Yesterday afternoon, GT and I took our fur babies on a little field trip. We leashed up our dynamic duo, hopped in the car and ventured over to Fort De Soto Park to check out the Paw Playground and Beach, a dog-friendly place we had attempted to visit after first moving to Florida, until our plans were foiled by several toll roads and a pay-to-park fee for which we were completely unprepared. This time, we made sure to bring plenty of change and cash and made it successfully to the beach.
Cali absolutely adores the beach. It is probably her favorite place in the world. She loves swimming in the water, running on the sand, playing with all the other four-legged beach-goers. And it seems that she may enjoy the warm Gulf Coast waters more than the chilly Pacific. Several times Cali would just wade into the surf and stand there, a big silly grin on her face. It was like the best bath of her life.
Jasper, on the other hand, had a different experience. Since he's just a puppy, yesterday was his first time at the beach and his reaction was funny to watch. When we first stepped onto the sand you could see his little mind at work as he ran through a litany of emotions: confused, excited, nervous. You could tell he was thinking, "Where am I and what am I supposed to do?" In these situations, it helps that Jasper has a big sis to show him the ropes and he slowly warmed up to the environment, especially when I put my feet in the waves and gave him a few encouraging "atta boys" as he inched closer to the water's edge.
Our little one was having a good time until another young (but larger) pup came over to play. Jasper was up for it but he quickly got stepped on and became frightened. The playful pooch continued to pounce at Jasper, who by that point was so overwhelmed that he felt cornered and backed into the ocean he still wasn't so sure about... A wave came down on him and he was drenched. After that, Jasper realized the water wasn't going to hurt him but he was just done. Ready to go home. He kept jumping on my legs begging to be picked up. With two thoroughly soaked dogs, we decided it was time to head out, rinse off and get some food, for us and for them. But more on that later.
For now, here's a few more of my favorite shots from our beach trip (this
crazy proud dog mom took 150 photos!), if you'd like to see...