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Pawprints in the sand

CCI pup-in-training, Yaxley, watches
his first South Carolina sunrise

August 14, 2011 . . .

The briny smell of the sea, the roaring sound of the waves, the skin blistering heat of the South Carolina sun. Yup, we made it to Myrtle Beach. Not just Myrtle Beach, my friends, but we’ve scored a great beachside campsite at our beloved Pirateland Family Camping Resort.  What’s that you say?  Arrr, Matey. Pirateland?  Really?

Oh, really.

Now we’ve done the MB vacation a few times over the past years and gave a couple of other local campgrounds a try. When you travel in an RV, you’re tempted with thinking, hey we don’t need to plan ahead. Campground reservations are for sissies. Guided by the glossy RV magazine ads, we cruise around believing we can park this beast anywhere we want, whenever we feel like stopping.  Sadly, this is not always true. It’s possible your destination of choice may actually be booked solid and you end up needing to find an alternate spot for your arrogant self and the house you rode in on. 

So this one year, we were able to snag a spot at local mega-campground when Pirateland was full.  We’ve certainly heard of this other camping resort, but had never checked it out before. The place was touted as being voted “best in MB” and family-oriented. This will be just fine, we said. We arrive in late evening and navigate our way into a labyrinth to find our site. And found ourselves entering an alternate universe. It was like some dystopian city where the entire adult population, and their 16 year old kids, were driving a golf cart. Full speed ahead, they all say, let’s take these babies to warp speed!

Anarchy, martial law and no apparent traffic rules. Ever see a golf cart traffic jam? Not something on my bucket list, either. It seems everyone was in a rush to get to the beach to set off bottle rockets and other such fireworks for the next few hours. Which had one of the dogs in hyper alert mode the entire flippin’ night.

You never know what the tide will bring in.
(holding back on the otherwise obligatory seahorse quip)

Bleary eyed, we packed up the next morning and moved on with renewed vows to always call Pirateland ahead of time. And of course we did for this summer’s trip by reserving one of their great camping sites within just a few steps from the beach.  We can actually see Russia the ocean from our house. 
The public beach rules in MB have restrictions on when you can take your dogs out there to enjoy the sand and surf. Before nine o’clock in the morning and after five in the evening. Understand, agree and will comply. The dogs aren’t here to sunbathe or read a cheap novel on the beach anyway, so not a problem to keep them out of the heat of the day.

Jager, a true road dog, has been to the beach before. This fastidious little Felix Unger incarnate can go for a mile walk along the surf and come back clean and dry, with not even a grain of sand between his prim little raccoon toes.

I’m so shiny, clean and bright!

Jagermeister and water just don’t mix well.

Boiling acid sewer lava!  nooooooo . . .

The big yellow dog, on the other paw, is a whole nuther animal, so to speak. Micron has those webbed toes for a reason.  He’s a natural water dog.

Micron channels his inner sea lion
Doing the doggy twist

I love watching dogs as they discover the wonders of the seashore. Once Micron worked out that the rolling, foamy stuff was made of water there was no keeping him out of it. We held tightly to the leash, fearing that if he started swimming we’d be left ashore just watching his bobbing noggin as he dog paddled across the murky deep towards the horizon. The big goober.

I think I see a Squirrel out there.

Yaxley, however, had a different experience altogether. While he was trying to get his head around the sand shifting under his paws, he next realized the roaring ocean just ahead. A little overwhelming for the little yeller feller, so we just sat by the sand dunes and watched the waves for a few minutes so he could process all this through his puppy brain.

Why won’t the ground stay
still under my toes?

Yax and I took the rest of the week in puppy steps until he found his comfort level. By Friday, we made it to the shoreline and he ventured into the water. Well, ventured is a strong word. What really happened is he stuck one toe in the surf and said, Yep. That’ll do.

In the end, the best we got out of the pup was a tolerance of this nonsense. Ok, Yax says, I can accept this weird moving ground and whatever the heck is going on over there with the water. But I don’t have to like it.  His favorite part of his beach walks was finding washed up dead things to try to roll in.

But the mighty Micron is a social creature. He just attracts new friends like flies on a . . . oh my, I need a better analogy than that. Anyhow, I’m reminded again of my dashed hopes for his future as a Facility Dog for CCI.  Which leads me, like a smack to the head, to the renewed realization that this is my dog.

And that I am one lucky chick.

Others have mentioned it to me as well, so I do believe there is a positive energy about this dog. Folk want to be in his presence. Being around Micron just makes you feel better. Kids want to be with him; dogs want to be him.

A beach walk with Micron is a time to meet some of our Pirateland neighbors. Like these two delightful kids, who tell us they have six (six!) dogs back at home. They miss their dogs, can they give Micron a hug?

Of course you can, you adorable young people. Take your time and enjoy him.

Mmmmwah!  A kiss for Micron. He returned the affection
with a tongue up this poor kid’s nostril.
A hug seems a safer bet for brother.
No tongue for me, he says.

Micron made some dog friends, as well.

Micron  meets his doppelganger

A couple of parting shots of the two good-lookin’ yellow dogs taken in the warm glow of the morning sun.

Hey, I can see our house from here!

No, actually I can’t dial down the handsome.
Sincere apologies to all the other beach dogs.

Next post – more fun with dogs in MB

About Donna Black-Sword

Lover of all things Dog.

4 responses »

  1. Hi! I'm so happy to have found you (through Oskar – thanks Oskar!). What a beautiful vacation spot. Our dogs have never been to the ocean. But I'm sure Sassy would be loving it and the other two would be watching. 🙂


  2. Hi there, Oskar let me know about your blog and I rushed right over! What a beautiful set of photos, I look forward to learning more about the work you do and your lovely dogs in time. Plus I'm super jealous… you may want to see my post today about visits to the beach for more of an explanation!!! =^..^=


  3. Oh such great pictures. We really like the ones of the kids giving the doggies love, but our favorite is Micron doing the twist!!

    Boondocks and The Love Shack Pack


  4. Hello! Heard about you from Oskar's blog and wanted to see what you guys were up to. We loved your pictures of the beach! We love the beach too, but we get extremely sandy! Looks like a ton of fun 🙂
    Maddy and Owen



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