The Beach Series | Selsey East Beach
This year, for my birthday, I didn't write a shopping list. Who needs more collars, balls, harnesses, leads, jumpers and bandanas anyway? I've got to the point where I'm bundling things into charity bags for other little doggies to wear. Instead, I sent secret vibey wishes to Mummy's brain to see if she had the power of hound-speak. I found every sand-covered ball I could get my mouth onto and placed them at her feet. I even stared for hours at our beachy photos (okay, maybe doggy hours aren't like human hours, and it was only seconds ... but my life runs quicker than a humans). Finally, she got the hint.
My birthday wish came true, and I was taken to the beach. It wasn't a sandy beach – I'm saving that wish for the next adventure which will be coming soon! But it was a beach!
We drove for hours. HOURS. With me knowing that I was going to smell the salty air for the first time in my entire life. Four years old and I was only just going to feel the sand between my stinky-popcorn paws.
Our little house was right on the beach too, almost. We had to cross a rubble-pothole-ridden road to get to it, but it was mine – all mine. It was so cold that no other human dared to brace the gusty winds and chilling elements.
I had so many rooms to explore and sniff. It wasn't an ordinary little house, either. Mummy had found one built around two old railway carriages. This gave me doors to push and even more nooks and crannies to investigate.
Once all the investigation was over, I was finally allowed to run free on the pebbles that I had been admiring from afar. Don't these humans know that us hounds can smell a beach from ten miles away? It's torture to my senses until I can get there!
Selsey East Beach is the perfect winter break for a little hound like me. There were no other dogs to interrupt my 'me' time, and I was allowed to chase gulls, kick about the pebbles, paddle in the sea (no chance of even thinking about getting my belly wet and cold), and best of all, I was allowed to roll in dead fish. Actually, that part isn't entirely true. I may have told you a porker. Mummy screamed at me to leave it, but I was too in the zone ... too high on fish-smell drugs. Oh my, it stank so good! If stinky-rolls were illegal, I think I'd be banged up in hound-hell by now.
Up the coast from Selsey is another wonderful beach called Littlehampton. I think this was even better.
Not only did I find a dead fish, but it was one that stank even more than the first one. I think it had been there for some time. I got shouted at again, you know. I think my human had forgotten that it was my birthday weekend, and I was entitled to do as I pleased. Littlehampton is a good place for humans too as they sell coffee, bacon sandwiches, and cakes right on the beach so I didn't have to leave while Mummy scoffed more food.
I got dragged off the beach though and taken to another place, called Arundel. Apparently, it has a massive castle, but as always, I wasn't allowed into that, so I went and found myself a cute little dog-friendly coffee shop to warm my paws up. I liked Arundel. They don't advertise just how dog-friendly the place is, but I was allowed into most shops, even ones where Mummy wasted more money on even more clothes. I think they need to stop letting me in because the human just has an excuse to go in a spend my pocket money on things she doesn't need!
The best part of my birthday weekend though was being zonked from all the beach running and sea air. I spent many crashed-out hours with my eyes half-closed, so I could still see the waves while I chilled on Mummy's lap.
I think being at the beach is a million times better than getting a new jumper, so I am going to try to install this new way of living into our lives. I can't go another four years without ever seeing one again!
Note from Julie
The house we stayed at was less than thirty seconds from the beach, which was mainly shingle until we walked some way towards Pagham. Although it was a slight distance from the village itself, there were local shops within ten minutes walk and a Waitrose around ten minutes to drive. The surrounding area was full of places to see and things to do, but I spent an entire day not wanting to do much except watch the view of the sea from the warmth of the house and the armchair.
The beach house was something entirely bespoke and quirky. It would suit a family just as well as a couple or going solo. I always fall in love with the imperfections of quirky things and this house was no different. It was far from perfect, but there was a real sense of happiness within it. My one reservation was that upon arrival, I saw the notice that dogs were not allowed beyond a certain point, into the bedrooms. It frustrates me that these things are not communicated in the house rules before booking. From this point onwards, I now have a policy where I contact the owners/hosts in advance and let them know that Rea always sleeps with me on the bed. So far, this hasn't been a problem, and owners/hosts appreciate the honesty.