Albert the Dog at the beach
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Day Trip: Dog, Beach, and Vine

Sunday was one of the most thrilling days of my life. The Lady bought a Discover Outdoors day trip as a birthday present for the Guy (the best kind of birthday present, because it was really a present for me). We have been on a couple of excursions with this company before, but those were day hikes in the woods. Yesterday’s trip offered adventure of a different sort. Dubbed “Dog, Beach, and Vine,” it included a trip to a beach on Long Island and visits to two wineries.

We all met at Manhattan’s Union Square where our guides, Mr. Danny and Mr. Zach, were waiting with two vans. We were a motley assortment of large dogs and small dogs, older dogs and younger dogs, purebreds and mixed breeds, barking dogs and quiet dogs. I was quite anxious as we piled into the van because I suspected this might be some ruse to take me somewhere and abandon me. I am always a little afraid of being abandoned, even if my People are with me and everyone is being cordial. You just never know.

However, as we settled into the drive, I calmed down and took the opportunity to nap for a while. And a good thing I did, because I was going to need my energy later. After a brief rest stop for the humans, we pulled up to something I have never seen before:

Albert the Dog at the beach

The biggest bathtub I have ever seen.

You may find this hard to believe, given that Manhattan is surrounded by water, but this was the first time I had ever seen the ocean. In all the time they’ve had me, my People have been more the country sort than the beach sort. On summer weekends, we have gone up to the Catskill mountains instead of the Long Island beaches. Not that I’ve minded a bit, since the woods are full of so many interesting smells and trails to explore. And I have seen lakes. But lakes are quite different from the Atlantic Ocean.

As I may have mentioned in the past, I do not enjoy getting wet, so I stayed clear of that enormous stretch of water, although I got close enough to taste a bit of salt on my nose.

The air tastes different out here.

The air tastes different out here.

It was a little chilly, but sunny, and there were very few people at the beach. That meant that I had a seemingly endless stretch of sand to explore. I ran faster than I have ever run in my life.

I discovered that sand is an exhausting surface on which to run, constantly shifting under one’s paws. While my People had their lunch, I had another little nap.

Who knew the beach could be so tiring?

Who knew the beach could be so tiring?

After that brief nap, it was time to pile back into the vans. The North Fork of Long Island is known for its many small wineries, which humans like to visit in order to taste and drink smashed, fermented grapes. Once again, I find myself baffled by the ways of humans.

While the humans were tasting their grape juice, I learned that a couple of my fellow canines were also Animal Haven shelter alumni. So it turned out that this trip was an impromptu reunion.

The second winery was larger and more active than the first, with live music and a restaurant.

Is anyone going to pour us a taste?

Is anyone going to pour us a taste?

A variety of animals (besides all the dogs) resided at the farm attached to the vineyard. I tried to herd the alpaca but was impeded by the fact the Lady would not let go of my leash.

The dog who stared at goats.

The dog who stared at goats.

This was also my first encounter with a goat. I believe it went rather well.

All in all, it was a day of many firsts, but I hope it will not be the last. Now that I have had a taste of the beach, I am eager to return. But I like the mountains, too, with all those trees and creeks and so many animals leaving interesting odors everywhere. Fortunately, we have the option of both just a few hours from New York. Perhaps I can convince my People to include both beach and country in their summer plans.

What kind of mini-vacation do you prefer: the beach or the mountains?

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39 thoughts on “Day Trip: Dog, Beach, and Vine

  1. Robin says:

    This post (and the great photos) was a great way to start a Monday! Very grin-inducing, I must say.

    I love the beach, but the Sweet Boy is quite persnickety about his feet and spends considerable time and attention on keeping them clean. He does not appreciate the wet sand!

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  2. What a lovely day you had! The Bean has only been to the beach once in her life but is a seasoned mountaineer as you know. This has inspired me to find time to go to the seaside this year – thank you! 🙂

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    • Ah yes, well with such lovely mountains nearby I imagined The Bean would be the mountain type. Now that I know both, it will be hard for me to choose my favorite. I hope you and The Bean do find time for the seaside, and do report back!

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  3. Oh, Albert! It was about time!! So glad you finally got to see the ocean and experience the sky and sand and smells!! I definitely think your people should take you there often! Going to the beach (to walk and play, not necessarily to lay in the sun) is absolutely positively hands down my favorite thing to do on a warm sunny day. Delighted you enjoyed yourself!

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    • Thank you, Pickled Pastor, it was a lot of fun to have a day full of so many new experiences. I think this beach only allows dogs until May 15th, so during the summer it may be harder for my People to find a beach that we can all visit together, but we shall see…

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  4. A most excellent post, my friend, Albert! What a delightful day! Please commend your photographer for a job well done – the action shots are stunning!

    I also wanted to share that you are not alone in your fears of abandonment. Even our nightly walks bring trepidation, as I worry my moms may break from routine and leave me alone to starve… or worse.

    Living in a land-locked state, I have never seen the ocean. My moms, however, have taken me hiking in the mountains of Eastern Kentucky. Both seem to agree that the mountains we have here are no match for what they call “real” mountains out West. These were plenty big for me, though! In fact, our nightly walk on the same route in our neighborhood is all the adventure I can handle.

    Good luck influencing your peoples’ summer vacation plans!

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    • Thank you, Walter, it was quite an adventure for me!

      I think some of us just never get over the fear of abandonment, so our People have to help us manage it.

      I guess our mountains in New York are also pretty puny compared to the West, but as you say, they are enough for me.

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  5. That looks like lots of fun!! My mom is going to take me to our beach soon! I can’t wait! Try not to worry about your humans abandoning you – I am quite sure that will NEVER happen!! They love you!!

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  6. HOLY ADVENTURE! I don’t know if I would have made it passed the car ride. I, too, am always afraid that I’m going to get dropped off somewhere. I’m totally cool with the ride home, though. I’ve never been to a beach. Just this Sunday, Mom and Dad went to the beach and before they left, Mom said that I couldn’t go to this beach and she was sorry but the dog beach was over an hour away! How rude! Anywho, I’m glad a nice city boy like yourself got to enjoy the beach 🙂

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  7. You looked so happy!!! It sounds like you & your humans had a great time! Jacques has been to the lake but not the ocean, so I don’t know how he would answer your “beach or mountains” question. I like them both but am an “island girl” at heart (plus I hate being cold) so I typically choose the beach over the mountains.

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  8. What a lovely post and it seems like it was an even lovelier trip! I haven’t really ventured out to Long Island much myself. Like you guys, my husband and I tend to prefer upstate NY and the Hudson Valley. But recently, I have been more curious about exploring the North Fork, and this has piqued my interest even further!

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  9. Albert, your perspective is entertaining and enlightened. I wish that my dog, Josie, was a little more laid back and easier to mix with other dogs — my fault, I suppose, but she, too, is a rescue, and had a rough start in life. We love hiking in the mountains — we often go up a tiny little one near our home in NJ, called The Tourne (we can see the NY skyline from the top); and we love hiking the trails in Acadia National Park, ME!

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    • Thank you very much for visiting and commenting. I will admit that I can be a little barky at other dogs, especially when on my leash in the city, but off leash I am fine. And all the other dogs on this trip were quite nice. Hiking is fun!

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