Rossi is staying with us for a week. What better way to celebrate her arrival and visit than a trip to Fort Funtown? Andy and I took the girls and the boys up to the beach for a run run run, er, hike. I wasn't sure about the hike on the way up: rain started pouring when we drove past 92. However, like pretty much every other time we've gone, the weather was fine on the beach.
We arrived to high winds at the top of Ft. Funston, at the upper parking lot. We zipped up, clipped in and walked the hundred yards to the trailhead, where the dogs were all unclipped and set free. I should have realized that Bella was going to be a butt when she nearly refused to head down the path to the beach.
The weather was spectacular on the beach. We arrived as the tides were coming in, so we were not able to do our usual loop walk down the beach and back up the backside of the park. Instead, we turned right (north) onto the beach and walked down to the pipes that marked the end in this direction, then turned around and walked to the other end where the tides prevented us from continuing. We then turned around and walked back to almost where we started, planning on walking back up the hill. If only the trip could have been so easy.
Rossi seemed to like the water. Sure, she's a chocolate lab, so the water love isn't really that surprising. What was surprising was just how much she wasn't willing to leave the water as we moved down the beach.
She followed Blue into the water as we walked down the beach. She traipsed through the water when we walked back. She made me nervous on more than one occasion when she followed the water out, then was soaked when the water came crashing back in, nearly dragging her back out when the water regressed. She lost her back footing a couple times when an undertow pulled at her feet, which didn't do much to increase my confidence in her ability to play safely in the water. She didn't stop doing it though.
When we turned to leave the beach, near the end of our hike, she refused, choosing to run back into the surf again rather than head back up the hill. Her refusal was so strong I had to leash her up and, unfortunately in some places, pull her up the hill. She finally figured out that, no, water time was over, she couldn't play in the surf any more. I'm not so sure she was okay with this.
However, I was distracted by the loss of beagles to notice much.
When we started back up the hill, I had nudged Annie and Bella up the hill, then turned back to fetch Rossi, who was sprinting to the surf. Bella had already been a butt on the hike, deciding that, hey, I'll just keep walking away from everyone, it's okay. At one point, the waves went out, exposing the beach at the end of our hike, giving her a chance to walk around an outcropping and continue away from us.
I turned to Andy when she disappeared and asked, "Andy, please save my dog." He chuckled, and went to follow her, and I followed him. She continued to ignore my calls for her to stop, continuing to walk around the various outcroppings to continue along the beach. I had to tackle her to get her to stop.
So, when while I was retrieving Rossi, Bella and Annie were off on some hill adventure. When Andy and I finally started hiking up the hill, the two beagles were gone. We hiked up, looking for them, Andy going to the right, Rossi and I heading to the left. Andy was unsuccessful in finding the beagles, meeting up with me at a local maximum.
After not a few minutes looking around for the beagles, for any sign of movement of the two dogs, Andy noticed Bella walking down the hill in the distance. We watched her run down the hill, back to the beach. Andy had confidence in her return. I didn't. I handed him Rossi's leash and my backpack, and dashed down the hill. By the time I arrived at the bottom of the hill, Bella was gone again. I looked up at Andy, who pointed down the beach. When I looked, I saw a tiny dot with a curl on the top. It could have been Bella's tail, I couldn't tell.
I started running down the beach as fast as I could without actually shifting onto my toes and sprinting. I ran and ran and ran and ran. I ran for at least a minute without slowing, growing increasingly frustrated as I watched Bella move from person to person asking, "Are you my owner? Are you my owner?" continuing away from me. Even when I drew close, and called her name, she wouldn't notice me, wouldn't follow me.
Eventually, I tackled her AGAIN, and nudged her in the correct direction back to the hill we were climbing out. She would take ten steps, then turn back around to head the other direction. After four of these turn-arounds, I grabbed her and slung her over my shoulder and started carrying her back. She didn't like it, and eventually clued in the direction I wanted her to go.
Unfortunately, she didn't clue in heavily enough, and I had to tackle her another four times on the way up the hill before I managed to catch back up to Andy, finding Annie running around at the bottom of the hill when I hiked up it, and leash up ANOTHER bad dog.
That's TWO black star doggies today.
Unlike most days at the beach, there was a lot of trash on the beach. I was a little bothered by this, until I realized the hike was brought to us by the letter U.