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For me, no trip to St. Augustine Florida is ever complete without one sunrise.
|Sunrise on Matanzas Bay in St. Augustine, 2012.|
|The pier at St. Augustine Beach.|
St. Augustine Beach, like most St. Johns County beaches, allows leashed pets. But I didn't know how Lulu would react. The only water she seemed to enjoy being in were puddles -- especially muddy ones. She shied away from the lake at Fleet Peeples dog park in Winter Park, and she only stepped into the little plastic pools at Dr. Phillips Park when she needed to cool off. How would she take to an ocean of water?
We found a parking spot near the pier just after the sun rose. Dogs aren't allowed on the pier, but we found a sort of staircase of tightly packed sand under the pier and made our way onto the dunes.
Lulu was intrigued by the layer of shells that made up our first steps. She crept slowly onto the cool, tan sand, her prints leaving deep marks. Once she got her bearings we made our way (slowly!) to the shore.
It wasn't long before Lulu found dogs to bark at: A man walking two dachshunds. Another man walked a black lab in the opposite direction of us. But I used the waves to distract Lulu. If she got closer, it meant she'd have to watch the water. For her it was a torturous way to get her to stop barking, but it worked.
I meanwhile listened to the waves. A friend of mine says a day on the water adds a year to your life. Surely it must work for both dogs and humans, right?
Finally, I decided that Lulu would have to get her paws wet. I pulled off my socks and shoes and crept closer. Lulu followed. She trusted me, the poor pup, and I was leading her astray. Every time a wave came by, she was able to scoot away.
But soon, a great wave crashed to the shore, and the cold foamy water slid up past my feet and onto hers. She wasn't happy, but she didn't try to run either.
The great experiment over, we began to trudge away from the water's edge. I watched our foot prints, and I knew that long after they washed away, those prints would be there forever.
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