A friend recently told us about Fort Funston, which is accessible from Skyline Boulevard northward from where we live. It has a dog park where dogs can roam, play, and run off-leash. We have been there twice since Thanksgiving weekend. Each time, it’s quite obvious, Beau, our Great Dane pup, has a great time.
Once we’re well within the grounds and away from the busy road, we take Beau’s leash and harness off. He wanders off, sniffing, familiarizing himself with his surroundings. As he gets more comfortable, he breaks into a full run and even leaps between mounds. I did not realize Great Danes have such powerful leg muscles. They can leap high and without so much as a running start either.
As we moved closer to the sloping paths towards the beach, we meet more dogs and their humans. There is a lot of sniffing and smelling that goes on. It starts with tentative looks, slowing of the pace, then, a pause to consider. Then, the sniffing. If everything checks out, their tails wag. A friendly! Then they start to play. Play consists mostly of running around chasing or being chased, until a human beckons to move on towards the beach.
We saw practically every size and breed, and some breed mixes, we could think of. The bigger dogs tended to be more blase. The smaller dogs were more conversant, if at times, garrulous. I noticed that Beau tended to ignore the heavier-set dogs. I figured, they would probably not be good chasers. So, why bother getting acquainted?
We also met all kinds of owners. There were the obsessive-compulsives, who brought backpacks-full of accessories, snacks, cleaning agents, toys. There were those who came as a family, with kids and babies in tow. There were some who had not just one or two dogs but a herd, it seemed.
One interesting encounter was with a small group of humans approaching us. I noticed one woman who was dressed in color-coordinated gym clothes. She was speaking loudly on the phone. Suddenly two dogs got into a fight. One was a white long-haired (and coiffed!) Shih tzu and the other was a miniature collie. They were both beautiful dogs. The woman walked quickly and without missing a beat on the phone, picked up the Shih tzu by the hair on its head with her free hand. Then she relaxed, tucked the dog in her arm, while still talking away on the phone. “It’s nothing. Just my dog pretending she’s a giant attack dog again,” as she walks away from the group.
We headed towards the beach after all the running around. The fort is bordered by the Pacific Ocean. It used to be a battery during war. It even had missiles at one point. We could still see marks and structures that were used in the past.
The weather was cool but not chilly. The sun was out but the sky still had clouds to soften its rays. There were runners and joggers. There were also people in wet suits carrying their surf boards. We read that there have been some dog owners who succumbed to the waves because they went after their dogs who ran towards the ocean. Dogs are stronger and more reliable swimmers than humans apparently. They have a better chance of navigating the fierce undertow these parts are well-known for.
After a while, it was time to head back. We made our way up the reinforced sandy steps. As we moved towards the road, it was time to put on the harness and the leash. It was also time for the much deserved drink, and then home for some treats and a nice long nap! It’s a dog’s life, after all!
Until the next visit!
- Meet Beau! (likeitiz.wordpress.com)