I made it my mission to take Stella to a dog beach this summer, and we succeeded. It was the best day of her life! Once the peak summer season ends midway through September, Delaware’s Dewey Beach welcomes dogs all day long…off-leash! We picked a day, and my sister met us there with Parker. The second Stella stepped paw on the sand, she lost it. She was so happy. She immediately started digging and rolling and digging and rolling. You can see a short clip of her initial reaction on my Instagram. It was playtime!
Stella didn’t even mind the drive to Delaware. After far too many years, we figured out that she doesn’t get carsick and throw up if she can stick her head out the window. So I rigged up a leash/dog seatbelt contraption to keep her safe but let her take in the fresh air. I wasn’t expecting the drive through Delaware to be scenic, but it was really nice. We drove through the Chesapeake Bay and lots of farmland. There were a bunch of produce stands, and we even got to load up on veggies on our way home. It was awesome!
By far, Stella’s favorite activity of the day was digging. She’d dig a hole and stick her head in it like an ostrich. We set out beach towels to sit on, and Stella would come around and dig the sand out from under us. She did so much digging, I thought she was going to reach China.
And then the rolling! Stella rubbed herself on so many new ocean smells. There were parts of horseshoe crabs all around, seaweed, other dogs, and I really don’t want to know what else she was finding. I was nervous about getting the sand out of her fur, but it really wasn’t that bad. Most of it fell off on its own by the time we got home.
Stella’s least favorite part of the beach was easily the ocean. She wanted nothing to do with it. When I first walked her over to it, she was taken by surprise by the moving waves. As soon as the water touched one of her toes, she skittered away as fast as could be. We tried to get her in the ocean but had no luck. She would only sit back and watch brave little Parker play lots of fetch. Eventually, she ditched us and went back to lay by our towels.
When Stella typically goes off-leash in wide open spaces, she takes off, and I was a little worried that she’d disappear down the beach. Places like forests, mountains, and suburban backyards are irresistible to her, but she behaved herself. She stuck by us the whole time and came back when called. Maybe she just likes having other dogs in her pack.
I love this picture. Stella’s long hairs swaying in the breeze and her sandy nose sucking up the salty smells. She’s in heaven.
Stella eventually got so tired, that she dug herself a hole and curled up in it. It was too cute. She slept the whole way home, the whole night, and she was pooped the next day. Speaking of poop, Stella’s beach souvenir arrived the next morning in the form of a normal turd that consisted entirely of sand! I’ve never seen anything like it. Until next year…