Dillon Beach, dog, and roast chicken
Oh Hazel, Hazel, Hazel. We all have bad days, and yesterday Hazel was a champion of general badness. Since it was an unseasonably nice day (65 and sunny), we decided we were going to take her to the beach. We decided on Dillon Beach near Tomales, packed lunch, and set out.
Signs that Hazel was going to be trouble started when we arrived in Marin and I rolled down the window to let in some fresh air. Hazel immediately looked like we’d fed her a pound of sugar (or some other white substance)–whimpering, pacing around the back of the car, sniffing, trembling in a totally amped up way. No bueno. So we stop in Tomales to pick up some bread from the tiny little Tomales Bakery. We are gone for maybe five minutes, but I can hear her barking in the car like a crazy, tortured dog.
When we got back to the car, Hazel jumped over me and before I could grab her she jumps out of the car and takes off. We spent the next fifteen minutes or so chasing her around the tiny town with her TOTALLY ignoring us. We tried to lure her with treats, we tried getting in the car and acting like we were leaving, we seriously tried everything. She would act like she wasn’t hearing a thing we said, but if we got within five feet of her she would run away. At one point she ran into the deli in town and tried begging food from people (she was being friendly for once in her life, so at least she didn’t seem totally dysfunctional). We only caught her because she wandered down a road where a woman was bottle feeding a tiny flock of orphan lambs. Hazel decided to chase the tiny, tiny little lambs around while all of us ran around screaming at her. We finally caught her when Paul was able to corner the lambs and Hazel was so obsessed with them she forgot to say away from us and ran up to continue her baby lamb torture. Thankfully the lambs were totally fine and the woman was nice about Hazel being god-awful.
Then we had to go to the beach and drink beer to dull the pain of having a totally erratic dog.
At this point we were afraid to let her off leash so she spent the first hour or so barking and whining and biting her leash (and nipping at us if we tried to take the leash out of her mouth). See how insane she looks in that picture? I swear she gets possessed. Finally, against P’s judgment, I decided that a tiny bit of off-leash time might get her to calm down. We found an area far away from other dogs that might lure her back into total disobedience and set her free.
Running freeeee! Oh wait, P’s running too? Let me turn around and bite him mid leap. Sigh.
Lunch was pretty awesome. That chicken is half of a whole chicken I roasted on Friday night. My friend’s slaughtered the chicken last spring and I’ve been afraid to cook it, feeling like I needed to do something fancy to do it justice. I finally figured I needed to suck it up and learn how to cook the damn thing even if it wasn’t perfect. Maybe it’s because it was lovingly raised by my two favorite farmers, but it was really good for my first attempt at cooking a chicken whole. I used a Martha Stewart recipe for paprika-rubbed chicken that I remembered seeing in the magazine while at a doctor’s appointment last month. I cooked it longer and a bit hotter than her recipe calls for (using directions from Alice Waters, Simple Foods). The most difficult part was actually after it was cooked when P and I realized we had no idea how to break down a chicken (and probably don’t own a knife that can do the job well). Instead we just picked the meat off the bones using our fingers. So uncivilized.
And just so you don’t think Hazel is the worst dog ever, she did sort of calm down by the end of the day, and lots of running up and down the dunes.
On our way home we stopped in Petaluma at Laganitas Brewing Co. We hadn’t been before and they have a pretty awesome facility with a big outdoor patio that is dog friendly. It was packed because there was a band outside, so we sat inside and P tried their Hop Stupid and I drank a Farmhouse Ale that was sour and delicious. I also ate more than my share of the peanuts and pretzels they serve at the bar.
For a day trip from Sacramento, Dillon Beach and Petaluma was totally doable. I can’t wait to go back with friends (and hopefully a less amped dog).