It could fairly be said that I am a control enthusiast. This is merely one of my excuses for why I don't normally let my dog Trudeau run and frolic off-leash, even though many people in my life seem to think that this is some form of hideous cruelty. (Trudeau is on the "hideous cruelty" side of the argument, too.) But I have a very vivid imagination and what I like to think is a keen understanding of Trudeau's psyche -- inside his mind is a bleak world of perceived starvation and inadequate snuggles -- which is why I can see very clearly how things would go if I were to become one of Humboldt County's ubiquitous leash-less dog owners. And I am telling you, it would all end in tears. And possibly blood. And on my part, there could be a heart attack. Even at the pound, they let him run around off-leash, and apparently they didn't have any problems with him running off, and it's not as if he's normally able to be more than five feet away from me in the daily course of our lives, so I probably shouldn't be quite so paranoid, but I am
. Sure, he likes me now, but the moment another dog appears, all bets are off.
A few friends suggested that I take him to a beach. A remote
beach. Where could he run? they said. The ocean will get in the way, they said. But beaches usually only have ocean in one direction, and plenty of havoc-wreaking possibilities in all the other directions, so I was determined to be a little more choosy. I would be needing a lot more ocean.
Luckily, with Humboldt Bay right here, we have some convenient jetties that have ocean on three
sides, and some pretty deserted beaches. So I took Trudeau out there on a long training line, and worked on endless recalls, and then I got really
brave and let him off the leash entirely.
It could be accurately said that Trudeau approves of this development.
He also approves of the ocean, birds, sand, foam, crabs, seaweed, and things that smell mysterious.
I enjoy these outings almost as much as Trudeau does, mostly because by the time we get home he's completely knackered. It has been a great confidence-builder for me, though, knowing that I can let him off-leash, and when I call him he'll come back. Mostly. Except when he's found something interesting. Or when there's a bird.
Elsewhere in my travels around town, I came across another face that I thought you'd want to see:
I met this adorable little face in Halvorsen Park, and her owner was clearly accustomed to fielding the admiration of this dog's adoring public. She's an "American Indian Dog," which I had never heard of (is that sort of like yet another American Horses With Spots And Things registry, or is it legit?); gorgeous little puppy, kind of shy, but she's certainly going to make one hell of a beautiful dog. And meeting her was a nice change from the way I usually encounter dogs; typically I meet them when they're running loose in the streets, in the dark, and they launch themselves at Trudeau like they're all members of a canine fight club.
Oh, shit. I wasn't supposed to mention that. It's the first rule. Forget you heard anything.