We went canoing this weekend on a river up north. Bringing Thatcher is really more of a hassle than anything, but he loves water so much that we can't bear to leave him behind. As you can imagine, a large dog and a small canoe has disastrous potential. So instead of worrying about tipping every time Thatcher decides to shift his weight in one direction or another, we always tie two canoes together to help keep more balanced. The problem with this is that Thatcher can never decide which canoe he enjoys riding in more. So he'll climb back and forth, bringing us within an inch of being dumped into the water each time.
Taking my turn swimming with Thatcher
And the water is a whole other issue. Thatcher adores swimming in the river. For about 40 seconds. Then he wants to be lifted back into the canoe. Which is nearly impossible when we're in deep water. Once we find a sand bank and get him back into the boat, literally about 6 minutes pass before he's whining to get back in the water. Must have inherited his indecisiveness from me. And this is the really sad part. Instead of having to hoist Thatcher back into the canoe every few minutes, one of us jumps in the water with him and swims with him. By swim with him, I mean carry him while swimming. He will hold perfectly still, not even try to help and paddle, while you support his weight and keep him afloat. He's a great swimmer and could probably swim miles without any trouble. We've obviously succeeded in raising him to be a good manipulator.
On our way home after a long day on the water
It was a fun trip though. Gorgeous weather, lots of sun (and sunburn). When we got to the landing to load up, Thatcher had a jolly time running around and saying hello to every living creature that came along. An enormous group of a couple dozen tubers got to the landing right after us, and Thatcher dove right back into the river to swim out and see if everyone was ok. At least he's not shy.