Tuesday, April 14, 2015

BELLA AT THE BEACH: A Dog's Life in Mexico

She Digs It!
Bella Loves to Dig for Sand Crabs
     Bella is our five year old long-haired miniature dachshund, full of energy and always ready for a walk on the beach. An important part of our "Healthy Living in Mexico", she lets us know when it's time to get up out of our chairs and take a walk. Without her encouragement, I'm sure we would not reach our 10,000 steps most days. The truth is, Jon and I walk.  Bella runs from crab hole to crab hole, sticking her nose in each one so she can sniff for crab scent, snorting sand the whole time. If she gets a good whiff of crab, she digs for all she's worth. We usually continue walking while she digs or we would never get our heart rate up to a healthy level. Two or three minutes of digging without rousting a sand crab and she abandons it, running full-tilt to catch up with us, her long ears flying behind her.
"Why Won't This Sand Crab Run?"
     Bella makes us laugh when we watch her play with the sand crabs. She noses them to make them run and the chase is on! Most often the crabs will run straight into the ocean surf where they know they are safe. Occasionally a brave little crab will stand up to Bella, refusing to play her game of "Run, Crab, Run". She knows enough not to mess with those pincer claws so she must have experienced a pinch on the nose at one time. If the crab refuses to run, she turns her back on him and walks away as if to say, "You're no fun". Bella's comedy routine never ceases to entertain us; we laugh and shake our heads, enjoying the silliness. I notice other people watching and laughing at her and I think of all of the people that Bella has made smile over the years. What an asset she is to our "Healthy Living"!
Bella Hangs Out with the Local Beach Dogs
     At times, Bella will hang out with the local beach dogs, trying to be nonchalant in her manner as she lays in the cool sand near the pack, though a safe distance away. She knows the #1 Rule of living in a foreign country: Hang out where the locals hang out.
     Bella Plays with Her "Cousin" Cassie in San Pancho, Nayarit
     Sometimes Bella feels playful and will wrestle with the local dogs. She had a good time playing with another long-haired miniature dachshund named Cassie. Cassie is also from Oregon and now lives at Roberto's Bungalows in San Pancho, Nayarit with her mom and dad, Jane and Earl Miller. Cassie decided to "steal" Bella's little monkey and they ended up having a good time playing tug-o'-war on a lounge chair while we all watched and laughed at their antics. Bella demonstrated the #2 Rule of living in a foreign country: Interact with the locals. 
Bella is Ready to "GO" in Her Pet Carrier
Bella Wants to Take Her Stuffed Animal in Her Carrier

     Always ready to "GO" on an adventure, when Bella sees her pet carrier out of the closet and set on the floor, she wants to get in it immediately. She knows that carrier means we are going on a bus, a plane, or a water taxi and she wants to be included in the fun. Once the door to her carrier is zipped up and we step onto a bus, there is not a peep (or a bark) out of her. She seems to know that she is supposed to be "invisible" on public transportation.
Bella, Terry & Jon at the Waterfall in Yelapa, Jalisco
     Bella goes just about everywhere with us in Mexico so she gets to go on many adventures. Of course, that means we can't go on typical tours to places like Yelapa since dogs are not allowed on organized tours. Instead, we took a much less expensive water taxi to this primitive village where the only access is by boat. Bella happily rode in her carrier until we docked, then hopped out ready for a hike up to the waterfall. Bella had a somewhat strenuous walk with us around Yelapa, a town built up the hillsides. We all got a good workout; if Jon and I got our 10,000 steps that day, how many steps did little Bella take with her four short legs? After our hike, we were all relieved to settle at a seafood palapa restaurant on the beach for lunch where Bella quietly and politely waited on the sand under our table for her favorite Mexican treat, a totopo (fried tortilla chips). Rule #3 of living in a foreign country: Eat where the locals eat.
Bella Patiently Waits for a Totopo (Fried Tortilla Chip)
Afternoon Siesta Time in Mexico

     Bella enjoys the lazy afternoons when we take a siesta in the motorhome. We read for a while. We do a little computer work and answer a few emails. I spend a few hours writing. But when 5:00 rolls around, she starts pestering me to close the computer down and get on with our usual routine. "Enough is enough", she seems to say. "We need to get outside and throw the ball".  She knows when we get the wine glasses out for happy hour, she will get to chase her ball and get treats when she retrieves it... a healthy, relaxing evening ritual. 
Bella, the Retrieving Dachshund
           Many evenings, we settle in our chairs on the beach to watch the sunset. Inevitably, Bella ends the day digging for sand crabs... another "Healthy Living in Mexico" day.
Sunset in Mazatlan -- Digging for Sand Crabs
Get a free sample of my eBook "Healthy Living and Traveling in Mexico at: "Healthy Living and Traveling in Mexico" eBook on Amazon.com

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