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  • Writer's pictureTina Witherspoon

Landscape Shoot: Winter Beach Walk

Winter sunsets on the beach are truly spectacular in the Pacific Northwest. It's the most unexpected part of living on this island for me. No matter what the weather has been like that day, the sky gives you a show. Sometimes it's a stormy show, but a show nonetheless.

Adrian started walking Whiskey off leash last summer, not really telling me he was doing it, but it was an experiment and a bold move given her obsession with birds. She was once transfixed by a Killdeer that was taunting her away from its nest of babies by pretending to be hurt and flailing on the sand until she got just close enough and then flying away, but that was a special circumstance.

She's so smart and trainable that the experiment has been working out. On Friday I got to witness all the work he has put into training her, and we headed down the beach at 4pm. She would run ahead of us, but then turn around to check in visually and make sure we were still behind her. She would romp through the water and then run up into the beach house yards, but always came back when Adrian whistled for her. If you'd have asked me a year ago if I'd ever imagine a day she could be off lease the answer would be a quick NO. But, she's a year and 8 months now and she is definitely growing up fast.

I'm grateful that he threw caution to the wind and started the off leash thing (especially the part where he didn't tell me about it) because to see her run down the beach at full speed with her tongue wagging is to witness joy. The only thing better than off leash beach time is that beautiful cabin we stayed at in Durango, Colorado last summer, where she had 15 fenced acres to explore - totally free of leashes - with hundreds of birds to chase and a couple of ponds to swim and two horses to bark at. I need to start a piggy bank fund to buy a larger property for her closer to home.

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