DOG PATROL: Colin Nichol

There’s never a day walking along South Beach that something doesn’t happen. It’s dog territory after all and all the more enjoyable because of their antics. 

It is advisable though, to use caution when responding to their approaches, as they can be unpredictable, although often not so much as their owners. 

Do you “own” a dog I wonder or is it a “partnership”, or should it be that? Some owners can be quite sniffy toward anyone wanting to respond to their dog’s greeting. Exercise discretion, but not necessarily with the dog.

On a late afternoon, after a few interruptions to my daily walk by a big shaggy dog that mistook me for her owner and then being the centre of smaller ones excitedly playing ring-a-rosie around me, I headed away from the water’s edge.

Wading back though the deep loose sand of the upward slope toward the carpark, I passed two young men chatting as they worked on their tans. Between them a snoozing big black dog suddenly sprang alert and trotted toward me in a business-like manner.

I let him sniff me carefully and quite thoroughly as I patted his head and remarked to his obvious boss, “He’s checking me out”.

“Yeah, mate,” came the reply, “he’s makin’ sure you’re not takin’ any sand home with you.”

© Colin Nichol 2022

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