Finn the Surfer Dude

May 11-13, I attended a conference in Silverdale, WA. On Puget Sound. The girls stayed with a friend, but Finn came with me because I feared his separation anxiety would make him a complete chore for that same friend. The hotel we were booked into was dog friendly, so...why not?

After his first ferry ride - during which he looked very curiously out the window at the pier and seagulls slowly slipping away while hunkering down because of the vibration and slight rolling movement - he delighted in discovering new territory.

Now keep in mind that, to date, Finn has mostly avoided water. He runs around puddles, he has to be coaxed to drink from streams unless it's pretty hot. So imagine my amazement when, our first evening there, I took him for a stroll along the beach on a very windy evening and...he dove right in, frolicking in the waves as they crashed against the shore!

I gave him a new nickname: Surfer Dude.

His excitement at this new environment was thrilling to watch. I worried about his pads, as there are lots of barnacles and broken shells on the beach. I even purchased some booties for him, but - as I've learned with the girls - they stayed on his feet about ten seconds before they flew off. I tried!

He never did suffer any cuts to his pads.

Biting waves. Finn's new game. Who knew?

This beach time with Finn reminded me that you just can't make assumptions about a dog, or people for that matter. They constantly surprise you, if you let them. I assumed Finn would avoid the water. He proved me wrong. It's great to realize he has a sense of adventure, and risk, similar to my own. Try everything at least once!

The hotel - Silverdale Beach Hotel, which I recommend - has a nice big grassy field, surrounded on two sides by fence, another side by a parking area, and the fourth side the beach. A great, safe place to toss sticks for Finn.

I'm so glad I took Finn with me. The only bad experience was in the wee hours of our second night. A man in the room next to us must have had a nightmare; at 1:15 am I awoke to a series of loud, blood-curdling screams which eventually lessened until the guy said loudly, "What the heck was that?" Finn was clearly scared; I was, too. I wondered if a murder was underway; should I call 911? Finn let out a couple of quiet but anxious "woofs" and looked at me for protection. I finally decided nothing awful was happening - there were no sounds of struggle - and we eventually went back to sleep, but only after re-checking the locks on the main door and the slider to the deck!

Otherwise, people delighted in watching Finn enjoy himself. He accompanied me and some co-workers on evening walks. He and I managed a nice four mile trail run our last morning there. And whenever we walked through the hotel lobby, or went into the elevator, people smiled. He brings joy wherever he goes. He has canine magnetism. One woman attending the conference, seeing us in the lobby, said, "Next year, I'm bringing my dog!"