When we became beagle “owners,” one of the first comments we heard from a knowledgeable dog lover was: “Beagles are the ‘best bad dogs.’” If you’ve read any of DamnBeagles.com up to now, you have an idea what that means. The latest escapades of Harley and Scooter occurred while we were taking a 4th of July weekend vacation to Southern California, where the beagles nearly went on a long unsupervised side trip of their own.
Thanks to The Dog Lover’s Companion to California, we always stop at dog friendly places when we do a road trip with the beagles. It has everything from which hotels and restaurants accommodate four legged companions to which dog parks are the best. (Can’t just stop at the beach or in the country just anywhere these days.)
We went to a nice park called “The Douglas Family Preserve” in Santa Barbara, where there are acres of trails and dogs are mostly allowed off leash on all of them. Since our dogs are BEAGLES [yes, with capital letters], we had them on the leash the whole way. They still have a great time, but we don’t have to chase them down.
Douglas Family Preserve is on the cliffs overlooking Arroyo Burro Beach, a lovely Southern California beach that has a sign at the entrance pointing to the left to run off leash or to the right to be protected by the lifeguard station and enjoy the wider beach areas.
We walked the BEAGLES far enough from the on leash and parking lot area that we could cut them off at the pass, if necessary. We took off their leashes, each of us keeping one of the leashes in case we had to chase someone down.
Which we did, of course, several times. Both dogs found dead fish, including a rather large piece that may have been over 100 pounds worth. Funny thing: none of the other dog owners seemed to need to chase their dogs off dead fish flesh.
We made it fairly far down the beach with little trouble, at least on the scale one gets used to with BEAGLES, turned around and headed back. Pretty soon Harley decided the beach wasn’t interesting enough for him and he climbed some rocks until he got stuck. I went over and helped him down from the about seven foot high rock ledge, we laughed and kept going.
Not three minutes later he started up again. We called after him, and he kept going along the side of the cliffs at about a 40 degree angle. Scooter started to follow. We called some more. They kept going.
All of a sudden, they had gotten pretty high along the cliff ledge and we couldn’t get them to come down. and we quickly got several friendly people helping us call for them, “HARLEY, SCOOTER!; HARLEY, SCOOTER!”
We were all following their progress from below as the two went farther along and up the cliff.
Fortunately, a young man was there to become the hero of this story. His name is Kurt and he was in Santa Barbara the weekend after the fourth with his girlfriend Sasha. Anybody know a young 20s couple like that, please pass on another round of THANK YOU SO MUCH FROM THE BOTTOM OF OUR HEARTS.
He asked for the leashes and climbed the cliff that I couldn’t [Sasha said he has “monkey feet”]. After following them along the cliff path for a ways, he called the dogs and they decided he looked interesting enough to stop their trek and say hello. They are very used to leashes, so Kurt put them on easily and lead them back to the washed out section he had climbed up and was able to bring them down.
What an amazing adventure!
I have to confess, my Dad’s old saying when any of us kids threatened to run away definitely came to mind in the days after this adventure: “Don’t let the door catch you in the [behind.]” There were thoughts of life post-BEAGLE, and where the two little darlings would end up.
THE END [for now…]