18 Feb

Puppy Meets Puget Sound

Golden Gardens in Winter

I hope you all had a nice long weekend! I spent some quality time on Presidents Day trying to figure out which of the electronics in my apartment was creating that lovely “I’m about to catch on fire!” smell. Turns out it was my computer, which led to even more quality time frantically backing up files in case the power supply was about to blow. My (fantastic, wonderful, and perfect in every way, and I’m totally not saying this just because he might be reading this right now) husband was nice enough to clean the dust out of the innards of my computer and test everything out for me. He thinks it will be fine, but if this blog post ends with a sudden fiery bang, well, you’ll know why.

The rest of my weekend was less exciting, but I did make it out to a local beach called Golden Gardens. With volleyball nets, fire pits, plenty of sand, and a gorgeous view of the Olympic Mountains across Puget Sound, Golden Gardens is mobbed in the warmer months. This time of the year, though, it’s a different story.

Last Saturday, seagulls and pigeons roosted in the empty parking spots.The stream at the end of the beach flowed unmolested by colorful plastic shovels and unsplashed by small wrinkled feet. The air smelled of saltwater and seaweed instead of grilled food and woodsmoke. No teenagers yelled as they dove for footballs or Frisbees, and no throngs of adults chattered around the fire pits or called out to a shifting mob of children digging sandcastles. In the quiet I could hear the wind, the water rolling over the sand, the gulls crying, and a lonely sea lion barking across the Sound.

That’s not to say the beach was deserted. Scattered couples strolled or sat, smiling despite the light rain. A few people wandered around with cameras, capturing the gray day. The most enthusiastic inhabitants, though, were the dogs.

Happy Bulldog

“Cold water is the best thing ever!”

I was lucky enough to watch a puppy learn about the water. It was his third trip to the beach, and each time, he’d been too scared to get his paws wet. But his owners kept trying. They brought him up to the edge of the beach and he hung back, very suspicious of this large unknown thing where the sand ended.

"What is this, and why does it move?!"

“What is this, and why does it move?!”

His owners tried to tempt him in without much success.

"I'm confused. You want me to go in there? But... but..."

“I’m confused. You want me to go in there? But… but…”

Finally, one of the owners walked out to the spit of sand where the Sound curves around the beach. He rolled up his pants and went into the water. The puppy slowly ventured in after him.

"Huh. It's wet, and it moves. But it didn't bite. Okay, I guess?"

“Huh. It’s wet, and it moves. But it didn’t bite. Okay, I guess?”

The little guy didn’t stay in very long; the next time I looked, he’d backed out of the water and was barking at his owner from the shore. But now he knows what the enormous, shiny, hissing, moving thing at the end of the beach is, and he knows that it probably won’t hurt him. And maybe next time–or the one after that, or the one after that–he’ll be ready to jump in and play.

4 thoughts on “Puppy Meets Puget Sound

  1. Hello my WSS friend and (practically) neighbour. How lucky you were to see that sweet interaction. I remember the first time I took my malamutes to the ocean. They walked right in and swam around like fish. I bet this little guy will be swimming away like crazy by summer. 🙂

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