• slw738

Sand, shells, and puppy dog tails. That's what beach days are made of!

Hello everyone, and welcome to my very first blog post! I feel like it's a long time coming, and I thank you for allowing me to share a bit of my world with you! As you may have seen on my website, I have three beautiful kittens, Dobby, Minerva, Hermione, and one curious Corgi, named Neville. His nickname is "Nosy Neville!" Well, Neville had his first outing at the beach over the weekend in honor of his first birthday, which was om December 18th. I can't believe he is a year old already! I am so honored to be his mama!

My boyfriend and I took him to the dog beach on Honeymoon Island, in Dunedin, Florida. I will be honest, I am not much of a beach person, and Neville has never really been too fond of water, so I wasn't quite sure how this would go down. The weather was calling for overcast skies for a good part of the day, and when we left the house, it was drizzling a bit. If you aren't familiar with winter in Florida, you don't get cold; you get rain! Honeymoon Island is first come, first serve, so if they hit capacity, you won't be able to get in, so we made sure to leave early, just in case.

We arrived just as the park opened at 8 AM and followed the signs to the section where the dog beach was. We parked and started to unload our gear. Not knowing how long we would be there, we packed lunches and snacks, including some of Neville's favorites, Havarti cheese, bacon, and some roast beef! We even made him a doggie cupcake, which you can find the recipe for at the end of the blog. As we were walking the trail up to the dog beach, the smell of salty sea air was all around us. I could feel the pulls of excitement on the leash as Neville started to increase his pace as I am sure he knew we were adventure-bound!

After walking what felt like forever, the ocean greeted us from the trail. Neville could hardly contain himself and began running after little birds called Sandpipers, and to my surprise, jumping right into the water! Neville is a dog who hates bath time, and either my boyfriend or I have to get in with him so that he won't jump out of the tub! I was so happy he was not afraid of it and was going right for it without a whole lot of hesitation. At one point, he was even barking at the water, which was hilariously captured on video below.

We set up camp on the beach, between the water's edge and trail. Neville had other plans and no intention to hunker down even for a minute. He wouldn't even sit still when we offered him bacon, so we knew we needed to get to the ocean as soon as possible. For Neville's safety and the safety of other dogs, he remained on a leash as mandated by the park. However, I wish we could let him run around freely to explore the smells and birdies. The rules are there for everyone's safety, so please keep your pets leashed when out in public.

Finally, we were at the edge of the sea! Neville was running through the water and barking at the waves as they came to tickle his toes. He channeled his proud Corgi instincts and tried to show the ocean he's the boss by herding the water. He wasn't too successful at that, but he tried his hardest! Taking a break from the water, Neville made his way to the sand, shells, and sponges! He has only been on sand one other time before, and it didn't seem like he was having a great time walking on it, but he had no problem strolling through and getting sand all in his toes and little footpads. There were sponges all up and down the beach that smell like salted dead fish. Of course, this is what intrigued Neville the most, and he found a particularly smelly sponge and rolled around on it like Scrooge McDuck rolling around in his money! After that, there wasn't one part of him that wasn't full of sand. He was going to need a bath when we got home! You can watch the video of the smelly sponge roll below.

After walking up and down the beach a few times, he was ready for a sit! He enjoyed some bacon, roast beef, and Havarti cheese, still keeping his keen eyes on the little Sandpiper birds. It wasn't too long before he was ready to go back into the water and chase the birdies like an old salty sea dog!

On a side note, our original plan for Neville's birthday was to have a "High Tea" party for him. I know, it sounds a bit pretentious. However, he is a Corgi, and we thought it would be cheeky to have a tea party and treat him like royalty, seeing as the Queen has had Corgis during most of her reign. Sadly, we had to cancel those plans due to COVID-19, and I hope everyone out there is doing safe and well during these challenging times.

As it was time to pack up and leave, I could finally see Neville slowing down a bit. But just like a small child, even though they are tired, he kept going because he didn't want to miss anything! I was

so proud of him for being so well behaved, and I was glad that he had such a good time. We loaded everything back into the car, got Neville inside, and secured him with his seatbelt harness. Once we started driving the engine's hum began to work its magic, and Neville's eyelids gently fluttered close and he put his head down, falling asleep. We plan on visiting the dog beach at least once a month, so this won't be Neville's last beach adventure! Thanks for reading!

Pupcake recipe;

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