I remember our previous Airedales - Clara and Smudge - leaping and playing through the waves on a deserted beach in Ireland and I thought it would be great if Vita could do the same.
To get to the Atlantic coast we have two choices: up the motorway to Bordeaux and then back down the coast, or (quicker as the crow flies) cross the Landes.
The Landes is like an enormous Centre Parcs resort - endless straight roads cutting through pine woodland dotted with occasional enclaves of bungalows grouped around their small spired village church and neat square. The journey to the sea via the Landes seemed to take forever.
I parked in an empty car park and walked Vita up the sand dunes and looked down on the beach (empty except for a solitary fisherman) and the Atlantic rollers. She was singularly unimpressed, found some other dogs to say hello to and then kept to the scrub among the dunes.
I strolled along the beach towards a small headland where the waves occasionally lapped against the rocks at the bottom. Splashing through the wavelets at the base of the headland in my wellington boots, I looked back thinking that Vita would have to follow. She'd disappeared. A few moments later she reappeared above my head, picking her way delicately across the rocks, determined to keep her paws dry.
So we left and came home via the motorway. I bought her a pack of chicken slices when we stopped at a service station. That, for her, was the best part of the day.
Biscarrosse: South Beach