I took Ryker to the beach on Saturday. I wish I had some good (not embarrassing) pictures of us that I could put up, but sometimes you have to live in the moment and forget the phone.
St. Pete beach is apparently not dog friendly. I registered Ryker as a service dog back in January so I wasn’t too worried about him being allowed there, but it was the first public- NO DOGS ALLOWED- outing we’ve had under the idea of him being a service dog, so I was curious about how he’d act.
He. Was. Perfect. A damn angel. Amazing. I thought he’d be good but he was that times six. I was SO incredibly proud of him. At one point I gave the leash to my friend Shelby and got into the water. I would have brought him in with me but he really doesn’t like waves. When I dove into the water he lost it and lunged forward and started whimpering. He was okay when I came back up but then he willingly walked into the water to check on me. I usually have to drag this dog into the water, and there he was going in on his own to make sure I was okay. My heart pretty much melted.
At one point a cop on a Sheriff’s four wheeler rode up and told me no dogs, and when I told him he was a service dog he asked what for. It’s illegal to ask that but given how pissed off I was at him for asking, the attitude I knew was welling up in me, and the fact that he was a cop, whom I generally avoid at all cost, I told him I had PTSD. Mind you, this was in front of our whole group, most of whom I don’t know. He had to call his boss to see if that was okay. I was fucking floored. What if I was a veteran? What if I had been through 9/11, the Boston Bombing, or a school shooting? His ignorance came off as incredibly disrespectful. Eventually he said it was fine and to keep him on a leash and left.
Again, Ryker was perfect. Laying under the umbrella, drinking some water, guarding our beer… Which wasn’t supposed to be on the beach but the cop decided to pick on the damn service dog… but I digress.
And then my dumb butt decided to mess it up at the end and play with him, accidentally letting go of the leash. He knew it was play time, so he went for it. That boy hauled ass in a big circle on the beach. I don’t think I have seen him have that much fun in a long time. I would dive for him and he’d dart off last second, and eventually I just gave up and knelt in the sand to wait for him to body slam me and stop. That’s exactly what happened. Of course at that point a bird stuart came up and told me that there were federally protected birds about 50 yards away from us and that he needs to be contained. She was really nice about it considering, but what the hell is a bird stuart? Anyway, I apologized- smiling, I couldn’t help it- and we all went on our way. Totally worth it to see my boy run free and happy like that. It was a VERY successful beach day.