On a short visit to North Carolina, one of the things we wanted to do was to visit the beach with our four-legged puppy-pal, Lucy. Unfamiliar with our surroundings, I consulted my dear friend, Mr. Google, for the closest dog-friendly beach. The nearest beach was forty minutes away from our new “home-away-from-home.” We devised a complex plan, which included a morning laundry run, quick lunch, and a fast scurry to the beach for a fun filled afternoon.
We ate breakfast, leashed Lucy, gathered laundry, and headed for the Laundry Room. Just outside of the Laundry Room door, thunder began to boom in the distance. Unconcerned by the sound of thunder, we trudged to the Laundry Room, being dragged by an energetic dog, while carrying multiple bundles of dirty clothes. Our carefree attitude was squelched by the looming sign on the Laundry Room which read “No Pets Allowed (inside the Laundry Room).” “No problem,” I said to my husband. “I will wait here outside until you load the washers.” I watched him happily load up the washers. One, two, three washers. Then it happened! Slowly at first, big plump, rain drops began to fall from the sky. Then, with increasing intensity, the bottom fell out. Lucy and I sought shelter along the narrow eve covering the Laundry Room. As we struggled to remain dry, a yellow-slicker clad KOA worker drove up in her little golf-cart and mentioned that the dog was welcome in the front part of the building. Giving a quick “thanks”, and a long, inaudible “Halleluiah”, I bounded, dog in hand, for the front of the KOA office building. I don’t know who shook the hardest, Lucy or me, but we managed to create a huge puddle on the step of the KOA office. Then with eternal gratitude, we scampered out of the rain. The lady at the front desk greeted us with a friendly, “May I help you?” I responded, “I am waiting on my husband to finish our laundry.” As I turned to survey my environment, I noticed an open door connected to a playroom, which connected to the Laundry Room. And there he was…my hubby.
We sat in the laundry room, Hubs, I, and a very bored dog, waiting out the rain and our two-hour laundry job. While we waited, it continued to rain and rain and rain. I thought it was never going to stop! Toward the end of our laundry job, there was a small clearing in the sky. It was a large enough clearing for us to gather our newly washed and dried clothes, and make our way back to our little home-away.
We surveyed the radar, and it did not look promising in our immediate area for any kind of trip to the beach. However, one hour’s travel north looked a little more promising. So, we decided to take the chance and travel north to Top Sail Beach.
When we finally arrived, it was mid-afternoon, and though the sky was overcast, it was not raining. Even though the air was slightly chilly, my grandchildren were overjoyed to interact with water, and play in the surf. The kids liked the beach. But, I wasn’t so sure about our four-legged friend. She eyed the water cautiously, and with constant barking, I could almost hear her say, “I’ll save you…I won’t let the surf get you. I won’t…” With each and every bark, she touched the water with a determined paw, only to recoil, as if she had touched something hot. The four grandkids were not at appreciative of her noble attempts. They laughed with glee at her silly antics. Finally, Lucy decided that the mighty ocean was not a foe to be conquered. Hesitantly, at first, she began to relax and enjoy playing in the waves.
Three hours pass quickly when one is having a lot of fun. With great reluctance and the onset of the setting sun, we said farewell, but not goodbye, to Top Sail Beach. Someday we will return with our four-legged friend!