Los Angeles Stories and Tips

Surf Dawg!

Our Little Sandmonster Photo, Los Angeles, California

It was very early on a Saturday morning when I got the phone call, and, frankly, Dad didn’t care about the three hour time difference. It was the dog. The puppy was driving him crazy. I had to come get the little Westie. We had planned to visit Ohio soon. And, my better half and I were discussing getting a second dog anyway.

Our first dog, Bambi, was, well, divalicious. She hated men, children and life. She was afraid of the wind, neighbors, other dogs and tulips. All she did was lounge in bed, or spend the day basking in the sun that came through the living room sliding door. We thought a second dog would bring her out of her shell.

The little Westie had a sweet face, so we drugged her, loaded her into a doggie crate and took her back to L.A. Well, in Dallas, during the plane change, the drugs wore off and the luggage started barking and bouncing, but we managed to get her home.

Within two weeks we thought we had made a huge, huge mistake, and we demanded Valium from the doctor -- both human and canine. Not knowing how to control a dog who bounced off the walls, we tried a dog trainer, and a second dog trainer, before we realized she simply needed to be worn out.

I discovered an amazing beach that would solve our problems. The County of Los Angeles doesn’t allow dogs on beaches, but God Bless Orange County. Huntington Beach has an off-leash Dog Beach. They have a complete mile of Pooch Paradise, complete with parking lots (metered), Port-o-Potties, a walking path and baggies available for "accidents". During the weekend look for the tent where you can make a donation to this great beach -- they also have a well-stocked water bowl.

Dog Beach is located on the PCH (Pacific Coast Highway) in Huntington Beach between 21st and Seapoint Streets. For more information: www.dogbeach.org

It was here that we were able to finally wear out our new pup. And, we discovered that she loves to run on sand, thus we named her Maui. We have now had Maui for over two years. She has become the dog of our dreams, which was fortunate because Bambi never did come out of her shell -- no matter how much her sister coaxed her to play.

Hint: After playing in the surf, you can head over to:

The Park Bench Cafe
11732 Goldenwest Street, Huntington Beach

They are open (seasonally) for breakfast and lunch. There’s plenty of outdoor seating -- although there is usually a wait on weekends -- and parking. They serve standard fare of burgers, sandwiches, snacks and salads, along with omelettes and breakfast burritos.

Their specialty? The doggie menu, which offers up ‘Hot Diggity Dog’ (hot dog), ‘Bow Wow Wow’ (chicken filet), and much more. Ask for the doggie ice cream.

If there’s a wait you can always walk your dog around the connected park.

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