This time last year, Truman was still a small and feisty pup who hadn’t yet had all his shots OR mastered the art of appropriately-timed piddling. Consequently, I didn’t get to attend my favorite sunrise service on Will Rogers State Beach. But this year I was determined to take him!
Last week, I realized he hadn’t ever been to the beach, and I wondered how he would do walking on the sand. So at our obedience class, where there is a sand pit full of playground equipment, I tested him. Two steps in, and I had a dog spinning in circles at the end of the leash, butt tucked in and shuffling madly. Then he peed.
We did a bit more walking for practice, until I was confident he’d be able to handle the service. And this morning, he did well! We arrived in the dark, made our way to an open spot and sat down on some beach towels. He was a little antsy for a bit, ears on high alert and fidgeting to get comfortable, watching birds and children, sniffing the salty air and snorting up sand, but he eventually settled in for the sermon. Good dog! It was a fine test of his self control.
This is not to say he was not right on the verge of shuffling his way back to the parking lot after the service, back legs hopping wildly in the sand as I gripped the leash with both hands and ushered him quickly back up the walkway…but we take what we can get, especially for a first time.
And now, after some time at a friend’s house for post-church breakfast and fellowship (thanks again, Kristy & Emily — and Truman would like seconds on the belly rub, please), we are filled with joy and pancakes, sleepy from a day well spent. Happy Easter, everyone!