Beach Dogdom II: A pleasant surprise

It has been a while since I’ve reported on the dogs of Costa Rica and it’s because I couldn’t bear to sit at the computer while in such a gorgeous place.   Instead, I spent my days enjoying the atmosphere and trying to savor every detail, making notes on a hotel message pad in order to remember as much as possible about my brief stay.

My second day in Costa Rica, as I approached the portion of coastline where I had met the dogs the day before, I could see two guys playing with the dogs by alternately dragging huge palm fronds to-and-fro in the sand for the land-loving dogs, and hurling sticks into the sea for the swimmers.

Most of the beach dogs I had seen thus far were medium or large in size, but even from a couple hundred meters away I could see a very small creature clinging close to the two guys’ legs. Hmmm.

Perhaps they had a Chihuahua out there on the beach and thought about how out of place a little dog would be among this furry crew. As I got closer to the scene I could see there was more than one tiny canine romping at their feet, and as I closed the distance between us I recognized the roly-poly gait of young pups. I couldn’t believe my luck – puppies!

How wonderful, the guy with the palm frond was being trailed by three extremely fluffy Golden Retriever pups! Not what I expected to see, that’s for sure.

I approached the two men with what I am sure was the starry-eyed, gooey-faced, chimp-like grin of a woman looking for a puppy-breath fix. The men just smiled at me knowingly - we needed no common language - they had seen it all before. I knelt down and two of the puppies came right over to me while the third hung back a bit.

One of the guys pointed to the two adult dogs swimming in the sea and said “Mom and Dad”. Sure enough there were two purebred Golden Retrievers in the water, the male with a big ol’stick in his mouth. The pups were rather mobile but still very small and round, “six weeks?” I asked. “Si”, said the more outgoing of the two guys.

I sat down in the damp sand and let the pups climb all over me. Gradually the slightly timid third pup came over to investigate as well. Sniffing and stretching his little legs as far as they would go without getting too close to me. I rolled onto my stomach and played with a stick in the sand and won the cautious little one over in no time. The guys kept playing with the small pack of adult dogs as I took over the role of doggy nanny for a while.

I sat on the beach watching the sun disappear over the Pacific Ocean with sand beneath my toes and puppies in my lap; they licked my face and gently gnawed on my knuckles. The big dogs occasionally kicked sand at us as they ran past to chase one another, but I didn’t mind. I was in doggy heaven in paradise.

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