Generally there are two sets of people that we meet regularly at the beach – other swimmers and dog walkers. The former we try and remember the names of but often end up suggesting random alternative names when we don’t recall their real ones; and the second we only ever seem to know by the name of the dog! Whether we’ve got the right names or not though, it’s good to have a natter and a laugh, a friendly dog pat and tickle.
Once we’re in the sea, passing dogs often want to come and have a look at the ‘silly humans’ in the water. They bound up to the water’s edge or start to paddle in, only to often stop and reconsider. “Are those humans?” they think, “what are the orange bobbing things?” and then they bound on pretending that they hadn’t really been that interested after all. Some don’t even bother to take a second look at us and bumble on sniffing pebbles. Dogs are generally unimpressed by swimming humans.
Many swimmers do not take their dogs to the beach it seems, or at least not at the same time as swimming. Those that do know that their well behaved canine friends will wait patiently on the shore, watching as they swim, but for many this is just not going to happen! There are of course the dogs that insist on ‘shouting’ at their owners when they take a dip. Barking loudly they appear to know something that the swimmers don’t, but equally aren’t keen to wade in and swim alongside. There are also the dogs that will just wander off if left which probably causes way too many issues for them to ever be brought again at swimming times. Karen’s dogs don’t swim with us… I’ll just leave it at that ha ha.
There is also one dog who we regularly see who insists on standing in the water whilst the owner remains on the beach. The dog is called over and over to continue her walk but she always remains quite steadfast, glancing at her owner occasionally to show some sort of willing, but determined to enjoy the therapeutic salty waters. Sometimes we can be in, swim and out whilst she is still standing there…. with her patient owner happily just waiting for her to finish her swim.
This week we watched one happy pooch enthusiastically swim with a group of people. It was easy to spot which was the owner as the dog was swimming round and round… and round her as she attempted to push forwards. We’ve no idea why the dog felt the need to encircle their owner but it was evidently a regular occurrence and the two somehow seemed to move through the water in a complicated synchronised swimming routine. There’s always something new to see at the beach!
(Apparently there are many outdoor pools that have dog swimming days for those dogs who don’t want to use the beach!)