Written by Kev the Border Collie
Looking from the outside it probably looks like I love the ocean.
Admittedly I do find it very hard to contain my excitement once I realise we are on our way to the B-E-A-C-H. That’s right, I can spell it, there is no fooling me! And, for the record, I also know what a ‘W’ is.
By the time we find a park on the Esplanade my wide eyes and excited drool are the least of my human’s worries, they are more concerned about keeping me contained enough to avoid bowling over any unsuspecting passers-by or entangling cyclists on the bike path. Once I have used all of my substantial weight, strength and might to drag my human to the beach before I can run freely (I can’t understand why they have to walk so slowly), I have to ‘sit’ for long enough for my human to remove my lead – I feel like this might be the longest moment in a dog’s life and it is no mean feat to achieve this when the ocean and all the other dogs and their balls are in full view.
The joy and freedom of running around at the beach, feeling the sand in my paws, the taste of the salty waves and stealing anyone else’s chuck-it ball that looks better than mine are all worth it though. Especially the waves, they are the thing I get most excited about at the beach – when they are breaking with a nice curl that I can chase, nothing will stop me on my mission to catch that wave in my mouth.
Now most people think that us Border Collies have infinite physical energy – not this BC. I tend to use up my energy by using brain power and when it comes to conserving my body I’m quite sensible and cautious. Consequently, it doesn’t take much wave-chasing until I’m ready to bound over the top of those perfectly sized Hervey Bay waves and out into the deeper flat water where I can motor about like an otter feeling the refreshing relief of being immersed in water.
It hasn’t always been this way though.
I wasn’t born with this love of the ocean. I was actually a bit of a scaredy-pup when I was small. As you could imagine the ocean can be a strange and scary place for a careful pup like myself. I needed a lot of encouragement in the form of snacks and assurances and the only reason I went deeper was because it felt safer to be close to (ie. climb on) my human than find my way back to the sand.
The time that I truly started to enjoy the ocean was when I got my snazzy, new, red Dog Floatation Device – DFD for those down with the lingo. It gave me the buoyancy and support that I need to really get my dog-paddle game on. This was about the time that my human stopped taking me paddle-boarding. It’s quite possible she found my newfound enthusiasm for swimming on my own an inconvenience.
With my BayWatch-esque, red DFD confidence I was unstoppable, I was bounding out past the breakers, that were, by then, no longer bigger than me! Note these were Hervey Bay waves – my unstoppable confidence doesn’t apply to waves that are bigger than me such as those during Northerlies, or Woodgate, Coolum or Rainbow Beach.
Bodhi on the other hand has no fear, or maybe just no brain, as he doesn’t let waves stop him. He becomes so singled focussed on the ball or Frisbee that he crashes through anything without even looking and ends up tumbling with the waves. He doesn’t even seem to care. Just pops up, shakes himself off, and keeps going! He’s one gnarly dude when it comes to the ocean.
However differently we enjoy the ocean, we both agree though that we are two very lucky dogs to live in this part of the world.
Kev & Bodhi.