Operation Beach Dog

By Mir
July 19, 2010

We have already discussed the fact that Licorice appears to suffer from PTSD (Post Traumatic Suitcase Disorder), wherein the very sight of packing sends her into a neurotic tizzy. So it was no surprise when the whirlwind of pack-up-the-camper activity on Saturday found her alternately pacing the house and hiding under furniture. That was to be expected.

What was slightly less expected was when we finally strapped her crate into the truck and took off on Sunday… and she proceeded to cry and whine for the entire first hour. In desperation, we stopped and walked her a bit—maybe she just had to poop, rather than that she was just being a pain in the ass—but back in the truck she continued to whimper and shiver and generally be pitiful. That was no problem at all, because it was only about a 6-hour drive to our destination. ACK.

After another fifteen minutes or so, she resigned herself to her fate and lay down, quietly. She continued to shoot martyred glares at us, periodically, but the rest of the drive was uneventful.

The good news is that Myrtle Beach is simply lovely this time of year, and has the additional advantage over some other beaches of not, you know, being covered in oil. The bad news is that space here is at a premium, so while we are at a perfectly nice campground, we are slotted into a little space along with a hundred other camper-sardines, and most of them brought their dogs, too. (We have noticed quite a lot of other Shih Tzus, in fact, which leads us to believe that Shih Tzus are known for their adaptable camping abilities. Alternatively—and this is the theory I’m currently favoring—they are just generally so damn cute you have difficulty getting angry at them even when you take your Shih Tzu on a quick walk and she decides that it makes sense to full-on ferocious bark/lunge at a couple of dogs five times her size. Just being theoretical here, of course. Ahem.)

So we have this lovely little campsite, and we have a little porch-thingie under some trees, on the water, and despite the fact that it’s about 90 degrees in the shade, there’s a never-ending supply of wind to keep things tolerable. It makes dinner a little interesting (“Sit on your napkin! SIT ON YOUR NAPKIN!”), but that’s the price you pay when you’re communing with nature, man.

We got here, and we got set up—that’s a bit of an intricate dance, in itself, when you’re planning to spend a week living in about 160 square feet with four people and a dog—and we commenced sitting on our little porch and telling Licorice to hush up every time she felt the need to announce that HEYTHERE’SANOTHERDOG!! And then it was time to have dinner, and after that we decided to take a walk down to the beach.

The walk to the beach itself is kind of interesting, because I’d have to say that the route there is somewhat less than pedestrian-friendly. I was already thinking that BEFORE we came upon the squashed cat that someone had thoughtfully tossed back onto the sidewalk after running it over. (Licorice: OHMYGODGIANTSNACKS! RIGHTHERE!) In a couple of places you have to cross kind of a busy street where there’s no traffic light, so that was fun. But eventually we made it. Beach! As far as the eye could see.

Now, it’s true that Licorice views our pool as an instrument of torture. We knew this was likely due to 1) the chlorine and 2) the lack of a way for her to ease herself in (even the first step puts her in up to her chin), but still, we weren’t entirely sure that Licorice would enjoy the water.

And do you know what is a SUPER EXCELLENT idea when heading to the beach to live in a small box with your family for a week? Taking your dog down to the water on the very first night, and finding out that actually, she totally loves the beach.

I had to coax her down to the water line, the first time. She seemed perplexed by the dry sand, but enjoyed the wet sand… and then a little wave lapped up and doused her legs. She looked around, ready to glare at whoever’d done that… but then realized that hey, that was kind of fun. The kids and I took turns running in and out of the surf with her as she became progressively wetter and more hyped up and into the game. And of course, as we’d only been planning to “take a quick walk,” we were soon all completely soaked to the knees, and then to the waist, but nobody cared because we were all laughing too hard.

I wanted to crop myself out of the following pictures, because I’m sure a less flattering shot of me exists, somewhere, but I don’t know where, and also I made Otto endure a prolonged “I look so fat! My hair looks like Buckwheat’s!” whine about it, but he insisted that it’s fine, I’m soaked and running and the point is not how I look but that it conveys motion. Or something. The POINT, really, is that Licorice is dangerously close to becoming airborne with the power of ZOMGWATER!!11!!! here:

(Please note: I only wear Crocs in my garden and while camping. And as long as my pockets full of Monkey’s found shells and my beach-running hair render me this lovely, I have no idea why the thing I feel compelled to explain is my FOOTWEAR, but I do. So.)

We raced up and down the beach until I could barely breathe, and then Licorice pranced along greeting everyone who showed any interest in her at all, which was everyone except one sourpuss of a woman who kept glaring at us as if we had a crocodile on a leash, and said animal had just taken a dump on her foot. Seriously, who could not love this dog?

Finally we were all exhausted, and we walked back to the campground and hosed everyone down, and after sitting out on the porch long enough to air-dry, we came inside and went to bed. And by “went to bed” I mean the dog cried in her crate until we let her get into bed with us, because we are suckers.

In short, it’s pretty much the greatest trip ever so far.


  1. Burgh Baby

    I was sooooo ready to mock the Crocs. I’m sad you beat me to the punch(line).

  2. BOSSY

    Actually, in that first photo it looks like you’re walking on water. But those of us who have been reading you for years already knew you could.

  3. Ladybug Crossing

    That’s a happy dog!!!
    Hey – that picture makes you look like you walk ON water…

  4. Beachgal

    Happy dog!!! love it! and love that you are here in Myrtle Beach! Where I LIVE! lolol. enjoy!

  5. jessica

    awesome vacation!!! I need to take my dog to the beach, she can’t stand baths so i am hoping she has the same reaction as licorice did!

  6. Tammy

    Mir, you look great in the picture! I agree with Bossy, it looks like you’re airborne too. Glad that Licorice has found her calling.

  7. Mary Fran

    I wish I looked that thin in my 4th of July pictures – you look great!

  8. Megan

    Heh. Makes me miss my dog who LOVED the beach and running on the beach and running MORE on the beach and getting thoroughly wet and then gulping down a gallon of salt water and then standing shaking and miserable until he vomited (and… erm… was bi-directionally productive as it were) all of it up at which point he raced off to gulp MORE salt water.

    Hmmmm…. missing my dog a leetle less now.

    But yours is absolutely charming!

  9. Summer

    Mir. MIR. You do NOT look fat in that photo, nor does your hair look particularly frizzy. And as someone who lives at the beach — someone who cares deeply about shoes — I can assure you that the beach is one of the few environments in which Crocs are entirely appropriate.

    However, you are completely correct that the dog is cute.

  10. Headless Mom

    Leave it to Bossy to leave the best comment ever.

  11. Sharon

    Your smile is what caught my eye. What’s not to love about a photo of a woman having fun with her dog. Love it.

  12. Tracy

    If Licorice is welcomed in your bed, why do you make her ride 6 hours in her crate in the back of the truck? I’m just wondering. And I agree, who wouldn’t just love that dog?

  13. Rachel

    Glad you’re having fun. Also, shut up about “I look so fat.” My first thought was actually that you look beautiful. Judging by previous commenters, you’re pretty much alone in that sentiment. :)

  14. stacy

    Hey, Myrtle Beach is next door to me! Can I come say Hi? Just kidding! Unless, you want to maybe trade places and pack up my entire house so I can be on vacation? You wouldn’t want to do that would you?

    And seriously, you are adorable in this photo! You can see the absolute bliss in your face and that is awesome!

    Have a blast Mir Family!

  15. MelissaB

    Motion is right, it looks like you and Licorice are just touching down briefly during a hoverwalk. Very cute and fun. We haven’t tried a beach yet, I have a feeling Bubba would love it as much as the pool and Daisy would hate it as much as the pool. Have a good time!

  16. Katie in MA

    You just happen to have crocs that match the color of your pants exactly? :) Kidding! Love how happy you look in that pic! (And how happy Licorice looks in all the pics!)

  17. MaryP

    “OHMYGODGIANTSNACKS!” It’s sad that someone’s poor, squashed cat is the source of me laughing so hard my stomach hurts…But it’s true! Dogs will eat anything! (And why is that funny and not gross? No, wait, it’s both!)

    (And fat? You? Psshh.)

  18. 12tequilas

    Hey, Mir, I know that another “you don’t look fat” won’t mean all that much, but I’ll put it this way: if you look fat in that photo, then *I* look like a hippo in every photo ever taken of me, and we certainly can’t have that, can we?

  19. elz

    Hopefully Licorice will remember this the next time you lovingly coax her into tthe pool?! Sounds like a blast.

  20. elz

    Also, dude-fat?! Seriously. No way no how.

  21. dad

    Like Jesus Lizards, my daughter and granddog can walk on water.

    It’s a miracle.
    It’s also remarkable that Licorice’s tongue is so large and so pink and that she is so black and you are so white.
    Get some sun girl.

  22. Karen

    I LOVE this trip! Thanks for taking us along, and.. what a great pic of you and the pooch. You’re both black-curly-haired adorable, even in… GASP… crocs.

  23. Heather

    You look adorable, (ALMOST as cute as the dog haha) and more importantly, you look like you’re having a blast!

  24. Crista

    I, too, was going to say something about Licorice’s tongue, but how can I beat what Dad said?! LOL
    Also, you’re on vacation, not a beauty pageant. We would surely mock you if you were at the beach in pressed khakis and a sweater and maryjanes.
    Thanks for the peek into your trip :).

  25. Lisa

    The pictures are adorable, as are you! Thanks for promoting SC beaches! :) We appreciate it! I know exactly where you are! (Not in a weird, creepy, stalker way! LOL) That place is always packed in summer, but all in all a great location. Enjoy the sun and sand….and PLEASE USE SUNSCREEN!
    Enjoy your week! Smiles all around! (Sorry for being so exclamatory! LOL)

  26. Frank

    I have to say that I am highly amused by the idea that you are defending the crocs. 2 different reasons: first, the idea that someone may disapprove of them at the beach, when they are quite possibly the best beach footwear this side of flipflops. Second.. the you of all people, with your high fashion sense (sounds infinitely better than ‘fetish’) in shoes AND your extensive collection to choose from; would think that anyone would doubt your choice. LOL

  27. Dawn

    Don’t see no fat. All I see in that first pic is happy woman and happy dog.

  28. Debra

    It’s so NOT about the hair and the crocs or the shells in the pockets or the wet pants or even the motion.

    It’s about the HAPPY!!!!
    It just oozes out of every pixel and makes me smile a big ol goofy smile.

  29. Mary

    The pictures are great. You look relaxed and happy (so does Licorice).
    I should look so fat –are you nuts? Never mind don’t answer the nuts part.

  30. Sandee

    Our chocolate lab hates pools but absolutely LOVES the beach and lagoon. We cannot get him out of the water there.

    You look like you’re having so much fun!!!

  31. heather

    I had a dog who loved all water who hated the beach. I think he thought that waves were the water’s way of chasing him and he was freaked out. Water had never fought back before.

  32. Anna

    You are NOT fat, and I didn’t realize how tiny Licorice really is! Cutie pie!

  33. Rebecca

    1. The dog is sooo cute it makes me want a dog even though I know I don’t need a dog since I have four small boys to take care of and clean up after.

    2. You look great! I could wish to look that amazing while camping AND running.

    3. Sounds like a really fun camping trip. The hubby wants a camper but I have yet to relent…

  34. Leandra

    Hey! We camped at Myrtle in June — where’d you stay? We didn’t take Toby with us this time but we plan to take him on our next trip. I’d have loved to see how he reacted to the beach though.

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