The above photo was taken at a different beach visit.
Yesterday Luke and Elsa went on separate walks. I've been getting Elsa out on her own more and more, it is very important. Alone time had been put on hold for a while due to the loss of both Jessie and Tilley within 3 weeks of each other. Several weeks after Tilley's death Luke started displaying separation anxiety; of course this was also due to being in a new place. So we were pretty much together for a good amount of time after that. Enough time to let Luke adjust to losing his life long companions and being alone. We have been doing alone walks for a year now but I am focusing more and more on them.
So Luke and I walked the park and then Elsa and I head for the beach. I waited a bit longer in the morning to head down because I wanted it crowded and it was. We first hit the beach and as she always does, Elsa went crazy. As soon as she hits the sand, sheer joy takes over. She digs her toes into the sand hard; she barks and growls and carries on, she loves it. Once we got down to the water we had a cool experience. There was a sea lion in the surf, not twenty feet out. I stopped to watch is roll and play in the waves when it stopped and swam in a bit. It hovered directly in front of us and stared. I thought that it was staring at Elsa. Soon Elsa shot her nose up in the air and looked out to the ocean and she saw it. Her ears went up and she stared at it staring at her intently.
We must have stood there a full five minutes with the two staring at each other. Then the sea lion headed out a bit further into the waves to play. Obviously it had enough of watching Elsa at that point. Cool, very, very cool. So as the sea lion did, we too moved on and headed up the beach. There were no other dogs to see but lots of screeching children, running and playing in the sand. Elsa had a few more outburst of joyous "I'm on the beach" behavior and then we headed for town.
I love Laguna Beach, it is a cute beach town which is nearing the tourist season so even on a Monday it was getting crowded. First we stopped at the restrooms which are being renovated at the moment. There was a metal ramp going up to them which I thought might pose an issue for Elsa; we've never walked on a metal ramp. It was an issue and by the time we reached the restroom she was shrunk down but still moving. When we came out she did not want to go down it again so we will most definitely be going back there to do it again.
We only ran into a few dogs and they were not the type you interact with unfortunately. They yapped and barked at the end of their leashes so we just moved on. I am hoping to bring Elsa with me on some book signings so she needs to get use to crowds. We've done super socializing from the get go and Elsa has already had a great many adventures in her short life but now we need to go further. Now that Luke is feeling okay when left alone at home we are heading out. The difference between Luke and Elsa's responses to life is life experience. Old dogs are typically mellow; they don't get flustered by new things and take everything in stride. I love watching the difference between old and new. When we run into something strange, Luke trudges on while Elsa takes notice, reacts and then falls into place seeing Luke's response.
Getting out and seeing new things, different things is so very important. Soon the beach will be off limits during the day time hours to dogs so we will head down for the next week or so and take advantage of it and the early crowds. Oh yes and we will hit the metal ramp again; until it is a non issue.