The Boneyard Crew consists of the best dog owners I’ve ever met – Karen, Gabby, Norma, Tanai, Barbara, Nancy, and so many others who’ve helped me grow in the area of dog owning. The Crew is a regular set of folks who go every weekday morning to the Boneyard dog park in Culver City to hang out, socialize, and tire out their dogs before work. It’s a great group of folks who are genuine and generous, and whom I’ve had the great pleasure to know and get close with thanks to a common thread we all share – we love our dogs! I’m thankful everyday that I started taking Charlie and Jemy to the park – otherwise, I wouldn’t have met such an awesome set of people. They’ve mentored me in how to be patient with a dog like Charlie, they give me tips about training, and some of us are even taking the same agility class! I just feel so blessed 🙂
Once we started getting closer and getting to know one another and each other’s dogs, we knew we wanted to do a doggy trip somewhere. So Karen, the appointed event coordinator of the group, tried a second time to get the group together for a trip to the Huntington Dog Beach. The first time she tried planning the trip a couple weeks ago, it ended up raining, but this past Sunday was perfect weather! It was sunny, warm, and the drive to and from Huntington Beach was short and sweet. Not everyone could make it, so it was just me, Karen, Gabby, Tanai, Tanai’s friend (her name escapes me…), Scott, Christine, and our dogs Charlie, Jemy, Franky, Finn, Sabrina, Roscoe, and Marty.
I was, of course, afraid for Charlie – I wasn’t sure how he was going to react to an unfenced dog beach. I know that at the dog park, he feels safe with the four walls of fencing so we were going into the unknown. But the Crew kept encouraging me to try it – otherwise, how would I know? When we parked my big Buick, I knew that Char would exhibit his normal leash aggression – bark at every passing dog – which he did. At one point, he escaped my hands and barked like mad at a shitzu and his owners. The owners were scared to death but I reassured them that Char was just a barker – he didn’t attack the dog or the owners but still, it was a scary thing to have a black dog aggressively bark at you. Moving on after that, I suspected that maybe bringing Char to the beach was a bad idea. Even Karen started to doubt Char’s ability to cope in the environment, which says a lot, knowing how patient she is with him.
But Charlie was completely fine once he was off his leash! He did the normal things he usually does at the dog park, which some owners wouldn’t understand – he barked at dogs first instead of sniffing their behinds. He hasn’t yet learned the social order of things, which I’ve accepted. We’re working on it. He even tried going into the water, but once a wave hit him, he was done. That’s fine. Running on the beach is a good alternative anyway – I find that he gets restless just lounging on the beach towel and starts barking at everything so I just have to be proactive and take him on walks or jogs around the beach every now and then.
What a great day at the beach, besides a few incidents with Charlie and the other dogs in the group. I wait for the day when he can truly relax and play with them, like I know he wants to.
Huntington Dog Beach is a great spot for you and your dog and it’s a perfect time to go with summertime just around the corner. Go before it gets too busy! And as promised, here are some pictures and a video showing the dogs in action at the beach!