(J. Pat Carter / AP Images)
Next Stop: Dog Beach
Puppy passengers are beach-bound with a special bus service
TOP PHOTO: The dogs play at the beach for an hour. (J. Pat Carter / AP Images)
BOTTOM PHOTO: The bus picks up dogs from around the northern San Diego area. (Jose Miguel Gomez / Reuters / Corbis)
While their masters are away, a few lucky dogs in Southern California get to play—on the beach! Their special transportation is a bus service called Doggie Beach Bus.
The dogs’ driver and guide is Tish Tralka, owner of the unique doggie daycare service. Every morning, Tralka drives her specially equipped Volkswagen van around the northern San Diego County area, picking up pooches for their play dates.
“It's a great service for those who are at work [and] just want their dog to get out and have some fun,” Tralka told a local news station.
Most dogs recognize the red Doggie Beach Bus right away. The puppy passengers anxiously hop into place on the padded bed in the back of the van.
After Tralka picks up all of the playmates, they go to a special dog beach in Del Mar, California. She watches out for the dogs as they run and play. The four-legged friends can even take surfing lessons.
But not every dog can take part in these seaside adventures. Tralka, who has studied animal behavior and handling, meets potential doggie clients first to see if they can behave properly during freestyle play. Dogs must be able to follow commands while not on a leash, play well with others, and never display aggressive behavior.
The canine companions romp around on the beach for about an hour. The whole experience lasts about three hours, including travel time. Before dropping them off at home, Tralka showers off each dog, so its coat isn’t matted with sand and saltwater from the shore.
The dogs aren’t the only ones having fun. Tralka says running the Doggie Beach Bus combines her two great loves—the beach and dogs. “This is my dream job,” she says. “I love it.”