Going to the beach is always a treat for them since not only do they get to cool off in the ocean AND play catch, they also get a considerable car ride. So, I got them hyped up with the thought of ‘going swimming!’, grabbed their water toy and let them eagerly jump into the car. They stuck their heads out the window to blissfully catch the breeze as we wound around the island and headed down to the beach.
Upon arriving at our destination I parked my car near the beach and opened the car door for them. They both eagerly jumped out of the car and made a dash for the water. Before I could get their toy out of the backseat, they had already made a friend, pooped and gotten into the water. Remarkable progress.
Anyway, I checked my watch to make myself aware of the time because the salt water tends to upset Oakley’s stomach. Also, too much swimming can make him moody with Thor when they are competing to get the toy. Oakley’s still a hard charging dog, but he’s 8 years old now, so I try to keep beach time to the lesser of his first snarl at Thor, or 30-45 minutes. And frankly, I can only take chasing down Thor in the sand for the toy so many times.
So, I proceeded to throw their toy for them countless times, as Oakley remained in the water and started to make his usual gagging noise. Meanwhile, Thor performed his typical act of rolling around in the sand after every time he retrieved the toy. Regardless, I truly enjoyed seeing them have so much innocent fun, and it’s one of my favorite things to do with them.
After about 30 minutes, I started to think about getting them out of the water and back into the car. I kept telling myself that I was going to throw their toy just a couple more times, but I’m such a sucker for them that it wasn’t until Oak snapped at Thor, several minutes later, that I put an end to things. After toweling them off, we went back in the car to head home.
Once home, I rinsed the sand off of them with the hose and we went inside to relax. I quickly noticed that Oakley was giving me that, ‘I don’t feel so well, Mom’ look, and he started to get really needy with me. He leaned himself against my legs while I made my lunch, then he laid down next to me on the deck as I started to eat. This is where things took an unfortunate turn…
Before I continue I should explain that there is a small apartment below our house that is rented out to a very nice young couple from Wisconsin. However, this wasn’t the case when we moved in, and every time the real estate agent showed the apartment, we tried to warn off potential tenants by letting Oakley out on the deck above them to relentlessly bark. Somehow, this particular couple wasn’t deterred by our strategy. I think they may have thought that once the dogs got familiar with them, they would stop barking. Unfortunately, that hasn’t been the case with Oakley. He’s way too excitable. So, our downstairs neighbors have gotten to know Oakley much better than they ever wanted, and the fact that they decided to get a cat hasn’t helped with Oak’s barking habit.
Regardless, they are both in the service industry, so their schedules are much different from ours, and I rarely notice them. Except, on this particular Saturday they, too, were out on their deck (directly below our deck), enjoying the day. So, here we were, all out on our decks, feeling the salty breeze and soaking up the warm sun, when all of a sudden…Oakley pukes.
Yup. A nice combination of partially digested dog food, a heart worm pill and some stomach bile was all over my deck and quickly dripping and falling down to my neighbor’s deck below. I immediately gasp, ‘Oh, Oakley!!!’ as my neighbors ask from below, ‘what was that????”. Mortified, I tell them that Oakley just puked, and at that moment I was certain that if there was ever any doubt about how they felt about Oak, that doubt no longer existed.
I ran inside for something to clean up this disgusting mess as my mind raced to figure out what the right thing to do was. First, I tried to wipe it up, but that only made the remainder of nasty stuff fall down on top of them. Oh, god! My second attempt was better. After providing a warning ahead of time, I rinsed off my deck with our garden hose, then I lowered it down to them and told them I’d be down to rinse it off. However, like the good Mid-Westerners that they are, they told me not to worry about coming down, and simply thanked me for lowering the hose.
Once they were done, I pulled up the hose and put it away. I then grabbed the rest of my lunch and my 2 dogs and headed inside for the rest of the day.