We had planned a very simple weekend of yard work and watching movies on the couch. At the last minute we were invited to spend the weekend with our friends at the beach and take Sherman. We live about 2 hours from the beach, but Sherman had never been before. He's not one for trying new things and sometimes; well, he can be a bit neurotic. So we decided to go for one night to see how it would work.
We left late Saturday afternoon and arrived at the place we'd be staying. Our friends have a fifth wheel camper that is in an RV park right on the beach. It was a very nice place and was really crowded for the holiday weekend. Sherman did really well at the campsite, but refused to go up the stairs of the camper. We thought about leaving him tied up to sleep outside, but were afraid he'd make a lot of noise barking. He would bark each time someone went into the camper.
We are used to similar behaviour at home. He barks anytime someone goes up stairs. Sometimes he'll even try and keep you from going up; I think it is because he can't go himself and doesn't like it when anyone else does either. The problem is he has a very loud voice and had a very big baroo, which is kind of like a howl. We didn't think the other vacationers would find this at all pleasant, so Brad slept with Sherman in the car. This was only possible because of the really cool weather we've had lately.
Needless to say we were up early and headed out to the beach to see if Sherman would like the water. the first obstacle was the wooden boardwalk over the dunes that lead to the beach. I would guess for 99.5% of dogs this would not be a problem, but steps are not Sherman's thing. But for some reason he went right up the ramp and down the steps on the other side to the sand.
We walked up and down the surf for a while to get him used to the water and at first he was a little hesitant as the surf hit his feet.
But we took everything slow and eventually he has comfortable enough to relax a little bit and stretch out and enjoy the sand.
We actually spent the day going to and from the beach. We'd go and stay for a little bit and then head back to the campsite so Sherman could rest and drink some fresh water.
Sherman got to meet a lot of new people too. There seem to be two basic reactions when someone new sees Sherman. Either they want to come pet him or there is a quick move to the other side of the street. but we had a lot of people come up and want to pet him and find out if he is friendly.
He is friendly and usually will let anyone pet him, but every once in a while he'll let out a big baroo when someone approaches. I've never been able to peg what is that sets him off this way - it must be only something he sees. But people usually step back and take notice when he barks.
I think we all had the most fun on about our third trip down to the water that day. Sherman actually decided to get in the waves. I wouldn't use the term swim because his feet never left the ground but I think he had fun just the same.
It really was a successful trip. Sherman slept the whole way home and straight through until the next morning. On the first trip outside in the morning, he headed over straight to the car. I think he wanted to go back.