I am going to catch up on my blogging this week. I have been traveling for most of the past 3 weeks, which has included driving 3,600 miles. I’m finally starting to come alive again after a couple days at home with my wonderful wife and goofy pup.
From 06/18/11 to 06/25/11 we stayed at Folly Beach, SC, which is located just south of Charleston. It was time for Tessa to get used to the water. When we arrived on Saturday and she got her first look at the Atlantic Ocean she barked at and ran from the waves as they washed out into foam creeping up the sand. Gradually she got her feet wet until Melissa started hopping waves with Tessa beside her on her lead. Then it started to become a game Tessa could appreciate. She leaped chest first into the waves by day four. Folly Beach is a dog friendly environment with multiple restaurants where your pup can join you on the patio. We particularly enjoyed the Lost Dog Cafe where we ate 3 times for breakfast or lunch. Rita's Seaside Grill also drew us in for multiple meals. Both places have water bowls out for the dogs and the waitresses are armed with dog treats. Also, dogs can be on the beach until 10:00am and after 6:00pm, but must be kept on the lead. In the off season, after October 1 and before May 1, dogs can be on the beach at any time of day, on lead. One more thing about Folly Beach, Tides Folly Beach Hotel is pet friendly, on the beach, and located next to the pier, which is large and well equipped for fishing. We have not yet stayed at Tides, but intend to in the future.
We took a drive to Sullivan’s Island, just north of Charleston, one morning. Dogs are allowed off lead until 10:00am. Tessa met about 30 dogs, ran through the incoming tide filling the area between a sand bar and the beach, and just ran until her tongue was hanging almost to the sand. The pic I have included with this entry was taken at Sullivan's island. She was a mess. We will look into staying on Sullivan’s island next time we go to Charleston, but I think rentals there are going to be very expensive.
The find of the trip from Tessa’s point of view was the James Island County Park dog park, the best dog park yet. It was no more than a 15 minute drive from where we were staying at Folly Beach, and get this, includes a lake with multiple beaches for the dogs. That was where Tessa first lost her fear of going into the water, after being tempted chest deep by me, with treat in hand. Once she had that down she knew how to cool off, but still has not gone out for a real swim.
I have to admit, I don’t think I will take Tessa along for a full week beach trip again because she does require a lot of attention, and it was so hot during the day we couldn’t really take her anywhere other than the dog park with the lake. As a result we drove over to James Island 4 times during the trip. It was fun, but there are better ways to spend your time at the beach with your wife.
Overall it was a great trip, and Tessa will be less trying on long trips when she’s grown up. I have to keep reminding myself, as she drives me nuts with some pointless exuberance, she is only 8 months old. I need to enjoy this because she won't be a puppy again.