November 9, 2016
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It doesn’t feel like a relaxing vacation when you’re huddled in a thin sweater, shivering, and the wind just decapitated the top of your misshapen sandcastle.The weather had changed drastically since when my family and I had first arrived here. Endless blue sky paired with a gentle breeze, turned to murky gray clouds along with a powerful, raging ocean in a matter of minutes. Wierd. The ocean was already cold, but it was turning colder as all the blue in the sky was slowly sucked away, with gray clouds replacing it. As of 9 and 6, my sister and I didn’t even try to touch the water, we knew that a

“ I wanna go home. It cold, and the water not fun anymore,” I pouted.

“ Yeah, seriously, it’s terrible out here,” my sister chimed in, with her noticeably better grammar skills.

My mom, of course decided that all was not lost and we could still have a picnic right here on the beach. “ It’ll be fun,” she promised. We sat down and ate sandwiches, grapes and juice. Cold sandwiches, grapes and juice.  My belly full, I lounged on the beach chairs we had brought and looked around at the different people there. There was a family with a cute little dog, wagging its tail, looking at the big waves and hiding behind its owners, whimpering with fright. Then it would run back out and only a single glance was all it took for the dog to run right back behind its owners. It was so cute and entertaining that my sister and I were laughing the entire time, unnatural weather, and the freezing ocean with its deafening roars as the giant waves crashed onto shore, forgotten.

The little dog got braver and braver each time and jumped closer and closer to the ocean. It go so close that its little nose grazed the sand right before the water. Just at that moment a wave came crashing down, and with a small yelp, the miniscule dog was dragged into the waves, digging its paws into the sand in a fruitless attempt to escape. I gaped in horror staring at the exact same spot the little dog was just a few seconds ago and wondered where it went. Was it magic? My 4 year old brain quickly figured out that it was definitely not magic, and maybe the glacial water had kidnapped that little dog into its depths.

“Shriya, the ocean dognapped the dog!” I said, a small shred of pride battling through my shock, as I had used the word ‘ dognapped’ successfully .My sister stared at me for a second and then suddenly took off running to the owners and said something that I couldn’t hear, waving her arms dramatically. At first, it seemed as if they didn’t believe her, but soon they scanned the beach and realized my sister was right. Their precious little doggy was nowhere to be seen.

They decided to just wait for a while and see if their dog would come back. They said that he probably was rummaging through a pile of seaweed or a fallen trash can. But I knew better. I decided to stay silent and let them figure it out. When the smiling white dog didn’t come back for a good while, I could see on their faces the worry starting to settle in, and tears started forming in their little girl’s eyes. “ Pigeon always comes back to us. That dog is such a scaredy- cat, he never leaves our side for a long time,” the owners said. I was scared and worried. I stared at the shoreline, willing the dog’s little head to poke out of the foamy water, happy tongue sticking out of its small doggy mouth. A movement caught the corner of my eye. The owners had gotten up and one of them was rushing toward the ocean while the other looked around the beach area. The owner, who went to search the water, was now chest deep in the frigid water, searching with their arms and legs for their dog, poking their heads in the water to see if it was anywhere underneath. My sister and I were at the shore helping them find their dog, named Pigeon.  Even though Pigeon was still missing and  it was obvious that the owners were beside themselves with worry, it was thrilling for me to search for someone, like a real search and rescue mission. “ Pigeon, Pigeon,” we called. I heard nothing except the ocean and the faint cries of “Pigeon”.

I started walking on the shore line, going a little bit farther than where Pigeon had disappeared. In the near distance, I spotted a hazy white thing, lying on its side. Pigeon ! I broke into a run, and as I took each step, the hazy white thing became a white thing, slathered in brown muck, then finally a dirty, limp dog, half buried in the wet sand. “ I found him! I found him!” I shrieked. I was proud of myself for finding Pigeon. Despite everything, I was proud. I had helped someone today. I had given back one of the owner’s most precious things. I might have even saved Pigeon’s life. In the excitement of the moment, I forgot to notice something different about the dog. Pigeon’s chest wasn’t moving.

The owners had reached me now and knelt in front of their dog. Once they noticed it wasn’t breathing, they ran off to the parking lot, clutching their limp dog to their chests, forgetting to take any of their stuff ( or thank my sister and I for that matter).

My sister and I ran back to our parents, who were both engrossed in books, one a thick, at book about business and marketing, and the other a measly, limp magazine about motorcycles. Brimming with adrenaline, my sister and I told them the entire story( not before we rudely shook them awake). I made sure to exaggerate the part where I had found Pigeon. I stuck my tongue out at my sister after this sentence, and was met with a sharp glare. My sister was good at those. She could probably make the worst monster cower in fear with just one of her death stares. My parents probably didn’t understand anything of our ecstatic words and choppy sentences, but were bewildered that such a thing had happened.

“Come, let’s go home. I think you guys had enough excitement for one day,” my dad said.

As we gathered all our beach stuff, I thought about what was going to happen to that cute, energetic little dog. Would the owners enter their home tonight, clinging to Pigeon like he was their lifeline, crying tears of joy? Or would there be a different kind of tears streaming down their face, as they blamed themselves for their carelessness silently in their heads? What had promised to be just a normal day at the beach wasn’t normal at all. Something completely unordinary  jumping out in a most ordinary situation. Today was no exception.

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