Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Beach Bums

Yesterday I took Booker to the beach- Muir Beach.

Our first time, tho it was obvious he had been a beach dog before from the excitement as we turned onto Hiway 1- he KNEW.

He frolicked in the waves, jumping over the waves, swam a bit at times and chomped on the seaweed attached to the rocks.

I had him leashed up to avoid accidents with other dogs but we did nice introductions to a few other dog owners with dog friendly pooches, so he got to run around with a few new pals at times.

We were alone on the beach and started to hear this odd yelping, sounded like a dog in some kind of hysterical fit. I looked over at the cliff, expecting to see a dog smashed on the rocks, having fallen off the cliffs. The weird noise continued, and off we went to investigate.

Low and behold, a young seal had beached him/herself.

Knowing this is a wild animal and one must let it be alone, not let be alarmed by a dog or human, we walked away quickly. I did not see any sign of injury but there was an orange tag on it’s tail- a-ha! Has had human contact! Well, he started to follow us down the beach, I was snapping cell phone pictures as we walked away and the darn thing broke into quite the gallop, BOY CAN THEY MOVE! We had to run!

For the life of me, I think he wanted to play!. Of course Booker was ready for more playtime and happily pranced back an invitation to play....which may have alarmed the seal into an attack/ pursuit.

We attempted to steer his pursuit into the water but he turned around and headed up to the warm sand. Still moving at quite a clip. I assessed he could not be very sick or injured with that much energy!

A quick call to the Marine Mammal center confirmed my suspicions, - young animal not old enough to have learned to fear humans. Very common for them to go ashore to sun themselves. I learned they only vocalize, like we heard as he was coming in, when they are excited/happy.

Wow. I had seen them in the water when I was swimming there before, when they kept their distance but not in the middle of our old sunning spot!

I spent the remainder of the day reminding folks strolling by, to keep WIDE away from the wild animal.

He lolled in the sun, tossing sand about in play, and was still there when we left at 4pm.

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