Monday, October 23, 2017

Paw Prints on Deck

August 1, 2017 by · Leave a Comment 

paws on deck title

Memories made on the water last a lifetime — for everyone aboard. Yes, our furriest four-legged companions enjoy the experience as much as we do, savoring hours and days on the water with loved ones. However, as these stories relate, you need to observe your dog’s reaction and safeguard them in unknown circumstances. Encourage, reward, praise, but don’t ever force a dog to be a boater.

SuzieMy husband’s parents, Lyn and John Van Druff, enjoy boating with Suzie on Lake Pleasant in the Adirondacks. Suzie, a rescue dog, is terribly afraid of people she doesn’t know. Whether stranger or visitor, she barks and hides. Yet as soon as Lyn says “Boat,” Suzie is halfway out the door and down the dock. People never faze her on their pontoon boat — she’s friendly, calm, and even snuggly. She’ll take treats from anyone on the boat and boldly sticks her face into the breeze. She’s a different dog on the boat and absolutely loves it!

JunieJunie, an 11-year-old Irish Jack Russell terrier, is the assistant innkeeper at The Claiborne House B&B. In her spare time, she likes to kayak with her family, Shellie and Tony Leete, at Virginia state parks.

IsabellaNichole Dandrea took a trip to the lake with her husband and their 15-year-old toy poodle, Isabella. This was Isabella’s first boating experience, and though some older dogs won’t warm up to new experiences, she loved wearing a life vest like her mom and dad.

ElkeBrandy and Lee Lehnus named their boat RRRUFF WATERS. The couple wanted to enjoy adventures with their three pups on the water. Their water loving dog Elke (she cannot resist getting sprayed by the hose every time it’s on) turned out not to like boating. As the Lehnuses pulled up to a dock at a restaurant, they had quite the “ruff” landing — 80-pound Elke made a break for the dock but not before somehow hitting Lee’s face. His sunglasses cut him badly and Elke shook everyone up. Now while the rest of the family goes boating, Elke sticks to fun times with the hose.

FrankieFrankie, a seven-year-old black lab, enjoys being with Lizzy Benway on the lake. He often relaxes on a stand-up paddleboard, dangling a paw in the water. As a member of the breeding colony at Guiding Eyes for the Blind in Yorktown Heights, Frankie sired 57 puppies, so he is thoroughly enjoying retirement. (The paddleboard is handmade by Lynne Paju.)

CodyCherie Blehm rescued Casey Jane from certain doom at the Miami Dade shelter in 2012, working tirelessly to save her while a kind veterinarian nursed her back to health. The day after Cherie and her husband picked up their new pup from the airport, they fitted her for a life jacket and took her out on their 19-foot Bayliner with Cody, their yorkie. These days, Casey Jane is a plump and happy dog who is always ready for a motorcycle or boat ride.

JouleJoule, a two-year-old, full-blooded blue heeler, loves spending time on the water, joining her two-legged best friends, Dawn Taylor and Roy Frazier, on their boat in Texas. She spends her sunny days attempting to catch the water that splashes over the boat’s edge when cruising down the river and observing the calm and peaceful views from her first-class seat.

RueRue, a Plott hound mix, went camping for the first time at the age of six months with Kyndal Kennedy and her fiancé, John Korsgaden. They rented a houseboat and at first Rue was unnerved by the noise and choppy water. Relaxing, she stared at the lake. Out of nowhere, she leaped off the boat while it was still moving! The couple freaked out, not knowing if she knew how to swim. John told Kyndal to jump in after her to save her. She did so, fully clothed, and after a successful rescue, Rue made it clear she preferred to sunbathe on shore.

Brad Nierenberg’s Cavalier King Charles spaniel, Bitsy, had her first boat ride when she was two. Brad and his family took her on a little water-ski boat around a lake, and she was enjoying herself until the wind blew her ears inside out! You see, Bitsy has long, curly ears, so she would shake her head until they were right side out, only to find them blown inside out again moments later! In order to keep family adventures going, Bitsy sits on Brad’s lap nowadays — he shelters her ears from the wind whenever she gets annoyed.

By Kathryn Van Druff

webPlus_web_green1Measuring for a dog’s life jacket



is a freelance writer and marketing specialist with her own business, Kate enjoys spending time with her husband, daughter, and border collie on the lake or the ocean, whenever time and tides allow.

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