Leash off

Cheeseboy and I caught up last night to go for a long walk along Hampton beach with our dogs. It was a pleasant evening with a beautiful sunset. We walked towards Sandringham with the dogs on leashes until we came to the leash-off beach.

All along the way Cheeseboy’s dog Bailey had been nipping at Rigby and generally driving him crazy. Rigby has a lovely temperament, but was getting annoyed by it. Once we let them off their leashes Rigby ploughed into the water. Bailey, a cavoodle, came after him, but being the smaller dog quickly turned back as the water became deeper.

We drifted down the beach, the dogs racing here and back while we chuckled at their antics or called them away from trouble, in between having a gentle and aimless conversation. It was very pleasant. Over yonder yachts at anchor sat in neat little rows, and beyond them a fiery ball of sun slowly sinking over the horizon in a blue sky. The air was briny, the folks wandering down the beach affable, and all in all it was a scene of tranquil beauty.

We returned back walking along the cliff edge overlooking the bay. In the hazy distance city towers loomed. Dark came slowly as we both wistfully discussed how lucky we were to live in such a place. It’s very pretty, and the people nice, and living close to a beach is always a grand thing.

There’s something about the gentle act of walking that’s soothing. I do it a lot with Rigby obviously, but it’s always more pleasurable to share it with a friend. The conversation is easy because it’s the end of the day and the sun is setting while dogs frolic about you. Whatever angst you felt during the day is behind you. Looking out over the water friendship seems simple and elemental – you know everything about the person walking by your side, the conversation is familiar, the gestures and tics you know all the way to the bone, and the very act of being there seems a Socratic form. It’s easy to become whimsical.

After an hour the loop was complete. We parted in the street and Rigby and I went indoors. Rigby had the tang of sea about him, and was freckled with sand. I love him going for a swim, but I regret the after effects.  We’ll do it again soon though.

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