Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Challenge Buddha

Buddha has a new hobby.

If you meet Buddha on the beach - skip a rock.
There's a town law; when you got to the beach at Clallam Bay, you're issued a big dog to fetch sticks and pee on the grass.

Buddha is our regular issue. He's part Lab and part - what? Grayhound? Arctic wolf? Whoositwhatsit? Anyway, he's fast.

When we first met him, he thought catching small rocks was the coolest game. But it's bad for his teeth, and we stopped that. Then he decided having the biggest rocks he might be able to get his jaws around was the right thing for us to throw far past his head, so he could pretend to dig them out of the sand, barely ducking the surf. Then it was sticks thrown INTO the surf - but not too far.

He has a new passion, for which he has abandoned all other challenges: trying to catch skipped rocks.

That's right, he follows me bug-eyed as I pick up flat rocks to skip. Then he tries to catch them in mid-air as they whiz past him into the surf or the river, yipping each time, as he misses. I have learned to skip a rock OVER a dog's head and UNDER a dog's head and BEHIND a dog, and IN FRONT of a dog, and quickly while he's still out after the last one.

Nothing else will do; when I try to throw big rocks or sticks for him, he looks like I've hurt his professional pride.

This is more exercise than it sounds like. For two miles yesterday, I collected, flung, ran, and otherwise tried to outwit and outspeed a very fast dog. So far, I'm winning, but he's come close three times. No wonder, as we're heading for the beach, he romps up with flopping ears, his entire aspect proclaiming "Ohboyohboyohboy!"

Well, it beats going to the gym. And the neighbor has a dog-walker.

(Buddha passed away August 24, 2013. Good running, dear, dear beach-dog and friend.)

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