With Winter officially ending, so does our Winter adventure on the West-coast.
It is isolated on the West-coast this time of year. Shops and restaurants close. Tourists leave. Roads even close. Most locals close off their cottages too, as they are not build to withstand the cold of Winter when the relentless forces of nature reveal themselves and storms and freezing rain-showers batter the West-coast to change it into a barren wasteland.
In other words, perfect for a man and his dog.
A long time ago, back in Holland when I was a little boy, we made beach walks during Winter with my uncle and his Doberman, Tessa. We didn't had a dog in our own family and I always looked forward tremendously to those walks.
The screaming wind and the roaring ocean made that little boy feel even more tiny than he already was. To see Tessa in the midst of a Winter walk overture, she was as magnificent as nature's forces. The power of the elements almost seemed to reflect in Tessa, as if she became one with the harsh environment around her. Where I could hardly stand upright, just barely being able to open my eyes due to the sand and spray that sandblasted my face, Tessa always remained stoically unaffected.
I think Tessa planted that seed of interest for larger and sturdy dogs with me back then. It would still take 30 years for that little boy to grow up, and finally have a dog of his own. Not a Doberman, but a Hovawart. But you know that part.
Each day of Winter we visited the coast, Tilde, Merete and me. My mind wandered off to those days a long time ago and I recognized a lot of Tessa in Tilde. That undeniable ability to live in the moment, no matter the season or color of the sky, which continues to smitten me. It is amazing how something so simple as their company, can mean so much.
It was good to be that little boy again.