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Almost five-month-old Bonnie visits the beach for the first time.

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Last week, we took Bonnie to the beach. It was her very first time walking on sand and seeing the waves. This beach requires that we keep a leash on our dog. Since we like to follow the rules, we kept Bonnie's leash on her.

Having a puppy is all about new things. Since the day we got Bonnie, it seems like we are always introducing her to new things - new people, sights, sounds, surfaces, and even new tastes. Going to the beach is a major source for exploration and socialization (there's that word again!).

First there's the moist, salty air that Bonnie can taste. The sand she stood on felt different than anything else she's ever walked on. The fact that she likes water did not help her when the big waves came crashing around her feet. That was a little scary. It looked like water, but it acted really different. Then there was the loud sound of the waves, the beating of drums made by a guy sitting on the sand, and the calls of seagulls overhead.

Bonnie did well with everything at the beach except for that crashing wave. She was venturing into the water when it engulfed her feet and knocked her down. All of a sudden she didn't like the beach so much. But Bonnie's a brave soul at heart. I didn't force her back into the water, but we did continue to walk on the beach close to the water line. Next time maybe she'll try the water again. People and dogs sometimes learn in their own times.

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