Monday, June 1, 2009

Turtle power

I wish my camera was working (needs new battery) and that I carried it around all the time.

The dog beach we visit every morning also happens to be a turtle beach. Big sea turtles visit every spring and summer to lay their eggs, I can't remember if they are loggerhead or leatherback, I have no idea what the difference is but there's a shortage of one or the other. They usually do this in the dark but there are some stragglers who are making their exit as the light comes up. Which is also when we happen to be walking.

DJ always enjoys sniffing along the turtle tracks and sniffing around their nests, he doesn't dig or try to disturb them, just curious. So this morning I noticed some fresh tracks and a new nest as we strolled along the beach, Deej made a beeline for it.

With his tendency towards inconsolable hysterical excitement, it was with some dismay that I saw a turtle making her way back to the ocean just past a slight rise on the beach. I would have seen her sooner had it not been for this damn dune.

I ran after DJ calling him but he caught the scent of turtle and ran ahead of me, just out of grasp as usual. In these circumstances I'm always on the fence about making a diving tackle or just hoping he will remember that he has had some experience with "leave it" and "here." Obviously we need practice with super duper exciting level distractions such as rabbits and turtles…and likely any other novel wildlife…

Soooo he ran screaming up the turtle and circled her barking and lunging. I followed trying to grab him, also screaming, dodging flippers and turtle head as I chased him in a circle. We ran around for a minute and then I thought, ah ha I'll go the other way. But then he reversed course as well. We ran around the turtle for minutes, me desperately trying to grab him…finally, finally he backed off a bit and I was able to grab him and pull him, shrieking, away. I fed him some treats as he looked at the turtle but we were still too close for him to do anything but grab the treats and frantically bark.

Good times… he was pretty tired this morning after the walk and all the excitement. He was back in bed before I even finished breakfast.

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