Dawn of the Wet Dogs

Oil painting of golden retriever dogs playing on a New England beach by artist Hannah Phelps
Wet Dogs at Dawn, oil on canvas, 12"x12"

Early morning - before 5 - we arise to get the dogs on the beach and off again before it gets too crowded. We have four or five, depending on who is around. A closed pack that does not subscribe to a “the more the merrier” philosophy of beach-going.

Missing this date is not an option. Before the alarm, two goldens are in my face - “Is it time to get up yet?” “No, settle.” 
Eventually, I give up, throw some clothes on, and grab the essentials stored in a filthy little construction nail pouch that ties easily around my waist - balls, check, treats, check, poop bags, check.

Leashed, the dogs drag me across and then down the street to the beach access.

To pretend I am in control of the situation, they must sit while I unclip their leashes.

I throw the ball into the sea right away and wait for the others to show up. If the dogs are in the water, they aren’t bothering anyone else.

Not that there is anyone to bother - we are alone for the moment - my goldens and I. 
The young one already on his way back with the ball and the older one who had taken off with him has now turned parallel to the shore for her daily lap of the entire beach. She’ll come out for a brief visit when we turn around at the jetty. Swimming, not walking, is what she is there to do.

Flash just cares about the ball. In this scene, he is probably looking to see if someone is about to throw it again. Swimming is just a means to the ball.
The painting above is the first in a series featuring dogs on the coast of New Hampshire and Maine. You can see more of them on the website now, but they'll be showing up here on the blog too!

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