Chapter 8

Gráinne in Paradise

In the beginning there was the world. And that was good. Then the seashore was created and that was paradise.

We met Grandpa and Grandma at the airport and brought them home to my house to get settled in and get used to me. They are really nice; they let you jump up on them, take you for walks and play tug of war.

Then one day Mummy and Daddy came home announcing, "Vacation!!!" They turned the house upside down and packed all that stuff into my crate. You can imagine that I was a bit concerned about rubber boots sleeping in my crate but at least the crate went with us when Daddy crammed baggage and people into my playpen of the station wagon. I got to sit between Grandma and Mummy.

The next step Mummy called a "fairy". Then I understood that the story would end "and they all lived happily ever after". When we got off the “fairy” I knew this wasn't the World. There were no loud cars, only funny boxes that buzzed by with luggage and supplies. Mum explained that fairy is spelled ferry this time and we were on the island of Spiekeroog in the North Sea. We had an apartment in a building with a jillion other dogs, including Ronya, a Newfoundland. As long as my crate was there, I was satisfied.

The next day I knew why they had all said, "We're going on vacation with Gráinne." SAND!” Miles and miles of beach. The long jump pit at the Bramstedt sports field is nothing compared to this. Here I could run off the leash to my heart's content and did I ever! I dug and jumped and tore all over the place. Somebody even furnished it with sticks so I wouldn't get homesick. One day I met Melissa and I was what she had been looking for all her life: an inexhaustible playmate. We both looked like the Abominable Sandman within minutes.

But the best part was the overhead entertainment. They have these miniature “airplanes” to chase and when one of them gets to the end of its route, the next one takes over. I followed and followed and followed at top speed, with Daddy kind of following behind me. He was much too slow to win, just a speck in the distance. I could have gone on like that forever. Unfortunately, one of the “planes” circled back towards Daddy and he called me and put an end to that round of the game and the leash around my neck. As he marched me back to Mummy, I could tell that he was peeved that he hadn't got any points - he wasn't even proud when all the people we passed said, "Look, there's that fabulous dog!" (Or maybe he just didn't want me to get a big head.) By the time we got back to the apartment I really had to rest up for a few hours and all night to get ready for the next round of "Follow the Gulls". I slept like a log and Grandpa had to wake me up in the morning for our pit stop.

One evening we had the awards ceremony. I invited my four people and took them to my favorite restaurant. I got a whole plate of crunchy dog biscuits and a dish of water all to myself. I was so impressed that I acted like a perfect lady under the table and they invited me back - two nights later. I was still in first place and got the same award plate.

This place is really paradise, you guys, but you've got to see it for yourselves. It is even worth the eye drops you have to take for conjunctivitis because of getting your eyes caked shut with sand.

You can wash them out in the big water dish but it takes some getting used to sticking your nose into moving, salty water. Every time you get near it, it jumps away from you. Then when you turn your back, it slaps you in the rear. You get extra points in "Follow the Gull" for the rounds you complete in the water dish.

Talk your folks into a vacation on Spiekeroog and I'll challenge you to a round of "Follow the Gull"!

Thank you

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