I like to think of myself as an explorer dog (I haven’t been given the Instagram name Phoenix_the_fearless for nothing). From a young age I would read books about the Iditarod and research my hero’s like Balto and Laika, daydreaming that one day I will be like them. Luckily for me I have adventurous parents, they love the outdoors and both have military backgrounds, so when I told them I wanted to see the world they were happy to help and spend time introducing me to different activities to see what I enjoy.
I remember the day that we bought a canoe. I was there at the till when my parents made the purchase, although somewhat distracted by the yappy Shih Tzu walking past the checkout I was aware of the lady asking whether I would be having a turn in it, they discussed the material and how it was dog friendly so my claws would not pop the boat.
My parents being who they are could not return straight home, instead they went via a lake to test out their new equipment both grinning and equally as impatient as each other. At this point I’m still working on figuring out what a boat actually is, I’m only 5 months old and just getting used to paddling my paws in the water. Out came the box, out of the box came a bag, out of the bag came a long flat rubbery looking piece of material, its not food so by this point my interest was lost. Within a few minutes they were carrying their big sticks and the long green and black object towards the water.
All set by the water mum headed back toward me, time to put on my life jacket, it was quite comfy, quite stylish actually, until I saw my reflection, “oh hell no, why does my life jacket have a shark fin at the back?!” Are they trying to humiliate me on purpose? I can only imagine its like the first day at senior school for my mum when her parents dressed her in a blazer made for 18 year olds – she was only 12 and built like a bean pole, I can tell you it wasn’t her best look.
Anyway we digress. Its time for the canoeing.
So they want me to get in, both egging me on, two proud parents filled with encouragement. They want me to get in that rubbery thing, filled with air that’s bobbing about on the water, are they crackers?? Reverse, reverse, I’m digging my claws in, pushing my bum in the air and trying my hardest to get out of this shark suite. There is NO WAY I’m getting in that unsteady, uneven, unsafe…… Ooooooh a biscuit.
Damn it. Tricked again. It happens every time; i’m a sucker for a tasty treat. Well now I’m in the boat, were bobbing along, nothing too extreme, its actually not that bad. Two seats for two mums, a place at the back for a bag and a place at the front for me. I can sit, stand, perch on the front, mums holding my lead loosely and I have my life jacket on, I’ve even been given the title of Captain. A short paddle around the lake and back to the shore.
I did it!
And there we have it my friends, my first canoeing experience. With a little bit of reassurance and a lot of biscuit bribery i found a love for canoeing.
Do you have a lake nearby that allows canoeing? Why not give it a go? Mum and I really enjoy this time together after all we are best friends so who better to take exploring.