It is hard to find a place for pups on the beach. So hard in fact, that we’ve never managed to take Jackson to the beach. We can’t say we’ve tried terribly hard, but they are verboten most places. (Pat the proof-reader does not like my word verboten – means “forbidden” in German. Just the right word I think and it stays!)
Imagine our surprise when we found a great dog beach at Fort De Soto State Park. We knew what we had to do.
This outing required re-evaluating the planned junkets since we only have so much time left in Bradenton and still a pretty good list of places we want to go. Something had to give. We already tabled the Weeki Wachee visit until next year when we are camped closer. (They have mermaids there and yes, we’ll tell all about it in 2017) I also made the executive decision that although a few other state parks in the area sounded cool, they are likely similar to Myakka River and the interior Florida views we’ve seen in spades. Finally, I really wanted to get to a lighthouse and had the one on Captiva Island on the list, but just not feeling like making the drive. So scratch those and pencil in the Jackson day at the beach.
The dog beach does allow dogs off leash if they are within the owner’s voice command. Jackson is a very well-behaved dog, but we’ve never worked with him off leash and frankly don’t trust him as far as we can throw him – 100 lbs that he is. We are not fans of those retractable leashes, but decided that extra 10 feet or so would be just enough for him to frolic in the Gulf while still being under control. Off to Pet Supermarket we go to get a new leash.
Towels? Check. New leash? Check. Gallon of water and water bowl? Check! You’d think we were taking a newborn on the first outing. Someone in actual swimwear to take Jackson in to the water? Check. That would be Pat since I was likely a cat in another life and prefer that my water exposure be limited to the shower. I always was a lousy Floridian.
Best. Day. Ever.
Jackson has been in rivers and lakes a few times – on the 6 foot leash – but this was a whole other ballgame. He loved it and bounded in to get the ball we threw. They romped, they played, they walked on the beach and I followed them around with the camera.
It was another stunner of a day with breezes and a cloudless sky. Perfect even in early afternoon.
My boys and the bridge
I had this foot shot in mind when we went and have to say it turned out perfectly!
This is a great beach and was practically deserted on the Wednesday when we went. It was also very cool to be so near the shipping channel. We were able to boat watch in between ball throws.
So far so good – we’re counting this as a successful trip……
Jackson is suddenly not so keen about going into the water. If fact, will not go in. He has one potty moment on the beach and I clean it up. We decide he’s had enough and just in time. We get off the beach and on the trail back to the fenced dog area just in time. It seems that Jackson swallowed too much salt water. Anyone who has ever had a colonoscopy and drank the “stuff” knows what this means and I’ll say no more. Also, no photos to share and you are grateful.
Not only that, but Pat’s sore ankle is flaring up again and by the evening he can barely walk. And we didn’t win at bingo this time. We’re saying a 50-50 day, but the happy well outweighed the unhappy. We joked that we spent and hour on the beach and it took 2 days to recover.
The good news is that Jackson is still good with river water and we think we’ll stick to fresh where he is concerned from now on. That retractable leash will work there, too.
Stay tuned for the next post where we go somewhere without the dog! See you on the way.