Monday, January 17, 2011

Snowbirds and polar bears

I have to begin this post by telling you how often we are asked if Petey is "the dog in the commercial?" He seems much smaller than the real star, but I can see the resemblance...

Can you?
We also get asked if Petey is a mixed breed or a West Highland Terrier (do they think he's dirty?). So for once and for all, no, he's an AKC registered Cairn terrier. Yes he's big for the breed —too much personality to fit into the standard size—and yes, they come in lots of colors, not just Toto gray. In fact, for the first four years of their lives, Cairns can change their haircolor entirely. No big deal, I've done the same thing over 4 years!

The past week has been unseasonably cold, resulting in lots of things washing up onshore. Summer beachcombers would be delighted with the treasure trove they'd find on the winter beach. Lots of clam shells and starfish and horseshoe crabs. And loads of seabirds. They'll fly out over the ocean in clouds of white wings, perfectly synchronized. It's breathtakingly beautiful.

We usually walk down to the tall, lone tree, but lately, Petey finds some willing "victim" to play ball with him and we end up talking more than walking!

I'm sure these people were wondering why I was aiming my telephoto lens at their house, but I've always loved these brilliant turquoise chairs, how they stand out among the gray and beiges of the beachscape.

Petey is the same color as the beach. He's a natural there. His coat is way overdue for a stripping, but since it's winter, I'd rather he has a thicker coat for warmth. He is scruffy as can be!

Now, keep in mind, when I shot these photos yesterday, it was about 50 degrees on the beach and the ocean temperature is about the same if not a bit cooler. I shiver just watching him run in for a belly dunk.

Shake, shake, shake!

These orange rubber Chukka balls are just the best. They're the same size as tennis balls but they don't get soggy, can be washed off and can be spotted on the sand. They still bounce like crazy and they're not too heavy. And...they're terrier-proof and approved!

Off goes "Disregard" to check out the birds.

Eh, not that interested! He's a ball dog, not a bird dog after all.

The Piping Plovers and Peeps seem just fine ignoring Petey!

Even a ball-chasing boy needs to take a break now and then. Nothing finer than a bellyful of wet sand.

Muzzer was asking about our local bird life so I thought I'd take some photos just for her. I just got a new camera and was trying it out on the beach. It was so bright, I really couldn't see the LCD screen too well, so I was delighted when I downloaded my shots when I got home and found this fellow wading in the surf.

Then we made this happy face for our pals Sorcha, Murray and Clive—Hilton Head is sending then a big smile!

Ahhh, now this is one contented dog. Life is indeed good. I read a quote where you should purposefully try to find at least one thing that brings you joy each day. With Petey, those opportunities for joy are countless.

We also met this handsome fellow named Barney. I think he might be the perfect Southern gentleman for Aunties Martha and Bailey.

Just check out the size of those soup bowl paws! He wasn't interested in chasing Petey or the ball, just having his velvety head and ears scratched by me as he thumped that big tail in the sand.
Another gull for Muzzer...

And one more with those beautiful yellow legs. (I knew there was a reason I like to wear my yellow pumps with my gray pants!)

We didn't catch the name of this soggy doggie, but she was very cute with her damp curls and happy to chase Petey.

You've gotta be awfully fast to get to the ball ahead of my scruffy dog! Wish I had a better shot of some of his airborne catches.

This Sheltie gal was determined to herd Petey up and down the beach. He figured out that she didn't really like the water, so he'd head into the ocean to shake her off. We should find a polar bear club for him to join! While the weather was bright and sunny, it wasn't particularly hot but that didn't stop the weekend visitors from putting on their shorts and flipflops and pretending they weren't cold.

Look at that sandy, weary yet very contented face! Time to hit the hose before we head home for a bowl of water and a nice long nap on a soft sofa in the late afternoon sunshine.

Petey's got it made. No doubt about it.


Maxmom said...

Hi there Petey and Jane...
Gee, it's wonderful to see you guys blogging again! I hope you are well and that the heartache has settled. We've missed you!
When we were at the beach recently, I couldn't help but think of you guys - strangely because I didn't see any starfish this time. Ironically, very few gulls either. But I did see doggies cavorting along the shoreline like Petey does - some of which were also fixated on tennis balls.
So nice to hear from you again.
Sending lotsaluv

Two French Bulldogs said...

Don't you just love the beach and playing in the sand
Benny & Lily

Oskar said...

We LOVE that commercial. It does look likek Petey.

It looks like he had a blast on the beach.

Nubbin wiggles,

Arran, Arthur and Mum said...

Petey really does have a great life. Ludo agrees that you can't beat sandy belly!
I was looking at some postcards of dog breeds from years and years ago and there was a terrier that looked just like Petey, I wonder if it was a forbear to the modern Cairn?
~Ludo's Mum

rottrover said...

Oh, what a fun day!

Clive said...

What a great post today - Petey and Jane!

We love your new camera - it take such great photos! Those seagulls look like they are about to fly out of the computer towards us!

Clive is very jealous of Petey running along the beach .... and your temps sound very good to us!

We love finding one good thing about every day too ... and you know there always is one!

take care
Clive and Murray

ps-even if today was just Murray managing to clean his bottom himself! Meant a lot to us!

Gus said...

Thank you for the bird pictures! I miss the ocean and the beach, but I also miss the birds, because they make me smile! Petey is clearly in his element, and we hope you are enjoying the beach as much as he seems to be (enjoying the beach)


How Sam Sees It said...

What a peaceful post! We thoroughly enjoyed looking at all the pictures.


Asta said...

Nothing stops and intwepid ballchasingwtewlovingsandcovewed doggie
Petey , I admiwe youw intwepid puwwsuit of fun
looks lovely thewe
smoochie kisses

Molly the Airedale said...

What beautiful pictures! You sure do look happy, Petey!

Love ya lots
Maggie and Mitch

Brad Fallon said...

Peter looks so happy in these pictures! What a fun day!

Scruffy, Lacie and Stanley's Place said...

Oh...we pinched your pic of the seagull you put up for Muzzer and put it as our desktop background so Mumsie could pretend it was warm out. The colors in the water are such georgous shades of blue and green...truly lovely.

Now, are going to get NEW MON YA getting in that freezy cold ocean in January. You need to wait till Valentine's Day at least. Lacie sighs of her favorite holidays.

And we loved the turquoise chairs too...and that lone tree. Very regal, it is!

I'm thinking the Aunts M & B are going to flip when they see that large footed beast in your pix!


Lacie Cakes

sprinkles said...

I hadn't noticed it before but yes, I DO see the resemblance to that tv doggie!

Martha said...

Well Petey, you have it all, TV stardom, of course we know that is really you! Sun, sand and sea - birdies to chase, balls to play with .....!
We are so jealous. Just when we thought life couldn't get any better along comes Barney.
Well we couldn't believe it - a hunk on the beach - did you see the size of those paws!
Now Petey dear we trust you got us Barney's phone number - we so muct give him a call and invite him out for a roll in something disgusting.
Oh, it will be heaven, we can imagine it now.
You are such a little treasure of a nephew dear.
Much love
The Aunties xxxx

Tama-Chan, Benny, Vidock, Violette, Ollie, Heloise, Momo, Ryu said...

Those are such fabulous beach pictures, Petey! I am really jealous!!!

The other day, #1 and were hanging out near our gate and a guy went by with a Cairn Terrier! He was surprised we recognised the breed! The pup was pretty dark in colour!

Oh, and #1 said to say that September is going to be a totally crazy month for her as the Percheron World Congress is at the end, so she hopes Jane will come in October!