Roscoe's Surf Reality Check
So anyway, Roscoe really likes the beach. I guess for city dogs-- going to the beach has gotta be like going to another planet. So much open space. Weird soft surface. Giant roaring water monster. Super foreign smells. Absolute freedom. All that. And Roscoe likes going in the ocean but he's never actually gone 'swimming'. He's only been in water over his head once back when he was a puppy. Like a dorky dunce he fell in a pool and I jumped in fully clothed to 'save him'-- before even giving him time to see if he could figure out how to swim. We haven't had a pool opportunity since...
I know people say all dogs know how to swim naturally but that's just not true. At least it's not guaranteed automatic. I took my old family dog (Goob) into a pool once and she definitely didn't know how to swim. Put it this way, every time I let her try and float on her own she'd bring her front paws all the way out of the water and start splashing. We tried it three times and she wasn't getting it. Keep the paws IN the water. Dog paddle dummy! At one point she did go under and just freaked out after that. Maybe she was an exception to the rule.
Anyway, the other day at the beach Roscoe was having a good time charging into the surf and then running out and charging in and running out. Excited. And if it got too deep he'd do this bunnyhop thing back to the shore which was very cute. I got the feeling he just didn't want to get his face wet or something. He drew the surf line at a certain point and went no further. But for the most part I think he was very proud of his efforts in the surf. Just bunnyhop splashing. Fetching my flipflop as long as I kept it within his range. In and out. Happy music playing in his head.
But his excitement and self-pride all came to a halt when some Labrador came marching down the beach with his owner who had a tennisball. Roscoe got excited to see the other dog. I imagined Roscoe gearing up to show off 'how it's done' in the surf. To demonstrate how to be a brave dog in the situation. All alpha. The dogs (and owners) said their hellos then the owner threw the ball out beyond the breaking waves. The Lab raced into the ocean. Immediately beyond Roscoe's line. Then jumpdived into the first big wave and started swimming toward the ball. Way out.
Everything Roscoe was thinking went out the window of his dog brain (the happy music in his head slowed to a stop) as he silently stared at this superhero level of dog ability. It must have sunk in that Roscoe was in fact simply the star player of the Dog Surf Peewee League. He was not in fact the MVP of the World Series of Dog Surf. He was at best playing T-ball--- there was no stadium. There was no jumbotron. Nobody was wearing a shirt with his name on it.
Shamed and grounded he completely turned his back on the Lab (who was proudly swimming back toward shore with a ball in his mouth) and he did a big wet dog shake out as if he wanted to shake off reality of the situation. Then he furiously dug a hole... and peed in it. I guess some dog brained version of spite...