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Kayaking Lessons for Dogs

Relax with your dog in a kayak. A trainer named Jess Forte offers classes on Lady Bird Lake in Austin that safely familiarize dogs with kayaking. Sharon Chapman of the Austin-American Statesman took her own pooch out on the water and reported on the experience:

My dog can swim. Because of her tendency to panic, I had her in a dog life jacket (Forte recommends having any dog on the water in a life vest or at least a harness). Besides helping her float as she frantically dog paddled toward shore, the vest served a second purpose: The handle makes hauling a big wet dog back into a boat much easier.

I grabbed the leash hooked to the vest. A little maneuvering to get her alongside the kayak, and a lot of leaning in the opposite direction by me and coaching from the trainer, and I soon had my now much cooler dog back in the kayak. I was proud of myself for staying calm and being fit enough for the task, and of her for not shutting down afterward (cheese helps).

Link -via TigerHawk | Photo: Julia Robinson, Austin-American Statesman

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I saw several dogs in kayaks this summer. Some were very well behaved, and others were looking for an opportunity to abandon ship.
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