Thursday, August 9, 2012

Coco's Day at the beach!

Let’s take him with us baby! With such a pleading tone, and those compelling eyes, I knew most of my valid arguments had fallen on deaf ears! I hadn’t a choice but to relent to my wife’s request, and so we were taking Coco, our pet Lab for a picnic to the beach.

Suruchi beach is one of the more scenic beaches, and it is covered with palm trees before the waterfront starts. I think this is fairly unique to the beaches of today. I’ve seen similar beaches only in Mauritius, and such palm laden beaches offer you safe haven from the scorching sunlight.

Picnic day was a fairly windy day though. We are smack in between of the Monsoon season. I beg your pardon, we are smack in between of a drought, but the weather was surprisingly windy and our motley crew was greeted by the roar of waves when we reached the beach.

The gang at Suruchi Beach

The similarity between children and pups is that you tend to worry for them, sometimes more than you should. I know I am going to be a worrisome father, since I am a worrisome pet owner. While we were en route to the beach, I was planning counter measures to mitigate worse case scenarios.  Though my girl cuddling up to me in the light drizzle was rightfully distracting, I still was unsure how our lab would face those mighty waves, gel with the horses and pariahs there, etc.

Coco is a sprightly Dog, and among the friendliest ones you will meet. He just abhors violence and fighting. I guess he was Gandhi’s Dog in his past life. And while this quality of his is endearing, it is also a quality that lands him in trouble. The stray dogs may be barking and biting at his heels, he is wagging his tail trying to end the conflict.

Cocaine Dwivedi

I had agreed to get Coco there on the pre-condition that someone would be with him all the time as we know how nervous he gets alone. My cousin agreed as she loves him to bits. Our plan was to play mixed gender football and ‘dodge ball’. Well, you’ve got to play some girly game if you’re taking your WAGS with you.
The moment we started playing, Coco was off behind the football in a flash! He realized how conducive running on the beach was to his physical built. A stern look at Riya, my cousin, ensured that wouldn’t happen again.

I was afraid a horse, by whom Coco was fascinated would crush him, or he would try to get friendly to a mean streaked stray. His chain was gripped tighter, and the game began.

How we enjoyed the game, who scored, (I did, actually!), and what the result was does not really matter. We had fun, and during our revelry, I saw Coco. He looked sad that he had so much ground to cover, and I had restricted him.

I then remembered a story I had heard in Priya Kumar’s Training sessions about Dogs and Crabs. Most Dogs who visit the beach for the first time discover crabs and toss them in the air, without the Dog or the crab hurting each other. It’s a game they play; two perfect strangers, of such different species. It’s been noticed, this canine- crab behavior throughout the world. I’ll admit I hadn’t found the story to be completely true. However, the Dog could do that only when he was unchained. 

Yes, Coco would be unchained and in the wild. It was high tide. There was a Great Dane galloping in my peripheral vision. But what fun would it be for him if we got him to a beach, and kept him chained and away for all the excitement?
I unchained him, and told him to be a good boy. He sprinted into the water, where the gang was enjoying in ankle length waves, giving me multiple minor heart attacks.  And then I saw the most amazing scene ever. 

Coco galloping inside the water, going deeper inside, playing with the waves, trying to swallow them, and having a WHALE of a time. I had never seen him that active, that alive. He horsed around with everyone, enjoying the freedom from the shackles of the concrete jungle he was experiencing now. He didn’t care two hoots about the horses and other distractions; he was frolicking in the water!

I raced with him in knee deep water, and he half swam, half ran in the water, nipping close to my heels. He came out and was furiously trying to find black beards treasure chest in the sand. I have never seen him happier in his year and a half old life. Everyone agreed that coco was the one who had the most fun at the beach.

He was exhausted when he reached home and after his cleansing bath, semi plonked off to sleep. He learnt a valuable lesson; a lot of saline water is not too good to taste.
An extremely tired and hungry doggie

I was equally or more exhausted, and I learnt a valuable lesson too. Sometimes, you just have to let your loved ones go into the wild. They will be alright. And they might surprise you with the things they do. They might get hurt, they might falter, but it will only make them better and happier.

I guess I’ll be able to apply this when I raise a human. Two more years for that! Enjoy your each visit with your pup, and let me know how it went!