Friday, July 20, 2012

The Dog Beach

I watch a man at the dog beach trying to round up his dog to leave. The dog is having a blast fetching stick after stick in the water. I think they had been there for a while, although the dog probably could play fetch for another hour. He calls the dog over to him. No response. He tries to grab his collar. The dog is too agile and darts away quickly. He calls him again. Nothing. He tries to play it cool, not wanting to be that owner with the disobedient dog. After a few minutes, he starts the round up process again. Still no luck.

I'm at the dog beach with Teagan in the stroller, Quinn in the Ergo and Riley and Finn running free. Without fail, I get a "you have your hands full" comment before I've even crossed the parking lot. It's time to leave for the five of us. I start walking to the gate. "Riley! Finn! Come!" I yell. Within seconds, both dogs are at my feet. I hook their leashes on and I'm out the door.

While Finn has always been this obedient, Riley has not. I was that owner I talked about above. Riley was a little devil. At 16 months old, he ran out of a dog park after a police horse, towards a very busy Toronto street. You should have seen the looks that we got from the other dog parents.

When I arrive at the dog park with my brood, I have a system. I open the trunk of my SUV. The boys anxiously wait to hit the ground running (literally), but do not move until I say so. I then get the stroller out and put one baby in it. I put on the Ergo and put the other baby in that. The dog beach has thick sand so pushing a double stroller is too challenging, hence the single stroller. I then give the boys the go ahead.

One more quick story...A few months ago, I arrive at the park, open the trunk like I usually do and both boys leap out and run straight to a woman and her dog. I yell to the boys to get back to the car. They promptly run back to me and jump back into the trunk until I'm ready. "Wow, I wish mine was that well-behaved!" the woman says to me. I smile and tell her that it has taken A LOT of work to get to this point. It has. With two babies in tow, I'm incredibly grateful to have two very well-behaved dogs.

I took the girls to a trial music class the other day. While we did many classes over the last year, we haven't done one in months. I now have a very proficient walker and an almost walker/very proficient crawler. Lucky for me, in a class of about 10 other moms, I had the only walker. Most babies were under 6 months so they didn't move much. Teagan and Quinn were all over the place. Grabbing papers from the instructor. Trying to steal her iPod and remote. Opening her bins with musical instruments. In T&Q's defense, it was all at their level. She really can't expect 1-year olds to not get into those things. They weren't badly behaved, they were just being typical toddlers. After the class finished, we headed out into the play area. Immediately, Quinn ran one way and Teagan crawled at lightening speed in the other direction. It was very busy in there. I called Quinn, only to be ignored. I tried with Teagan. No response as well. A short time later, it was time to go. I grabbed them both and headed to the front to pay for my Americano. I put the girls down to get my wallet out. Within seconds, Quinn ran back into the play area and Teagan started climbing up onto random strollers. The Mom holding her peanut-sized baby (ONE baby) shot me a judgmental look. You just wait Lady, I think. I round them up yet again because my verbal commands are met on deaf ears. With two babies and a diaper bag in my arms, we leave the cafe. All I could do is laugh.

We head home, pick up the dogs and hit the dog beach. While standing in the back of the SUV, with dogs passing within a few feet of them and the lake in view, Riley and Finn don't budge. Can you teach your sisters how to do this, I think.


  1. One of my co-workers used to say teaching kindergarten was a lot like traning dogs -you need to be calm, yet firm and there needs to be immedicate consequesces for misbehaviour. It's kinda' true. Lol.

    1. That's so true! I actually compare babies/toddlers to dogs all the time! I wanted to write a blog post to compare :)

  2. "You just wait lady." That's it exactly. I've thought that myself several times when I get those looks. Kids are just kids, sometimes they listen and sometimes they don't and we all have those moments. Good for you for keeping a sense of humour about it!

    P.S. we're thinking about getting a dog. I might need a few pointers. :)

  3. The Bean is such an active guy, I've definitely felt this way before. I usually want to say, "If you think you can do better, have at it."