After months of curfews and quarantine, we planned a much needed escape to the beach, traveling for the first time with a golden retriever and a yorkie in tow. (FYI: a flat tire on a Sunday afternoon on the mountain road will increase the time it takes to reach your destination while simultaneously fulfilling your sense of adventure!) Nonetheless, our crew of kids and furry family made it on a tire that had worn a hole the size of a mango. The tube, having been turned inside out, allowed us to finish the bumpy, remaining 1.5 hours where we would sink our toes into the sand to decompress. (The flat tire is a story within a story - perhaps for another day! Always an adventure . . . . )
The following day, we set out to one of our favorite Dominican North Coast beaches, having heard that the beach was sparse since the borders had just a few days earlier opened back up mid-pandemic. Our furry family with us on their maiden beach voyage, we weren't quite sure how they would respond to this stimulating environment. Come to find out, they were true to their natures: Oso, the ferocious yorkie, barked INCESSANTLY at EVERYONE and EVERTYTHING, and Bailey, the most loving golden retriever EVER, embarked on 2.5 hours of relentless retrieving.
As it turns out, you can't take the retriever out of the golden, even if said golden is old and out of practice. Upon arrival to our oceanside loungers and umbrellas, the question was: should we leave Bailey on the leash or set her free? She's a fairly obedient, old girl and really, there were not many people close by on the beach, except for maybe that one man . . . .bobbing gracefully in the pristine, sparkling waters like an olive freshly kerplunked into a martini. (From henceforth, he shall be affectionately called "the frenchman.") He was happily neck deep in the pool-like ocean about a 50 yard dash length's distance from us. We didn't know what was about to happen.
So to answer the question: yes, we would let obedient Bailey off of her leash since hardly anyone was around. Plus, she is so gentle and never meets a stranger . . . .er, uh, or always meets a stranger because she thinks everyone needs to know her and she needs to know them :) So, her handler, Allie, unclipped her from her leash and in a second flat Bailey dashed into the water, making a bee line to the only person in the water, the bobbing, neck-deep frenchman. His gleeming smile like the north star for her, she paddled directly to him. When she reached him, she began her "rescue," her front legs wildly grasping for one of his limbs to grab a hold of and bring him to safety on the sand. We sat there, all 6 of us, stunned, jaws agape, for just a moment as we watched them entangled in neck deep water, now the frenchman's bobbing more erratic with a 60 lb. golden inadvertently pushing him under water in her attempts to "save" him. After a few seconds of shocked onlooking, her handler retrieved her from the top of the frenchman's flailing arms, brought her back to the lounge chairs in the sand, and secured her on her leash. Yes, it is a good idea to keep Bailey on a leash at the beach.
Lucky for us, the frenchman was a VERY good sport, not seemingly too upset that in the process of her "rescue" that not only did she scratch him up, but that she almost drowned him. After 30 more minutes in the water bobbing carefree, he eventually made his way out and we exchanged some pleasant yet awkard (he was in a speedo) words. I gave him a waterproof bandaid and he disappeared under his umbrella. Bailey the 7 year old golden retriever could not be stopped from what she was compelled to do, retrieve. Her nature, the very wiring of her breed, could not be squelched - not even for a second. For the next few hours, now tethered to her handler, she retrieved her family, happily and safely splashing in the cool waters.
No frenchmen were harmed in the unfolding of this story, nor any swimming children. Bailey the golden and her handler slept like babies that night, as did Oso who documented the whole thing with his high-alert barking.
Who are you in this story? The retriever? The frenchman? The stunned onlookers? The yorkie? The handler? Hahaha. Just kidding. Perhaps though, there is more to this story :)
Tales from Quarantine 2020 :) What stories do you have to share?