“Come on, Lachie!” I called to my eight month old German Shepherd puppy.
He came bounding along the hallway towards me, carrying his lead. At such a young age, Lachie was very clever. He had taken a shine, over the last month, of carrying things for himself.
I slipped the lead on him and handed it to him. He took it in his mouth. He liked to walk himself and I was amazed that, at such a young age, I could trust him to walk himself and not run away.
“Do you think we should go to the beach today, Bud?” I asked him.
Lachie’s ears perked up at my words. People who said animals couldn’t understand humans were only kidding themselves.
The beach was Lachie’s favourite place to go. I had first taken him there when he was four months old but that had been the last time as after that we had hit winter. It was far too dangerous to go to the beach in winter, the ice froze over and the place was a danger zone. Winter had finished officially a week ago and I figured it would be safe enough to go there now.
Lachie went bounding across the yard and stopped in front of a stick. Whenever Lachie knew we were going to be going near water he liked to take a stick with him, for me to throw and him to go splashing in after.
Lachie dropped the lead he was carrying and looked at me, then back between the lead and the stick. Deciding how he was going to carry both no doubt.
I laughed and jogged towards him. “Here, Buddy, how about I walk you today?”
“Woof!” Lachie barked his appreciation before picking up his stick and then we were off.
I looked up towards the sky as Lachie and I exited our drive way. I hadn’t realised how late it had gotten. I loved to paint and once I started I got caught up in it for ages. As a rule, I didn’t like walking Lachie so close to sunset. I guess I would have to today. I knew it had been a mistake to start painting after lunch.
Lachie bounded along in front of me on the end of the lead looking from side to side at all the sights, he got a few laughs and a few smiles when he walked past people, carrying his stick. Lachie loved people and usually he would stop for a pat when he saw some one coming but today, for some reason, he kept going. I wondered if he was eager to get to the beach since we hadn’t been there in a while.
My friends often warned me to be careful with Lachie, they said that because he was a German Shepherd he was quite likely to turn on me.
I said, he was going to grow up to become a guard dog, yes, but I would teach him to keep his gentle nature and only turn on those who intended to harm him or me. They didn’t think I could do it but I would show them.
We turned the corner and headed down the country road that lead to the beach. Lachie’s ears perked up as he heard the waves crashing and I smiled to myself. Lachie was such a cool dog.
I let him off of his lead as we got to the beach entrance. I wasn’t worried about other people around. I knew that if Lachie went near them and they didn’t want him there one call of his name would have him back here beside me. He let out a playful bark as he went bounding down the sand towards the ocean. He stopped, when his bark made him drop his stick, to pick it back up again and then he was off splashing through the waves.
I let Lachie bound through the water for ten minutes or so before calling him back out. He came bounding towards me still holding the stick. Lachie had that adorable ‘legs too big for the body’ thing going on at the moment. All German Shepherds had it when they were puppies.
I took the stick off of him. That was one thing I had been teaching Lachie, to give things to me when I asked for them. I often took his toys and his food off of him when he was using them so that he got used to it quickly. I thought that would help with his gentle nature.
I threw the stick in the water and Lachie went leaping into the water after it. I threw the stick for about thirty minutes, enjoying splashing through the waves myself.
I noticed the sun was beginning to set and I called Lachie out of the water. I didn’t want to walk home soaking wet so I sat down on the sand hoping that the cold air would air dry me. Lachie lay down beside me, panting from all of the running. I noticed he had left the stick in the water. I would grab it for him before we left, if he forgot.
I looked up to watch the sun set. It really was very beautiful and I found myself wishing that I had of brought my phone to get a couple of photos. But then again, with how wet I was, it was a good thing that I had left it at home.
I lay back on the sand and started to doze off.
A sharp bark woke me. I sat up abruptly. It was Lachie.
He let out a another sharp bark and I looked at him. He was watching something intently. I followed his gaze and gasped, the waves in the middle of the water had turned into, like, a whirlwind and they were swirling around and around. It was a whirl wave I decided. The stick Lachie had brought from home was currently swirling around and around in a circle in the middle of the whirl wave.
Lachie jumped to his feet and I grabbed his collar, in fear that he would go in after his stick. The stick looked as if it would go under water any minute and I didn’t want the same happening to Lachie.
Lachie started barking and snarling aggressively and I looked back to the whirl wave. I screamed in fright. There was a guy on a surf board, coming out of the whirl wave.
Lachie snarled again. I knew it was because he was scared.
I patted Lachie, “Quiet down, Boy.”
Lachie looked at me, as if he was confused why I wasn’t scared of this guy.
“If he comes near us and seems like he is going to hurt us, then you can snarl and carry on, okay?”
Lachie whimpered and flopped back down beside me. I knew he was upset with me but I was too mesmerised by the guy on the surfboard to pay much attention.
He was now attempting to surf the whirl wave. He followed it around and around in a circle as it swirled viciously. I thought he was pretty daring.
He flipped over the waves and flopped back down. At one stage he went under the wave and I found myself worried that he wouldn’t come back up. He did though, seconds later and he soared back up over the wave. The sky was now yellow with the sunset and as the surfer flipped up towards the sky it looked as if he was painted there. It was like a giant canvas in the sky. It was gorgeous.
The surfer flipped back down and went under the waves once again. I awaited his return but ten seconds went by and he still hadn’t surfaced. Suddenly the whirl wave disappeared and the waves returned to normal. I blinked.
Lachie’s stick came floating out towards us and he sprinted to the edge of the water to get it before bounding back to me.
I stood there, feeling bewildered. Had I really seen that? Did he come out every day at sunset? I would be coming back tomorrow to find out.
I knew one thing for sure. It came as quite a shock. I slipped Lachie’s lead on him as he picked up his stick and we headed home.