The Surfing Dogs Post


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First of all I just want to say thank you to everyone who commented and emailed me about my last post. I was so afraid to write that. I’m glad I did though because you all had so much good advice. It’s nice to know I’m not alone in this craziness. I feel less afraid and more equipped. Thank you.

So surfing dogs! That’s not something you see everyday. I hardly even believed it possible but dogs are so loyal. They will really do anything you train them to. Including standing on a board and being pushed through water with ripples and waves and then getting tossed by the waves that are freezing cold and letting their owner put them back on the surfboard and push them out into the ocean again when what they’d really rather be doing is sniffing other dogs on the beach.

I love dogs. I am in awe of their intelligence and loyalty. They put humans to shame.

I didn’t used be a dog person. I was a cat person through and through. I thought dogs were stinky and they jumped on you and left paw marks all over the back door. I didn’t realize that I’d just never met a well-trained dog before. I never had a dog as a house pet before.

And then came Holly.  Holly was the best dog ever. I couldn’t put her outside. She was one of us. She was family. I miss her*.

That was really hard for both Bug and I while we were at the dog surfing competition. There were dogs everywhere and they all made us miss Holly.

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Something I noticed at the beach that day was how many dogs there were and not one of them was fighting with another dog. They were all good dogs. They were all happy dogs. They were all owned by people who really really loved them and treated them right. I mean who else would take their dog to the beach on a dog surfing competition day? Not drug dealers who train their dogs to eat people. Not people who are too busy to play with their dogs. It was really amazing to be around so many happy dog people and so many happy dogs. If you ever need a mood lifter. Go hang out with a bunch of happy dogs for a day.
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There was one dog you see up there in the top right corner. What is that? A French bulldog? I’m not sure. I don’t really know my dogs very well. That dog was so cute. Her name was Zsa Zsa. She was just a puppy but so well behaved. The owner didn’t seem to mind the throngs of people crowding around to pet her and Zsa Zsa didn’t seem to mind either. She licked everyone and let Bug and her friend hold her while I took pictures. It made our day.

Which is saying a lot because you already know what kind of day it had been.

*For anyone new here who wonders what happened to Holly, don’t worry. She wasn’t really our dog. We borrowed her for two years while we lived in the sticks. I was afraid of my neighbor and she kept us safe when we were living in a mobile home with single pane windows. She actually belongs to my mom and is back at my mom’s house, roaming her half acre with the other two dogs. She’s very happy. She runs around and plays all day. I think she misses us too though because sometimes when we go visit, she tries to get in the car with us.   I don’t think she forgot us. I think we’ll always be part of her pack.

The OC Zoo

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After our little scuffle the other day, I promised Bug I would take her to the zoo the next time we had a free open day. That free open day happened a little sooner than I expected since Bug had a five day weekend for Memorial Day this weekend. I was going to take her to the Santa Ana Zoo but then Toby suggested Irvine Regional Park instead. I’ve never actually been here before and it’s a shame because it’s a really great park. It’s cheap to get in and there are a lot things to do. Most of them involve just roaming the vast open space but that’s perfect for a mom and her seven-year-old who need to get out and get some exercise.

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I have to admit I didn’t have my hopes up very high for the zoo. I expected it to be small and mostly smelly monkeys. It only costs two bucks to get in after all.

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They had the usual petting zoo goats and educational installations to read and touch, a few lizards and some sad owls and hawks who looked like they longed for blue skies and better days…

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But what really blew me away were the mountain lions. There was a bear too (and a very cute one) but the mountain lions stole my heart. There were two of them and they were out and about, and super active. When we first rounded the corner, one mountain lion was playing with his big red rubber ball in the water fountain. Water was cascading down on his head and all over the ball.

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Then later when we were standing there watching them another family came by and for some reason one of the mountain lions ears perked right up. Something about a little boy in that family fascinated him. The mountain lion floated down the hillside in one fluid motion, so quick and quiet you wouldn’t even have seen him if you weren’t watching. It was like he was hunting the little boy. The family seemed to be oblivious but it was freaky and cool at the same time. The mountain lion came right up to the chain link fence and chewed on the fence. I almost expected him to let out a blood curdling yowl but he didn’t. He turned back into the playful mountain lion that liked to play with his rubber ball in the water.

I could have sat there for hours watching them. We would have too but we were hungry and the zoo doesn’t let you eat inside the zoo (which is understandable). Also, the park benches were around the corner and not in an optimal viewing area which made no sense at all. But anyway, if you live around here I strongly recommend you pay the two bucks, skip the goats, lizards and barn owls and just sit and watch the mountain lions. They are very entertaining.

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Lunch was heavenly. The park is huge and there are so many places to just sit and enjoy nature… We chose a view of the lake which was not too shabby at all.

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Then we wandered around a bit.

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Before we left we rode the silly train but it was not worth five bucks at all. Maybe it is on other days and the engineers were just too tired to do their regular spiel but we passed all sorts of interesting things (like a water fountain in the middle of no where) and they didn’t say anything about them but instead rattled off useless facts with numbers that bored me to tears. But then that’s probably just me.