Most residents and visitors to Hong Kong choose favorite places there -- maybe the Peak, the Star Ferry, Ocean Park or Lamma Island.
For Lamma’s largest visible minority, its dogs, the choice of “best location” couldn’t be simpler. Their near-unanimous decision amounts to a “no-brainer”.
“For us, it’s Power Station Beach. That’s fun-central, the place to socialize and frolic,” they’ll say (to anyone listening intently enough).
As the sun sets, Lamma’s canines gather there to party and play. Some bring their people. Others arrive alone. “There’s no greater doggy joy than when friends arrive,” said a human tagging along.
“Dogs generally come here once the afternoon heat subsides. Sometimes a few congregate. More often, it’s a few dozen. Counting’s tough because they run, chase, wrestle, splash and paddle.”
Canine beach activities resemble those of people. They enjoy digging, frolicking, jogging, chasing frisbees or balls, bird watching, beachcombing and collecting items (usually sticks, not seashells), but always faster and more avidly than humans.
The attending people provide bizarre sound effects by constantly calling the animals’ names: “Ah-Mok, Alphie, Bart, Big Dog, Bug, Cookie, Curly, Gail, Go-go, Hanna, Laura, Lucky, Mika, Pocket, Sammy, Sampson, Sasha, Seymour, Snowy, Swampy” and many others.
Unlike people strolling along the same sand, the dogs seldom denounce the visual blight, noise and pollution from Hongkong Electric’s adjacent facilities. “They’re tolerant that way,” said a human observer.
Friends meet and greet at doggy paradise.
The dog-friendly beach draws a crowd.
Taking the plunge may take planning.
Humans join the fun too.
Race-and-chase makes a great game.
A spry dog reacts to a stick-up.
A stick collector takes a break.
Short legs lead to long trudges.
Sand makes a fashion statement..
Buddies relax at the water's edge.
The plan? Dig a hole to Canada.
Comrades consult at the seaside.
The adjacent power station looms.
Disputes brew over precious sticks.
Quiet beach moments seem nice too.