Tails From the Bark Side: The Man Who Wanted to Save the Crab

There are tree-huggers who want to save trees, people who want to save spotted owls, whales, dolphins, wild life of all kinds and now a man who wants to save crabs.

By | Posted: August 5, 2014, 6 a.m. PST

I took six dogs, three Golden Retrievers, two Labradors and a Basset Hound to the local beach for ball chasing, frolicking in the water and digging in the sand. The beach was full of fisherman, kids playing, picnics, dogs running, joggers and yes, naked people. We chose to head to the fisherman area where there was less action (no naked people and no pun intended).  


Dogs at the Beach. Lisa Gates


The dogs were romping around having a ball when I spot about ten yards away an older gentleman bending down to pick something up in the sand. To my shock, it was a live wild eyed crab which was the size of a small football. It immediately caught the attention of the five retrievers as its claws grasped at the air and moved wildly about. The Basset was too busy eating some sort of crap from a left over picnic to notice. 

The dogs darted towards him like a pack of wild kids trying to be the first to the ice cream truck. Watching the stampede of dogs coming towards him, he immediately held the crab high over his head and danced around yelling "leave the crab alone! Leave the crab alone.” His animated antics took the dogs to a new level of excitement. I told him to calm down, lower his hands as the dogs were jumping on him, almost knocking him down. In a frantic state, the man scurried towards the water with the dogs encircling him, leaping up off all fours to get the crab. The man struggled to stop them with his legs, knees and other hand while keeping hold of the crab whose claws were frantically grasping the air.

I saw what was coming. I warned him to not throw the crab into the water as retrievers have the instinct to chase it. Ignoring my plea, he wound up for a good toss but was knocked by a dog and the crab popped up into the air instead of out into the safety of the ocean. Positioned farther out in the water, the Golden Retriever Cowboy caught the crab mid air. The timing was impeccable, like Joe Montana throwing the perfect pass to Jerry Rice who was covered by three defenders. But as beautiful as the play was, now I had two problems on my hands, a dog with a live crab in his mouth and a guy who wanted to save the crab.

Cowboy burst out of the water like a racehorse out of the starting gate. He flew around crab guy while Cowboy’s dog posse followed closely behind, completely over the moon with joy like a pack of wild cowboys from the old west, racing around on their horses hooting and hollering after a successful bank heist. Crab man stood in the middle of the chaos yelling at me to deliver the command for Cowboy to drop it. Unfortunately this was the one dog in the group who had no training. Any command hollered at him would fall on deaf ears.  He would hear ‘blah blah blah.” Although I think most dogs only hear ‘blah blah blah blah cookie.”

Acting concerned about the welfare of the crab, I shouted "drop it, leave it, and come.” I threw cookies at him that the others ravenously devoured up including the basset since she had finished off the scraps from the picnic.  Nothing worked as his prize trumped all. Trying to lighten up the atmosphere, I joked "It’s even in his job description to retrieve, you’d think he’d know better.” No laugh, not even a smirk, just screaming at me for the crab killing dogs to stop. Cowboy’s grand prize had the attention of his pals and now this man. There was no way in hell he was giving that up for anything.

Eventually, Cowboy tired of the game and dropped the crab BUT now the crab gripped his lip. Cowboy shook his head violently to get the crab to let go. This took crab guy to a higher level of anxiety. He screamed "he is going to kill it!  He is going to kill the crab!” I am thinking "really dude?  Do you see the crab has a hold of Cowboy’s lip and clearly has the upper hand or upper lip in this case?”

The crab finally released Cowboy’s lip and the man hastily retrieved it, running back into the water.  He went deep enough for the dogs not follow but close enough to get walloped by a wave. He winds up, casts of the crab to his homeland, as a wave hits him smack in the face. Once again his timing for a launch was impeccable. I thought "oh dear God this is not going to be good.”

Drenched, exhausted and seemingly defeated, crab guy walked up to me and calmly said "your dogs are out of control.”  I apologized as I watched him mope back to the other end of the beach, passing by three crab fisherman.  

Follow Lisa @BarkSideLisa

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UNCLE BRIAN   Mill Valley, California

8/7/2014 9:08:37 PM

Was Crab Guy a vegetarian ?

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Jeanine   Mill Valley, California

8/6/2014 7:20:39 AM

That is hilarious!

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Jackie   Mill Valley, California

8/5/2014 9:38:54 PM

Call me crazy... I was cheering the crab on too! Great story...

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Brac   Mill Valley, California

8/5/2014 9:42:57 AM

I freakin' love it. Really? A crab? I had one for dinner last week, LOL!

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