The beach is Nola’s absolute favorite place to go. One of the benefits of living in Portland (Maine) is that we have easy access to numerous beaches. In the tourist off-season especially (September 15-June 15), the beach is a wonderful place to bring Nola to let her run to her heart’s content. Through trial and error, we have discovered that our favorite beach is Ferry Beach in Scarborough, which is about 15 minutes from us. Although it’s not the largest, it seems to be the most private and the one that attracts the most dog friendly dogs, and people. We waited a little bit before taking Sarge there, just to make sure we had a handle on his recall skills and how he interacts with other dogs, both on and off leash. One night after work it was pretty warm and we thought the dogs would enjoy a romp in the water, so it was off to the beach for the four of us.
Turns out, just like everything else we’ve done with him, Sarge loved it! He seemed a little unsure of the sand at first, but once he discovered all the new things to smell he was so happy.
We also discovered that in addition to him not acting like he is 13 years old, he still has some puppy energy in him. When we took out Nola’s Frisbee he gave us the biggest play bow he could muster to show us he was ready to chase. We only threw the disc a little a head of us, but the Sarge-man leaped and bounded all the way and grabbed that disc like he was young again! It was the cutest thing ever.
He spent most of the time up by the dunes, happily trotting along as Nola got out her zoomies chasing the disc down on the hard sand by the water.
Near the end, he got the courage to come closer to the water where Nola was bounding through the waves. He started by dipping a toe in, and then went all the way to his ankles. He is so adventurous!
Sarge is a wonderful dog for so many reasons. We are so happy to have him as a temporary part of our family, but would love for him to find a forever family who will take him on more adventures and who will love his easy going personality as much as we do. He has proven to us that he is up for anything, especially if it involves a car ride and a walk, and he can hold his own with a dog ten years younger than him.
As we were leaving the beach, Sarge asked me to write this message to share with you all:
If you want to add a beach loving dog to your family, pleas fill out an application for Sarge here.
This weekend Ken Foster, author of “I’m a Good Dog: Pit Bulls, America’s Most Beautiful (and Misunderstood) Pet” was in Portland at a local dog supply store signing his book. Jessica, of Notes from a Dog Walker and DINOS fame, invited me to bring Sarge to get him some exposure. I, of course, could not turn down an invitation to hang out with two celebrities AND get my foster out and about, so we gladly accepted.
First of all, the book is awesome. Even if you are just a dog lover, and not necessarily a pittie addict like me, you will enjoy the beautiful photographs and lovely stories. Ken was great to meet in person. He is from New Orleans, so I told him about our Nola and how she was named after the Crescent City. He took tons of photos of the Sarge-meister and signed my book!
Second of all, the title of Ken’s book summed up how the experience went with Sarge. He.was.awesome. Like amazingly awesome. It was hard for him to sit still in the store, there were just too many things to smell and look at.
This was especially true when he discovered the box full of 14 inch bully sticks- his FAVORITE thing ever. He was in heaven. I, not so much, as it took all my might and tons of cheese to get his face out of the box.
Since Sarge seemed to be too much of a shop-a-holic in the store, we spent a majority of the time outside of the store entrance on the sidewalk. The store is located on Commercial Street, one of the busiest streets in the city as it is the beginning of the Old Port Shopping district and the only street that runs parallel to the ocean. Being the day before Mother’s Day is seemed like the sidewalks were extra busy. And big ol’ Sarge, with his almost too small ‘adopt me’ vest on, attracted crowds like it was his job. I personally think it is the combination of his size XL white head, black eye-liner raccoon eyes, and his always wagging kinked tail. People came up from behind him, little kids put their hands in his face, and people bent down right at eye level to him, and through it all he was cool as a cucumber.
I gave him a bully at one point when the crowd was light and he happily chomped away on the sidewalk. Even when people came up to him while he was eating it, he didn’t mind at all. (I did end up taking it when people came up to him, I just didn’t want to risk any resource guarding since he loves his bullies.)
Jessica stood outside with us and was awesome to talk to! It is so nice to have someone so knowledgeable as her to ask advice in person. She was so gracious about answering my 50,000 questions about fostering, rescue and how best to market Mr. Sarge to potential adopters. And as if I didn’t know it already, she could not stop saying how wonderful Sargent was. She reminded me that this was a hard environment to be in for any dog, with tons of distractions, strollers, cars, bikes you name it. My old guy was handling it like a pro.
We stayed about an hour and a half, and he probably could stayed longer, but I wanted to leave on a high note. I was so proud of the old guy, he handled himself like a distinguished gentleman. I gave out a bunch of cards with his info on them and talked about him a lot. I’m not sure we’ll get any serious inquiries, but it doesn’t matter. Just knowing that he does so well in these situations made the day worth it. It was a great event for Sarge, and selfishly, I was so happy to spend time with Jessica and to meet Ken. It was a win-win for both of us!
Oh, and Sarge was exhausted after. He was asleep 2.5 second after we got back to the car.