August is a tough month when it comes to keeping dogs fit. First, it’s hot, so you have to be careful not to exercise them too hard. Three out of my four are good swimmers so that’s one easy solution. The tougher part is finding places to swim them as all the beaches around here are ‘dog free’. Dog’s aren’t even allowed on-leash. That is no different at ‘my’ beach, however people blatantly ignore the signs and dogs are everywhere. There are no lifeguards and other than a hot-dog vendor, you’re pretty much on your own there. I like that as I have been able to bring the dogs down regularly to swim and stay cool, and have the beach pretty much to myself.
Since the beginning of August, however, the beach has been much busier. Yesterday I tried taking the dogs for a swim and first time couldn’t find an empty stretch of beach. I still took them in and just kept them close to me on land and let them swim. The water was calm so I could have them swim far out. But I still felt a bit uncomfortable having them there so I didn’t stay long. Today I went down to check out how busy the beach is (and how big the waves are) and there was a Parks truck there (i.e. park rangers). Another first.
I am not surprised given that the weather is finally summer-like, and a lot of people take vacation this time of year. I expect this business to end after Labour day and for the beach to go back to being fairly abandoned most of the time. But what to do in meantime? I need to find new places to exercise the dogs over the next three weeks.
Yesterday I took Ross to a new conservation area. It was essentially a giant bog and horribly buggy, plus there were signs saying dogs have to be on leash. Again given the time of year (i.e. lots of people, parks being patrolled etc.) I was careful to comply. I only met two people, both so busy swatting bugs that they didn’t even notice the dog. I’m sure I could have let Ross off-leash but then he would have ended up rolling in the bog, so it was just as well. I won’t be going back there until we get some cooler weather, that’s for sure!
So were now? I think at this point I’m going to have to get back into doing some agility training as I can do that in my yard, and also hopefully rent an arena nearby once a week. I am also going to consider training at the sheep farm three times a week, or perhaps sticking to my twice a week plan and taking a lesson on a third day. I certainly could use a lesson at this point and it would give the dogs a different place to run.
I know most people long for summer, but I prefer the other seasons. I can do more when it’s cooler, and I can take my dogs more places when most people are hiding inside. Indeed, during the summer a rainy day is a blessing. I really am not in a rush for September, given the amount of work I need to do, but it will be nice to loose the tourists around here and have our beach and forest back.