I found myself on Sunday morning at Altona Beach, doing the dog-walking thang with Marita and Maisie. All very merry (even better once I shed the excess of clothing I’d managed to bring — memo to self: beach not generally cold in October).
Marita had a short distraction to deal with, and I found myself minding Maisie for a few minutes. No problem, we clambered over some rocks, she on the leash, over to where there were some seagulls happily basking in the sun. Maisie likes chasing seagulls. It’s her favourite. She never gets even close, but she still likes it. I was struggling to keep up, so I let her off the leash, so she could chase them.
Imagine my astonishment when Maisie ignored the seagulls straight ahead, and instead diverted to the right, swimming straight across the inlet under the bridge Marita had gone across, heading for the other side.
“Maisie! Come here! Maisie!!”
I had visions of the dog running away to locations unknown, me being left holding only the leash, Marita returning and asking “Where’s Maisie?” and me being unable to answer in any satisfactory way why I had lost her dog in the three minutes I’d been looking after her.
Maisie reached the other side and zoomed up the bank, looking for Marita. More shouting: “Maisie! Come here! Maisie!” I haven’t shouted that loudly in quite a while.
Unwilling to swim across, I clambered back over the rocks and ran across the bridge. Maisie had gone a bit further, to over near the carpark. “Maisie! Come here!” I wondered how many people were looking at me pittingly, thinking who is that shouting idiot who can’t control his dog?
As I reached her side of the bridge, Maisie looked around at me, wagging her tail. This is a good game, isn’t it Daniel? She ran over, then straight past me, over the bridge and the rocks and onto the beach again, as I ran after her, hoping she wasn’t planning to do another lap.
Nope, straight for the seagulls, a sprint across the shallow water, scattering them into the air. Then she came back to the shore. Rather than risk her zooming off anywhere else, I put her back on the leash, scrambled over the rocks yet again to the bridge, only to see Marita strolling back.
A telling of the tale, and much laughter followed.