Paddler Puppy


Tierce went kayaking for the first time today. He did very well! Didn’t jump out of the boat and didn’t capsize us. This is good.

The first stop was at the local kayak store to outfit Tierce with a PFD. He was NOT impressed. However after a good sulk, he accepted the PFD with bad grace, kicking up his hind legs and chewing on the tabs when he thought I wasn’t looking.

We went to Westwood Lake, a popular recreation spot in Nanaimo. Fortunately, due to clouding over, there were not a lot of people there and the lake was nearly empty.

I first put Tierce in the cockpit, but found that this was impracticable, because his head was in the way of the paddle. We then tried putting him in the front hatch, which was much more successful. As you can see, I risked my camera cell phone to bring readers pictorial evidence of Tierce’s exploits.
He didn’t try to get out of the hatch, although he was a bit ill at ease. Next time, I’ll make a more comfortable bed for him in the front hatch so that he can lie or sit in comfort. I also want to design some kind of cover that allows him to pop up to breathe and look around, but minimizes rain and water entry. I was thinking of some kind of “hood” that he could stick his head through. I also need to arrange a way that he can have adequate access to water during a long kayak trip. I was toying with the idea of affixing, somehow, one of those no-spill covered water bowls to the inside or outside of the hatch. If it was outside, I could always arrange a system where I could pull back an elasticized cover so that Tierce could take a drink without leaving it open for seawater or dirt to get in. I can even pack supplies around the opening so that the hatch is still carrying supplies while accommodating a Shiba.

My biggest fear is capsizing and having Tierce trapped in or under the boat. I’m thinking that I’m going to have to arrange a wet-exit/panic cord that clips to my PFD to rip the cover off the front hatch and let Tierce swim free of the kayak. His PFD is also going to be attached to my PFD in case of capsizing or a sudden urge to battle killer whales. In the event of his being trapped, I could follow the line to his PFD.

I’m hoping that Tierce learns to like kayaking and seeing new places, because I want to take him on kayak tours with Mischa and I and friends of ours. Here’s hoping! If I get him used to the kayak at Westwood Lake and other safer places to paddle, he should soon be accustomed enough to handle sea kayaking without too much trouble.

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The Misanthropic Shiba

One Comment

  1. Do you often have sudden urges to battle killer whales? I think they have medication for that now.

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