The other evening we stood talking to friends who had just come up from the beach with their 17 1/2 year old dog, Tara. Tara has joint problems but still loves her walk by the water, every day. They throw sticks into the water for her so that she gets to do some swimming in the salt water. It's a kind of therapy and possibly one reason that she has reached that ripe old age with as much mobility as she has. If she were a human being she would be over 100 years old and yet she walks daily and runs after her sticks. And she managed to shake herself with considerable vigour… all over me and my camera. 🙁
I carefully wiped my lens with the edge of my (soft, clean) t-shirt and carried on down to our walk along the beach. I took a fair number of photographs of some of the birds by the shore and looked forward to seeing what I had got when I got home. And I saw… what we now call "the Tara filter effect". The photographs were all soft, gently blurred, as though photographed through a piece of plastic. I looked at the lens, and it was filthy from the smeared spray off Tara's coat. Oh well. Lesson learned. 😀
So, for this one, as I wanted to catch those drops flying off Joni's coat I was very careful to aim the lens at a safe enough distance. Let's hope the almost daily beach walks help her get to as ripe an age as that lovely old lady, Tara.
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Okay, here is a photograph very similar to one I posted a while ago of Joni playing on the beach, waiting for the ball. It seems that this is a standard pose. She just loves the water and will go in it whenever we get near it, running in and out, with or without her ball and whether we go in it or not. She will drop the ball into the water and retrieve it, making a game of it.
My friend +Ursula Klepper asked if people swam off the Kingsport beach and the answer to that is yes, they do. It can be a long walk to get to water at low tide, depending on how low it is. And some of the places along the shore are better than others. The water is not particularly cold, certainly not at this time of year, and when it is coming in at high tide then as it washes over the warm sand/mud it is very pleasant. The other side of the province, the Atlantic ocean side is bitterly cold, so cold that if you wade with bare feet the bones of your feet ache horribly. I would not dream of going swimming in it, having tried the wading bit once. That was enough for me. Steven swam in it and survived, but was rather blue when he got out. And he has lost a lot of weight since then so I am not sure that he would be able to stay in it long now. I'm sure if we took Joni there she would go in anyway. She doesn't mind the cold of winter, so I'm sure a bit of cold water would be no big deal.
Did you ever see such a happy and sandy smile on a dog?
Is there anything more fun than playing on the beach when there is a ball with a chuck-it launcher involved and you are an almost 8 month old Border Collie? I would say not. Even though it does involve getting a mouth full of sand and a coat full of mud. Because there is always the water to jump into again to get you clean and cool. As you see, she has to sit before the ball is thrown for her. For some reason she has combined the command to sit with the one to get her to drop the ball. If she is reluctant to let it go, all you have to do is ask her to sit and she drops it and gets ready for the next throw. Then she runs like the wind after it, into the water, or along the shore. She streaks back towards us, but then does a little victory lap around to celebrate her retrieval and the joy of living.
Joni will be 8 months old next week. She loves the beach more than anything, although as we live where the tides are the highest in the world, this needs careful planning and the use of a tide app to predict the water levels. At the highest point you can't access the beach. At the lowest you can have a long walk (30 minutes) through mud to get to the water. About 2 hours before high tide is a sweet spot, where the majority of the beach is sandy and the water is warm as it is washing in over the warm sand. But we have to keep an eye on the water level and not forget that there are places along this long stretch of beach where the inlets will fill faster. There are ladders up to the top of the cliff, but I don't fancy my chances on them. I'm sure Joni would manage just fine as she swims well and loves the water.
I must remember to tell you the story of the lost ball and share the photograph that I took to go with it. (It will be for the next time.) Meanwhile, have a great weekend and enjoy your furry friends.
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I’m completely out of order here, but … hey! It’s my project and I’ll do what I want! 🙂
Today was Joni’s first day at the beach. It was hot and sunny and Arya’s owner called to see if we wanted to bring her down to play with their dog (1 year old) and introduce Joni to the ocean. The tide comes in at a terrific rate here and we had to time it before high tide, when the beach disappears completely under water. We all had a great time, with the two dogs playing and swimming in the waves and rolling about in the sand. When, after only a short time, we looked up, we had become cut off from our escape route back up the beach. After soaking my shoes in wading through the shallowest part of the water, I had to scramble up onto the rocks to work my way around the shore back to the exit. Joni went through the shallows below (which were not too bad, just too deep for shoes) and we met up at what remained of the dry part of the beach, making our way up to the boardwalk where the cars were.
Here you see Joni (left) with Arya on the right. Aria was obsessed with catching the Frisbee, Joni was just obsessed with having fun. And with catching Arya. I think I probably got a bit sunburned. I’ll know later. 😀 Incidentally, there was plenty of room for us all on this beach – people and dogs. There is no overcrowding on our sandy beaches.
Thanks for all of your great comments. I will get to them as soon as I can. Life is so busy just at the moment and summer is too short to spend longer than I need to at the computer.
A dog is still a puppy until about 8 months of age (when they are officially adolescent) and you can see that at 6 months Joni's ear has decided to flop into the front of her forehead once again, as she still has growing and developing to do. She is looking more adult now, though still is very slender as the breed often is. She is as intense as ever over her ball, but this time she is waiting for it to be thrown for her in the field. And behind her the field is white with dandelion seeds, making a perfect backdrop for her. Her eyes are still striking, but this time in their intensity as she wills me to throw that ball for her. She is also learning slowly to walk on a leash with a bit of decorum. In spite of our combined best efforts at the moment it's still a bit like walking an erratic (and strong) yo-yo. But it is slowly getting better.
It’s hot playing ball in the summer, but a border collie never worries about little inconveniences like summer heat!
New Photo Gallery “Joni the Border Collie” just created:
Our pets have a special place in our lives. This is the gallery of my photographs of Joni, our Border Collie. On a browser click on a thumbnail to bring up the full size image. Play the slideshow or choose full screen option. On mobile devices just swipe left to right to navigate from image to image or use the arrows.
Yesterday was the first lovely evening we have had in a long time, with a lovely warm light (only warm in colour, not so warm in temperature yet), so Joni and I were just hanging around the frisbee throwing area while Steven got on with the weeding in the flower beds. Who had the more fun? No prizes for guessing.
Rustabelle Louise came over with her young owner yesterday looking very fresh and clean, straight from the groomer's. She was hoping to play with Joni. I couldn't resist this for the doggy themes today! She is a labradoodle and lives across the road from us, so is a regular playmate for Joni. Joni tries to herd her, of course.