An ode to Off-Leash Area Edmonds dog owners.

They tell me the water in the Puget Sound is a constant 45 degrees. It must be so. Just open the gate and away they go. Tails wagging the parks’ canine visitors race to the water’s edge.

Humans are not so nimble. We slog through the soggy sand. Balls are pitched from plastic handles, clutched in gloved hands. Expressions are a bit pained, as if pet owners imagine the feel of icy surf.

They tell me the water is warmer. Reports of steam, rising from the cold beach waves. Up on top of the bluff- The Point Edmonds folk focus on the off leash beach activity. Rumors circulate- long range lenses capture shots of doggie doo and the doggie owners who don’t… pick it up, that is.

The water may be warmer, water fowl don’t seem to mind. Flotillas’ of duck and geese tempt the less adventurous hounds but swim safely out of reach if furry visitors get too close. Balls tossed into the foam and found and returned. Brown puppy dog eyes plead, “Throw it again?”

They tell me the water is warmer- that the dogs shiver with excitement, not the cold. I suppose water may not penetrate the thick fur. Humans bundled in down jackets, walk a bit stiffly due to extra layers of long underwear. Camera shots are a bit of a challenge for gloved hands. Better keep those tender digits stuffed inside pockets. “Doggies- Come!” I beg. Enticements of “Treats!” and other commands fail to cajole my canines and they continue to cavort in the cold.

They tell me the water is warmer than the 30 degree air that blows into every open crevice of my clothing. I’ll take the heated seat of my sedan to warm my now numb derrière. Ahhh!

— By Kathy Passage

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