a dogs-eye view of manzanita, oregon

by millie

i hate suitcases. suitcases mean mom and dad are going away. they start whispering to each other while they put their clothes there and they ask each other if they left the money for lesley and say things like dont let on to millie. it means i have to stay at home. i love lesley but I hate being left behind.

but one day they got the suitcases and picked up my bed and said come on millie and i went with them. dad said i should write this although i can only type small letters. we border terriers are highly intelligent but without opposable thumbs we cant do the shift key and type at the same time.

i dared coco to photo-bomb her mom and dads wedding pic

we drove a long time – stopped for mom to buy shoes at a place where i could go in and the girls petted me and told me how cute i was – and got to manzanita where my friend cocos mom was getting married on the beach.

she wanted that beach cause dogs are welcome there and she was right. ive seen beaches like spanish banks which is a bad trick to play on a dog cause it looks flat but its really mud up to my shoulders but the beach at manzanita is beautiful…more sand than ive ever seen not many people but lots of dogs and we could run as far as we could and make friends with dogs we liked the vibe of or stay away from the ones we didnt.

we could also dig without getting yelled at to stop digging and mom and dad took my leash off and said something about it was good not to worry about bylaw guys coming around.

come on in the water's fine he said. i don't think so

i really felt welcome in manzanita. i met lots of new friends like a sheepdog who was faster than i thought she would be but some other dogs still were hard to get to know … and some people ride horses on the beach – i hate horses – big police horses go past my place and scare me – so i stayed at a safe distance and told them what i thought of their kind.

some dogs actually go in the ocean. some dogs are nuts. dad threw my ball into the water and i had to tell him to get it himself. my kind digs. we chase foxes and bark at their burrows until the hounds show up. we dont do oceans. but other dogs like big black labs and wheaten terriers and retrievers love it and it looks like theyre having great fun leaping into the waves and coming out and waiting until they get near people before they shake off. mom thinks thats cute but when dad took off his shoes and tried to get me to follow him i got as far as my knees and realized he was tricking me and ran back before the water came any closer. and i don’t even have knees.

no worries about waiting in the room or being tied up outside!

its the most dog-friendly town on the coast, one lady told dad. people put bowls of water out for us and mom and dad can take me into some of the restaurants and pubs – onto the outdoor patio but that means i can stay with them.

theres a store called four paws on the beach that has lots of dog toys and treats and most motels say yes to us and dont worry if we get on the furniture. i hear mom and dad talk about the oregon coast like its really a special place to go-and for a dog, theres noplace on that coast more special than manzanita.

Millicent K. PupDog grew up in Vancouver, BC, where she met the police horses and now lives in East Sooke with her mom and dad – Amelia Shaw and Drew Snider – and two cats who only travel under protest.

Note from Millie’s Dad: Manzanita is a two-hour drive west of Portland, Ore.: you can get there via US 26, turning south at the junction with US 101 north of Cannon Beach; a “nicer” route is a bit longer, along SR 6, through the Tillamook State Forest and the town of Tillamook (stop at the cheese factory and the winery); turn north on US 101 and follow the signs. 

While there, we stayed at two motels: the San Dune Inn and Sunset Surf Motel. Both are very comfortable and dog-friendly (people friendly, too) and our room at Sunset Surf had kitchen facilities. San Dune is an easy walk from the beach and Sunset Surf is right across the road from the beach.

About Millie's Dad: Drew Snider is a career communications professional with over 30 years in journalism and corporate communications. He created and hosted the travel show "Destinations" on CFAX Radio in Victoria, British Columbia, an outgrowth of his life-long passion for travel.

Photos by Drew Snider
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