Bow had quite the morning at Huntington Dog Beach.
Huntington Beach is called Surf City, U.S.A. for a reason. There are bigger waves there than at Rosie’s in Long Beach (her usual go-to spot), so she was freaked out at first. But she got over it, and soon enough was playing a game of chicken with 4- and 5-footers in elbow-length water.
She did her swim-in-the-sand routine.
She played chase with other pooches.
And she got into a scuffle with a terrier mix. How do you know it’s escalating from playing to a more serious matter? Here are four fighting behaviors, according to the American Kennel Club:
—The dogs’ bodies get stiff. Hackles are raised;
—Mouths close and lips curl. Rather than playful, exaggerated growling, there’s snarling;
—Ears are pinned flat;
—One dog might be trying to get away from the other one. His or her tail might be tucked.
There are several other indicators, but all we needed to see were those goofy smiles turn into curled lips. And the pinned ears.
It’s a rarity in HB and at most dog beaches, but it does happen, like kids getting into scraps at school. In this case, we broke it up in about five seconds. I think my wife was more shaken than Bow was.
“Builds character,” I said, in a lame attempt to lighten the mood, and do you know that within minutes a tail-wagging Bow was heading back to that dog before I stopped her? She’s not exactly street smart.
Earlier this year, U.S. News & World Report ranked Huntington Dog Beach as one of the 30 best dog beaches in the country. And for good reason. It’s just pristine — from the water to the sand to the cliffs. People are friendly and responsible. Canines do kooky canine things. It’s hard to get the smile off your face.
Corgi Beach Day and many other dog-friendly events are held at this spot.
The beach, open from 5 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily, is on PCH between Seapoint Avenue and 21st Street. There’s a picnic area with tables, restrooms and doggie waste bags. Parking in either of the two parking lots is $2 an hour.
For more information, call 714-841-8644.