due to allergies.

My neighbor Judy Rhodes has a new dog because her beloved Molly passed away last month. “Pal” is cute as a button. Now I am not a dog person, but I took a liking to Pal immediately. I also could see how extremely happy he makes Judy. She runs a bed & breakfast up the road and was very supportive last year when I was learning the ropes. I am glad she has found such a nice companion.

I remember one pouch Sven and I saw last winter, an extremely good Frisbee player. He had his owner trained to throw the Frisbee down onto the beach, over and over. This was at Lecount Hollow on a very misty spring day. The Lab would retrieve the Frisbee joyously, running back up the dune to deposit the object at his owner’s feet. (I remember thinking I wished I could throw myself into some mindless activity with such abandon!)

Dogs are also not welcome at Wellfleet ponds in the summer, a regulation which makes more sense that the ocean prohibition. This dog is sad because he traveled all the way from Boston and was looking forward to a nice swim.

I have noticed that dog owners often chat with their dogs while out on a walk. Here’s a woman whom I found especially amusing. She got her pets to hurry home from Duck Harbor with the promise that they could watch a Red Sox baseball game on television! …