Last weekend I thought I had a fabulous idea: I would take my 15-year-old dog (105 in dog years) to the beach for the first time! Since Carm grew up in the Midwest with me, she had never been to a beach before. Also like me, Carm loves to be near the water so naturally I assumed that the Labrador in her would love to be in the water especially on a hot day…boy, was I wrong!
We got to the beach a few hours before sunset, and it seemed like everyone thought that was a good time to bring their pups to the beach, too. There were a few dogs who immediately ran up to Carm trying to sniff and play with her. Most dogs love to be the center of attention, but my pup is not one of them. She couldn’t get away from those dogs fast enough!
Eventually I got her in the water. At first she really didn’t know what to make of it. Since I can pretty much read her thoughts I think it was something like, “Is this a bath?! This doesn’t seem like a bath. If it’s not a bath, what is THIS?”
She stood in the water for a good half hour almost completely still just taking it all in. She watched the other dogs fetch things in the water, and was mesmerized by the various sailboats and kayaks floating around in the harbor. She didn’t seem to love being in the water, but she didn’t seem to hate it either. As far as repeat adventures go I put it down as a ‘maybe.’
Not two days later Carm developed yet another infection. This time it was a bladder infection and that combined with 85-degree temperatures and no air-conditioning made my apartment smell like a barn. I called the vet and got Carm on a round of antibiotics, but not before giving me some very enlightening information:
“Old dogs are like old people: they’re prone to infections. So if you take them to an environment they’ve never been exposed to before, chances are they’re going to come into contact with something their bodies aren’t used to dealing with so it’s very easy for them to get an infection.”
Of course! It made sense once she told me that, but it’s something I hadn’t considered before. Dogs are like people. Duh!
Here I was thinking that I was being such a great human to my dog: taking her on adventures and letting her experience new things which is a good thing under certain conditions. As for having another adventure with the ocean I think we’ll just settle for being near the water instead.