Have you ever looked at your dog and thought: how did I get so lucky?  –Canine wisdom

For our doggies and their humans…

By Roger Childs

We Kapiti folk know that we live in paradise and one of our many wonderful assets is the coastline. The sands on our beaches stretch continuously for nearly 40 km from Paekakariki to Otaki, give or take a few river and stream mouths and a stony section at Te Horo. The dogs probably can’t believe their luck. 

On a Wednesday morning I run on the beach from Raumati to the Whareroa Stream and always meet a number of dogs and their owners.  The latter always say Hi or Good Morning and the animals are never a bother. I was bitten once about 10 years ago by a small dog the middle-aged owner couldn’t control, but that is now a distant memory.

Canine skills

At Palm Beach on Waiheke Island the dogs have full rights to the sand and surf from 7.00 am – 8.00 am. Most of the time they love cavorting in the surf. This probably happens elsewhere in the country. 

It’s a great sight to see dogs on the beaches engaged in various activities.

  • Just enjoying the leisurely experience with their owners, sometimes getting behind because they’ve picked up a scent. 
  • Chasing birds in and out of the waves.
  • Running with their owners.
  • Splashing through the surf in search of a stick or ball.
  • Waiting patiently for their owner to throw the stick or ball.

This morning I saw some impressive skills. I spotted a man with one of those ball throwing gadgets, but couldn’t see the dog at first. Moving on I caught sight of the animal, small and crouching with the ball in front of him. When his master came close he hared off 50 metres down the beach and resumed a crouching stance. The ball was then thrown and the amazing dog caught it in his mouth on the half-volley. Clever stuff! 

The routine was repeated – ball left for the owner, while the dog raced 50 metres further on. This time the throw was slightly longer and it looked as if the ball would sail over the beast’s head. No way! – the animal climbed in the air and caught it on the full. The Black Caps would have been impressed.

As you can see, it doesn’t take much to entertain me!