Thursday, June 3, 2010

Sandcastles in the Sun

This coming Saturday, June 5th is the annual AIA Sandcastle Competition. What could be more amazing than a beach full of elaborate art built by talented teams competing for the coveted Golden Bucket Trophy?

And your dog is allowed to witness the event right along with you! Raleigh and I wish we were going. I am entranced by the notion of the beach - a wet and sunny place full of magical possibilities ranging from a relaxing escape to the rowdiest of all party fun.

But unfortunately, in real life, the beach is not a good place for me or Raleigh. It has to do with my fair freckled skin and Raleigh’s curly black poodle fur. I’m a burn and peel girl. I sit under an umbrella covered in sunscreen only venturing out in direct sunlight long enough to plunge directly into the water for a couple of short swims. Still I always come home from the beach sun-burnt to a crisp.

Like me, Raleigh cannot tolerate too much direct sunlight. The majority of his fur is black, so he is basically a seventy five pound solar panel. Black dogs have been known to perish from this phenomenon. If you want to more clearly understand what it feels like, put on a black long sleeve shirt and stand in Houston’s summer sun.’s way too hot. I guess that’s why we are “Poodle in the City” not “Poodle on the Beach.” When you see Raleigh and I partaking in city delights in a sunny location it will always be under the shade of our big red umbrella.

But if you are a sun-god or goddess and your dog is the type to tolerate burning hot sand stuck between his toe-pads, visit the AIA website for information regarding their sandcastle competition Saturday. AIA Sandcastle Competition

They were a little vague on their policy regarding dogs. I had to make a few phone-calls to track down the real scoop. Dogs are allowed - welcome may be too strong a word. According to Shaulanda, the receptionist at the Galveston Park Board of Trustees, you can bring your dog as long as he is “leashed and not making a nuisance of himself.”

If you want to speak to Shaulanda herself, the number is 409-763-6564.

And, please, send me a photo of your dog next to your favorite sandcastle! Raleigh and I will incorporate it into our fantasy of the perfect day at the beach.

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