Monday, January 31, 2011

Canoeing With My Dawg

I found this story I had written back a ways.  My trusty old friend is now going on her 11th year and is slowing down considerably which is expected but makes me sad.  We only do short trips, just a pole upstream to some sandbars where she can relax in the water on those hot days and then back home.  We're still going out there and as long and she is comfortable we'll keep going!

May 2005
By Doug Doremus 

Are You Ready Yet?
Why is it so important to me to bring my Sadie Dawg on my adventures in a canoe?  Love is one big reason, for she is my best friend.  It’s all that unconditional stuff with master and hound yet for my Sadie it is the facts that I want her to experience life.  Not be treated like so many other dogs, chained or kept with only a leash walk.  How mundane, how soul breaking can that be to a spirit and breed that wants to run, sniff, and explore? 

We weaned her early to the canoe, I believe around eight or ten months for we got her very early in her life.  Day one was a trial but by the end of it she didn’t need any encouragement to hop into the canoe and looked at us with impatience to move on downstream.

Let's GO!
We soon moved on to solo trips, just me and the Dawg.  It was a memorable moment for both of us on the Merrimack River.  We hit a shallow spot; Sadie was antsy moving all over the front of the center thwart rocking the boat.  In a flash she launched herself over board into the water and stood there looking at me with what seemed to be a defiant glare for her young age.  Planting my pole into the river bottom and tying off my boat to it I got out into the river with her and talked to her.  Letting time pass she calmed and I lifted her back into the boat and stood back.  She meandered around a bit and finally settled into a spot, her choice was at the base of my seat where my feet rest.  It has been her place since, right where we can talk, right where I can reassure her when the waters get rough.

Sadie's Spot in the Canoe
 Sadie has seen lakes, ponds, and rivers up to class two and never wavered.  Her sniffer twitches with the waters unique odors and her on-shore escapades are joyful, hell you can see it in her eyes.  These are the reasons I have her join me.  Her life will never be as long as I’d like it to be so it is my hope to provide her with every chance for her find something new, exciting, different, to let her revel in life as it is meant to be.

Break Time
 Lately there’s been a touch of gray on her snout but it hasn’t let it slow her down.  She probably has more river miles under her hide than most people I know.  We have been out from dawn until way after dark, paddled under the hot summers sun, have been rained on until the canoe needs bailing. We’ve camped out in old and new snows and she has felt the good and bad of Mother Nature and taken it all in stride!

Perhaps the best part has been the friends she has made in this paddling world.  The people I paddle with totally accept the fact that there will be a Sadie Dawg along for our jaunts.  She’s part of the crew, tried and tested, as hardy as any of us.

Sadie and Doug
  Our journey is in mid-stream, we’ve had our beginnings as paddling pals and it’s my wish to continue this trip.  Those brown eyes need to keep looking to the waters and shores for new adventures. 

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