Now I know that some of you live in cold places (20 degrees in Pittsburgh today. That's a high. Farenheit.) So lest you be jealous of our warmth, let me tell you that it is not always a delight to take the dog to the beach. The first time we took Max, we didn't think to bring along fresh water for him, poor guy, so of course he gulped and gulped quite a bit of salt water. When we left the beach, we all hopped into the car (yes, all of us in the camry, wet dog included) and began the drive up the windy road to Atascadero. About 2 minutes into the trip, I heard what I thought was Jason spilling water all over the back seat. Actually, it was Max throwing up about a gallon of salt water and, amazingly, over 40 apricot pits (yes, we counted). It seems he had been eating apricots off of the ground in our back yard for a few days. So probably in an ironic way, the salt-water-induced vomiting actually helped his digestive system (you never know, though....that dog once ate my compost pile with no ill effect). I thought that was a bad smell, but it was nothing compared to 'dead seal.'
It just so happens that we live in an area where there are harbor seals, sea lions, and elephant seals. And of course, from time to time, one of them dies and washes up onto the beach. On a normal beach, this is a bummer, but on a dog beach, it's extra-extra-gross. No one knows why, but apparently it is impossible for any canine to walk past a rotting seal carcass without rolling in it (who knew?). Max is no exception. Mmmmmm, you haven't experienced all that life has to offer until you've driven 20 miles on a windy road in an un-air-conditioned car (these things never seem to happen when we drive our truck) with a putrid-smelling dog. The other night one of our 'family discussion questions' was, "What is your least favorite odor?" This is mine by a mile. Once it makes its way into your nasal passages, it doesn't leave. It's like it's a dreadful living creature all its own. I feel sick just writing about it. Yuck!
So, see? Those of you living where it is freezing cold can indeed feel blessed. These kinds of things don't happen in the snow.