He loves the briny, fishy smells of the beach, and the unexpected treasures we find on our walks.
And, of course, there are the random strangers who shower him with pets on the head and scratches behind the ears. He basks in their effusive "He's so handsome" compliments. He's made a lot of two- and four-legged friends this week.
There are mellow moments of relaxation with His Boys.
(Well, except when they share the audio portion of "Farts: A Spotter's Guide," an incredibly thoughtful Christmas gift from one brother to another.)
And countless nooks and crannies for napping.
Ben delights in the abundance of sticks on the beach, but is quick to point out they taste different than the ones in Comstock Park (the age-old moss vs. sea salt conundrum) and there is the slight problem of occasional sand up the nose.
That being said, overall I think Ben would enthusiastically endorse this beach vacation but for one small, niggling little detail: The ocean.
He still finds it is virtually impossible to go for a walk without getting this paws wet -- a heinous situation in his orderly herding dog world.
And I nearly did him in yesterday.
I had waded into shallow water near some tide pools to take a
But you know how about every fourth or fifth wave picks up a bit of heft and velocity?
I didn't see it coming. And came it did.
Boom! There we were, standing in water up to my knees -- and Ben's belly. He stiffened and froze, aghast at the turn of watery events. And then as the surf coursed back to sea, stealing our sandy foundation, Ben began to seemingly bob in the sea water as he tried to regain his footing, eyes rolling reproachfully at me all the while. I grabbed him by the collar, and together we slogged back to dry land and headed home.
Needless to say, I was rewarded with a series of most impressive stink-eyes as we made our way up the beach.
But we live to fight another day. I am forgiven, and this morning's walk lovely and dry.
Just as Ben would have it.