Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Catching Up, Catching Pooches & A Family Squabble

Over the weekend, we went home for DH's 20th high school reunion. We started dating when I was a junior in high school, he a freshman at the community college, so I knew many of his classmates, more so than I know my own, actually. We had a good time catching up and even managed to get in a few little excursions.

Saturday morning, I did an easy 5 miles along the course of the Circle the Bay which I will be running in less than 2 weeks. Later that afternoon, we drove down to Bandon to visit with my dad, see the house where I grew up (he is living there again and plans to renovate - after 20+ years of renters, he has a long road ahead of him), and fly kites on the beach.

Sunday, on the drive home, we stopped by Loon Lake (a local favorite) and had an impromptu picnic. We also had an opportunity to play on the beach. It is very shallow and as we were right there with the kids, we didn't even consider life vests. Another young family, however, did. Their boy must have been about 3 or 4 years old. From the moment they arrived in our vicinity, they fought with him. First it was sunscreen. He, of course, didn't want anything to do with the stuff but his mom insisted. She struggled to spray it on him as he squirmed and wiggled.

Their issues continued when she told him to put on a life vest. He said, "No. I not want to wear it." She insisted. He proceeded out into the water despite her. He was only in up to his knees, she could have easily walked out to get him but instead she stood on the shore demanding that he come back and put on his vest. "Trevor Daniel! Get back here this instant!" Just then Dad, I presume, comes down and lays the heavy fist. She says to him, "You deal with him! I've had it!" She returns to the lounge chairs he had set up about 1/2 way up the beach. He goes in and grabs the little guy and forces the vest on him.
The little guy screams. "I hate the vest! I don't want it. I hate you!" My heart goes out the little guy. I myself didn't really see it necessary to wear a vest but as DH pointed out, the parents wanted to lay back on the loungers and not be involved. Once Dad got the vest on, he returned to the lounger himself. The little guy stood on the shore crying. A short time thereafter, Dad gets up and packs the boy off towards the restrooms, I assume for a time-out or a little talk.

Now don't get me wrong. I'm not saying I have never been in a power-play situation with my little ones. I have! I have even shared the big ones with you all here. I try to pick my battles though. I just didn't think this one was the right one. I'm not them though. I don't know their situation. From an outsiders perspective, it just looked as though they didn't want to be involved. Did they try to talk with him about the importance of a vest before hand? Prep him for the inevitable?

When it was about time to leave, we were apprehensive that we would get a melt-down, too. I gave them a choice, "It is about time to go. We have a long drive ahead of us. Do you two want to leave in 5 minutes or 10 minutes?" Of course they chose 10. When a minute remained, I warned them again, "Hey Cuties! One minute and we need to get cleaned up to go."

When time was up, I helped them clean off the sand from their bodies and we walked up to the showers to change. We talked about how fun it was to stop here... something we generally don't do. We usually push through the 5 hour drive without stopping except for bathroom breaks (remarkably seldom!) and occasionally to eat (if we make the drive during meal time). I complimented them both on leaving without fuss. For helping us to get cleaned up quickly. Sweetie responded with, "I want to come back again. I know if I don't cry, you will want to bring me back." Right on! On Monday's long run, I wasn't feeling it. I started off well enough but starting lagging around mile 6. I just couldn't find it within me to push through. I ended up cutting my planned 14-16 mile run down to 11 and change. If it is any consolation, though, here is the elevation chart:
To make matters worse, as I cut through a neighborhood park on the last mile, a large dog began to follow me.

I picked up the pace... he matched me. I cut across the parking area and he got trapped within the fenced ball field. I proceeded across the intersection to my subdivision assuming he had turned back and given up on me but NO! He turned around, back tracked, and caught up with me once again. He followed me all the way home where he took the liberty to get a little refreshment from the sprinkler water that had pooled on a rock in my yard.

My kiddos happened to be outside waiting for me - they always meet me on the front lawn these days, cheering me on the last 10 meters or so - and the dog happily flopped down so they could pet him. He was so nice! I gave him a bowl of water which he accepted enthusiastically and I proceeded to hop into the shower, leaving the garage open so he could depart when he was ready.

Imagine my disappointment when he was still there after my shower. I had a doctor appointment in just 30 minutes. I didn't really have the time to be playing pet detective. I got the kiddos buckled in and asked the dog to jump into the back of the Volvo. He did so efficiently and quickly. If we were to want a dog - we'd want one this friendly & obedient!

I spent about 15 minutes driving around the neighborhood near the park in an effort to find his owner. There were few people out and about... and no one had seen the dog before. I contemplated keeping me in our garage until someone posted a sign but that could take days, weeks... and we'd certainly grow attached (at least the kiddos and I... DH would have had other thoughts!). I thereby opted to take him to the Humane Society.

Even when we arrived, he happily jumped out of my car and walked into the receiving area. The clerks were in the back when I arrived so I rang the bell. As I waited, the dog decided to go have a look for himself. Imagine the surprise of the employees when they discovered a random, strange dog wandering around in the back rooms.

They took my name and contact information. I signed a release. I felt so bummed. I really hope the rightful owner comes to look for him there (he wasn't wearing a collar or tags of any kind - but his fur showed that he normally does). If not, I hope that a nice family seeking to adopt discovers what a wonderful dog he is and chooses him.


Tuesday was Masters. I arrived in time to get a solid warmup completed before practice began. 500 m mixed stroke. 400 m kicking w/fins. Another 100 m freestyle.

The drill set (6 x 25 m) was worst stroke... for me (and as it turned out, everyone else in my lane) that is Butterfly. We opted to use fins - thankfully!

The main set was 5 x 300 m freestyle with 1 minute rest interval. My lane opted to do only 4. We just didn't have the time to do all 5. A total of 2350 meters. Solid.


  1. I think you know, as well as I do, that kids are funny. There could be all kinds of reasons for the behavior of the child. The parents could be young and inexperienced (likely). The child's behavior probably reflects a history of his relationship with his parents. The little one might have been tired and having a bad day, or they all could have been (having a bad day) :-)

    It's a good thing, I always say, that kids are the most fragile resilient things on the planet. They have to be to survive all the mistakes us parents make!! LOL!

    Tough call on the dog. He probably got out and just loves people. He was probably one of those dogs that could just love any family. Lucky he found you guys!!

  2. That's the nicest dog ever.. for a second I though he was chasing you in the aggressive sense. I hope his owners find him.

    Nice run and swim!

  3. Kids can be whacky sometimes. Oy, I've had plenty of times I'm sure I've looked like I could win the "White Trash Mom O The Year Award" LOL. I'm surprised he didn't want it, my kids won't take theirs off LMAO!

  4. Interesting posting, I enjoy going to the beach as well. In fact there were quite a few kids with buoyancy type vests at the beach last Sunday. I can understand it with waves etc. but judging from your pics you were in a very safe and tranquil area. Parents can be overprotective sometimes.

    I hope that dog gets a good home! You were so kind to pick him up and try to find his owner, they are so vulnerable in traffic.

  5. Too bad about your planned long run, but sometimes you just don't feel like running 14 miles. And 11 miles isn't a short run, especially after feeling not so good at mile six. Look at it this way - you made it though another 5 when you didn't feel like running anymore!

    I had a similar dog experience today, but the dog I found was wearing a tag with phone numbers on it so he's at home now - unless he escaped again!

  6. So did you see my little brother picking up trash at Loon Lake?

  7. The beach shots are great. You can tell looking at the kiddos that they are good kids.

    Thank goodness the "shadow" dog wasn't mean! I hope his owner found him!


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