Does the Wet Suit You

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Pierre Goes To The Beach

By JJ Gaspaarotti
By JJ Gaspaarotti

Bonjour. Things have been quiet in the neighborhood. Too quiet.

I don’t see some of the other dogs and cats in the neighborhood any more.

Henrietta the Himalayan, Miss Lilly’s cat, vanished. Miss Lilly put up Lost Cat posters everywhere.

Last night I heard Pauly the Pekinese out in his yard yipping at something when all of a sudden he stopped, right in mid yip.  Nobody has seen or heard from Pauly since.

This morning our walk took us past the gully where Brion and I recently saw some coyotes lurking in the shadows. I went down to sniff around. I found some fur balls that smelled like Henrietta. The clincher was her well chewed rhinestone collar. Poor Henrietta.

Mon dieu, there is a pack of coyotes in Laguna eating all the pets they can get their paws on. I’m not going out after dark ever again. Not even our back yard with its 6’ high fence is safe. That’s how high Pauly’s fence was and it didn’t protect him. I got out of that gully in a hurry.

It was good to return to Brion’s side and resume our walk to the beach. He hasn’t replaced the leash that got destroyed at Miss Lilly’s last week. I now have a new vest instead. Augie the Australian shepard tells me it has Support Dog printed on it. He said so with a smirk.

Oh mon, now I have to teach Brion how to walk with me all over again. After all the effort to leash train him.

I wasn’t sure about going to the beach in the middle of the day during summer. We made it down the stairs and over to Lovers without attracting the lifeguard’s attention. It was very crowded. I didn’t see any other dogs.

Brion got out the ball and threw it in the surf. Oh the ball. The Ball. Ball ball ball ball. I could think of nothing else. I just love the ball. Oh, the ball.

Then here came this lady in blue shorts, a white polo shirt, black boots and a black belt with lots of stuff hanging from it. “Animal Control,” she said. “How come you’ve got your dog on the beach without a leash during restricted hours?”  “ He’s my support dog,” Brion replied.

“I’m sorry sir. Is he trained to provide a service because of a physical disability you have? What work or task has he been trained to perform?” the officer asked.

“He’s my emotional support dog and has been trained to fetch a ball for me,” Brion muttered.

The officer said, “That won’t do. To qualify as a service dog under the Americans with Disabilities Act you need to have a physical disability and the dog must be trained to perform a service specifically to help with that disability. I’m issuing you a citation for no license, no leash and dog on the beach during prohibited hours. That will be a fine of $300 reduced to $200 if you get the license within 30 days.”

Zut alors, I don’t think we’re going back to the beach soon.


JJ Gasparotti moved to Laguna Beach with his family when he was 11yrs old. He has loved it ever since.


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