“Stay right, stay right, stay RIGHT!” I repeated out loud, attempting to drum the instructions into my poor jetlagged brain as I navigated the steep but thankfully mostly empty streets of San Francisco. Pulling into the carpark of the Sports Basement store at 5.45am on the dot, I sighed with relief and mentally gave myself a calming bear hug for surviving my first driving experience in the USA. Feeling thoroughly awake, I looked forward to meeting my furry clients.
Rooster tails of spray followed these two little speed-demons as they raced through the long wet grass like creamy blurs, eagerly chasing the ball and each other. Before long, my squelchy shoes and wet knees matched the crinkly fur of their dew-soaked legs.
Behind Charlie and Penny, the famous Golden Gate bridge loomed like a supersized red Meccano sculpture. I was thankful that although low grey clouds blanketed the bay area, the thick fog the area is known for in summer stayed away and the view was clear.
Racing paws made first tracks in the damp sand as this energetic pair sped across the sandy beach in their pursuit of the ball. Virtually deserted at this hour, the beach offered an uninterruped view of the red roofed buildings of The Presidio, a former military base on the tip of the San Francisco peninsula. Wet paws soon became caked in sand as Charlie and Penny chased and played their way around us, demonstrating their love of life.
I looked down into melting brown eyes. Eager to prove themselves as more than action superheros, these two could both switch on the puppy dog face when there were delicious treats on offer!
Weather-worn wooden boards provided a new texture to show off Penny’s long furry (and still rather wet) legs.
Dark and forbidding, Alcatraz loomed in the middle of the bay. Not to be outdone, Penny and Charlie relaxed in tandem amidst the dune grasses.
Super impressed with their co-operativeness, I asked their dad to manoeuvre them into position on the dunes for an iconic shot in front of the bridge. Miss Penny was eager to prove she was a superstar in her own right, giving me some head-tilt love in the process.
Did I mention these two are super well trained? Sitting and staying beautifully on the boardwalk as I zoomed from afar made this beautiful shot possible. Charlie and Penny are a total credit to their mum and dad!
I have no doubt these pups could have run all day but luckily for me they had worked up an appetite, so we finished off with some portraits on the grass of Crissy Field.