Much has been written recently on dog walking on Inverloch’s beaches.
Last week I was asked to care for a large poodle, Shanty, on Friday night (December 6) and through Saturday, when my wife and the dog’s owner were away.
I’m almost 80 but I can cut up her food, am strong enough to walk her and can get up early to let her out; so I said, “Yes”.
Now I must say that Shanty’s owner is very upset at the council’s recent “Saddam Hussein” restrictions on dog walking. Shanty loves to run and play freely with her dogmates on Anderson Inlet’s sand flats. So I wondered on Saturday what I could do. The beach was out by the time I got up. The streets are boring. Then I had a bright idea… Maher’s Landing.
Though I have lived in the area for nearly 30 years, I don’t know Maher’s Landing very well, but I checked tide levels, which were reasonable, tied Shanty in the back of the wagon and proceeded. I figured I could manage 40 minutes of walking.
We travelled east from the boat ramp, were able to get around a creek and I was able to let Shanty free, to run with no people in sight.
At the 15 minute point, we ran out of sand and were faced with 20 metres of mud with small stumps in it. Will I try it? Why not.
After five steps I went hock deep in mud, and while I don’t believe in quicksand, I felt unsettled and decided to turn. My left foot was kind of stuck, so I fell to my knees… luckily in shorts… and was able to crawl a few metres and stand up.
On our way back to the car park I caught my toe on something and fell forward into a bed of succulents with no harm done. What an exciting time.
Shanty and I had been out of the car 38 minutes, so time was right.
This anecdote may seem ridiculous, but it is not as ridiculous as the dog regulations that inspired it.
If they remain, what damage is likely to happen to elderly men?
John Sutton, Inverloch.