It was a beautiful morning on the beach. The tide was on its way in, and the Pacific was living up to its name. I had my camp stool and my coffee right up by the wavelets and was well into my first tai chi round when I noticed a woman and her three unleashed dogs coming up the beach toward me. I slowed a bit and kept my eyes on the dogs, but they seemed friendly. Then one, the largest, ran towards me. I stopped with hands and a foot in the air, a bit unsure about this, but she (well, really, who knows if the dog was a she or a he, and aside from the dog, who cares? Where was I? Oh yes, on the beach, dog approaching) had a tail that was whooping pretty good, so I figured she was hoping to play. So I smiled at her, and she piled into me. Because I am a tai chi lady (otherwise known to regulars on this beach as the yoga lady, for whatever reason), balance is my middle name, and I laughed and stayed upright. Not the least bit concerned at this stage of our game. The woman with the leashes had stopped and appeared unconcerned. Fine. But she (the dog) kept coming at me, front legs suddenly over my shoulders and pushing me backwards. Starting to get a bit concerned here, but still thinking we are playing. Then the other two dogs, one middle size and the other smaller, decided this old lady looked like fun and boy she has some cool stuff here on the beach. They went over to the camp stool, enjoyed a chew on my sandal, sniffed the coffee (sacrilege!) and then came to join the fun. Oh my. No sound or movement from the woman as yet, so I still think the dogs are out for play and are not out to kill me, but with three dogs jumping at me and pushing, suddenly I am twirling backwards and balance is no longer in my name at all. I decide help is required, and I shout to the woman to call the dogs back. Meantime, another threesome push and I am flying around and back again. Now I am almost terrified and no longer laughing, and I yell at that woman to LEASH YOUR DOGS!!! (note the emphasis?). She then walked over and put a leash on the big dog, mumbled that she is sorry, and off they all go, continuing on down the beach, having a ball. I am flabbergasted, scared, adrenalized and need my coffee, but it has been dogged. I try to get back into the tai chi, but cannot remember the first move (after over fifteen years of practice). I give it up, put on my chomped sandals (noting that my leg has been chewed or scratched), say sorry to the waves, and head back in to camp.
It was still a beautiful morning on the beach, dogs are still wonderful beings, but I think I misunderstood events and so did they. Dogs play and love fun, and so do I, but in this case, I guess I thought the play went beyond play and I was scared, while the dogs thought I was a great old yoga lady and a barrel of fun besides. Ah well.