Beachfront Dog and Pony Show
- November 22, 2023
- Jan Swan Wood
I was looking through old photos the other evening and came on one that brought back a memory that made me smile. It was a bad photo of a beach off of Baja California, Mexico. I don’t know why I hadn’t zoomed in more when I took it, but the photo was of tiny figures on the beach with the vast Pacific ocean as a backdrop. Those figures were the reason for the photo.
While on this trip with my brother and sisters, I was ever the early riser. We were staying in a beachfront condo with a balcony facing west, about seven stories up I suppose. I’d quietly get up in the morning, make the coffee and then sit out on the balcony and watch the sunrise light up the morning while I enjoyed my first cup. I’d see ships in the distance shining in the sun, people out for a walk and birds working the surf. I could see up and down the beach for a long ways both directions.
Each morning while there, I saw this same scene play out also. Once it was full daylight, along would come a man with two dogs that appeared to be Golden Retrievers. He’d come walking from the south with them running around and having a big time playing in the edge of the surf. From the north, I’d watch a man riding one horse and leading another headed south on the beach. His horses appeared to be race horses or endurance horses, as they were tall, slim and trim and looked speedy. He’d be just jogging along as he approached the beach ahead of me. From the south, the two dogs would spot the horses and take off running toward them. The horses’ heads would come up and they would get revved up. When they did this, the man with the horses would break them into a lope and then a dead run as the horses and dogs got close to one another. The horses, now running full out as they “met in the middle”, the rider leaned down over the neck of his horse, would continue south with the two dogs in hot, though hopeless, pursuit for several hundred yards. Having succeeded in “chasing” the horses away, the dogs would return to their owner and continue their walk, probably very proud of themselves. The man on the horses would slow them back down to a jog and continue on.
It played out every morning as I watched, amused, from my high vantage point. I couldn’t hear anything from where I was at, but I’m guessing no one had anything to say. This was just something they apparently did every morning. It was harmless as the horses weren’t actually afraid of the dogs, and never faltered, and the dogs had no chance or intent of ever catching one of the horses and hurting it anyway.
My amusement over the daily event still brings a smile to my face. Good clean fun had by all. Being an early riser sure has its benefits.
About Jan Swan Wood
Jan was raised on a ranch in far western South Dakota. She grew up horseback working all descriptions of cattle, plus sheep and horses. After leaving home she pursued a post-graduate study of cowboying and dayworking in Nebraska, New Mexico, Montana, Wyoming and South Dakota....