We woke up early this morning planning on taking the pups to Foster Dog Beach. However, after finding it blocked due to an event along the lake shore bike path, we headed south to Montrose beach. We live basically in the middle of both beaches and have always chosen Foster beach over Montrose, hearing crazy stories from friends and people we’ve randomly met. Foster is smaller and seemingly lesser known than Montrose, but Montrose has been ranked in the top 10 for dog beaches in the US by “Fido” magazine.
Montrose was actually fantastic. The beach was huge and the beautiful early morning brought a large amount of dogs running from one side to the other. We headed over to the less populated side to acclimate the pups to the craziness of the party. Both Link and Eve did fantastically. While Paul was throwing the ball to Link, Eve followed at my heels and playfully met other dogs with no signs of aggression. Both of the pups loved the water and meeting new aquintences. Jake, the Jack Russell/Husky mix we met yesterday walking was also at the beach today. All in all, today was a great morning at the beach. Tomorrow we will head there again for a Chicago dog festival.
A major concern while living in Chicago with two “soon-to-be-big” dogs is whether the pups are getting too cramped. All dogs need room to stretch and get their energy out, big dogs more than most. Of course, many loving big dog owners raise happy, buoyant, healthy giant dogs in metropolises all the time. With dog beaches, lots of walking space, a long apartment, and other options, we are confident that our pups are getting the energy they need and the mental stimulation necessary to grow up as they should.
However, it is still amazing to see Eve and Link able to truly go crazy with lots of open green space here in rural Virginia. With slightly more than a dozen houses in this area, each on several acres, Kyle’s family home is the perfect spot for the pups to really feel like animals.
Another great benefit is how much easier it is to get the dogs out to do their business without having to leash them up and walk down stairs. The early morning bathroom break is always a bit frustrating in the city when you have to go through the routine while still groggy only to sit waiting impatiently while they take their time. But out here, we simply grab a cup of coffee, open the door, and stroll out into the openness while watching the dog run around a bit until they are ready. There is really no substitute.
Here’s the thing we’ve learned about having two pups spend every second with one another: they don’t know what to do when they are alone. They sleep in the same room together, the go potty together, they walk together, they play together, they nap together, they eat together. Basically, they are twins.
Today we conducted a little experiment to see how they would react if we went on a long walk, but each went in opposite directions. They’d basically never gone anywhere with just one dog and one person. I took Link and Kyle took Eve. Kyle took Eve on the south side of the street, Link and I stayed on the north side.
The reaction was almost instantaneous. Link immediately began wimpering and looking around, clearly agitated and knowing that the pack was way too small. Eve nearly refused to walk. Instead she kept looking behind her and across the street trying to find her brother. Kyle damn near had to drag her to get through the first block. Once they got a block or two under their belts, they seemed to calm down though. Both gained confidence and didn’t cause too much of a fuss until they reunited about 25 minutes later in the living room.
It is especially cute to see that they already remember the one store that we walk near that puts out water for passerby pets. Its a cute little framing place in Andersonville on Clark & Argyle called Foursided. Today was a Sunday, so they were closed and no water was around. But that didn’t stop both pups from running to the door and sniffing around expecting a mid-walk refreshment.
Overall, it was kind of heartbreaking/adorable to hear and see Link so concerned about not having Eve around him. I already feel nostalgic knowing that we’ve created a little family that the pups like having all together. I’ve only been a dog owner for a couple of months and I’m already sounding like a Father.