Kirby goes kayaking

Some days you need to rest, and some days you need adventure! Today, we went on an adventure.

Scout absolutely loves the water, loves to go kayaking, and spends about half the time in the water while i’m paddling around. Ever since she got her life jacket, she’ll swim for as long, and as far, as i’ll let her, and let me tell you what, that’s been quite the thing to figure out!

I, too, love the water, and i’m a big fan of taking my dogs on adventures with me. It’s all around good for them, so after Kirby healed up from his surgeries and got his muscles back in shape, I was determined to get him in the water and see how he likes it!
Last week we went out to the lake and just walked around the waters edge. Once I let Scout and Kirby off leash, Scout took off in several leaps and jumped right into the water, happy to go practice her fish moves again. Kirby, however, took three great big strides into the water, stopped, looked back at me, and decided this was not his cup of tea. He gingerly stepped out, shook off, and spent some time sniffing around the shoreline awhile.
A few more trips in and out, and he seemed to figure out that the life jacket helps him float, so he got a little braver, and started trying to follow Scout off into the water.

After a few evolutions from the shore, I finally threw him in about 6′ off shore, and after he settled into his life jacket, he started swimming around a bit before coming back to shore. SO, he doesn’t dislike the water, it’s just new for him. Good.

Thursday evening came and it looked like a good mix of factors to get out on the lake; the weather was clear, the humidity was not quite ‘oppressive suffrage’ and I had some free time thanks to a canceled meeting, so off we went!

I keep my kayak setup light and easy, so I just walked it and Kirby down to the boat ramp, set the kayak a little more than halfway in the water, got myself in and settled, snapped my paddle together, and then helped Kirby figure out how to get in. Took him a minute or two, but he got settled in and quickly grew curious about the adventure awaiting us. As I pushed off he stood, startled, but quickly sat back down on command and began looking around.

Once we got away from the boat ramp, he settled down and starting taking it all in, and boy oh boy there a LOT of things to take in! Lots of interesting sounds, smells, and of course sights (I like to get RIGHT next to the buoys as we go by…), but he did very well and seemed to have a great time.

The biggest factor to being able to take Kirby places with me is the bond we’ve built; I have to able to trust he’s going to behave and follow commands, and he has to be able to trust that i’m going to keep him safe, well, and not let him hurt himself. This is the same bond i’ve built with Scout, but my bond with Kirby has additional hurdles to overcome, from his past and from outside sources.

He’s come a long way since he first came to my house, and we’ve got a lot of great adventures to go enjoy!


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