Thursday, June 28, 2012

Exposing a shy dog to new experiences

Since I know my duty as a foster parent is to expose my foster dogs to as many new, different, mildly challenging but mostly fun situations as possible, I didn't object when Florian recently had an idea for a bit of an adventure involving Pager.

Although we all know Florian can go a bit overboard in the adventure department, the idea of going kayaking, and not having to leave poor Pager in her terrible crate, was too appealing to pass up.  

Florian has been in heaven since our friend Francine left her kayaks in our backyard, and has been using them every chance he gets.

I've only been a couple of times, because of course when I have time for an outing I'd rather it be one that includes the dogs. 

And the idea of going kayaking with Fozzie in my lap, or Lamar, just doesn't sound like a relaxing way to spend an afternoon. Not even Florian's that crazy.
But with Pager, the idea didn't seem that far-fetched. 

Now a really together foster mom would have had a doggie life jacket all ready, but since I am not that foster mom I resolved to just go really slow, hold her tight, and stay mostly in shallow water. 

She was a bit nervous at first, and paced around trying to find a comfortable position just like in the car.

Except every time she paced around in the kayak, the boat lurched and we nearly capsized. Exciting!

Pretty soon though, she seemed to relax and have a good time.

She just looked out over the water, and found she was pretty comfy out in the open air and close to her foster mom. 

No vomiting or peeing!

That was WAY more fun than the car ride.

I don't know if going kayaking is on any official lists of recommended activities for shy foster dogs. But it sure was a fun way to spend the day with Pager.


  1. That does looks like a lot of fun! What a great way to spend the day together!

  2. I love how you are exposing her to new and exciting adventures! Pamela at Something Wagging kayaks with her dog Honey. It was amazing to me to see Honey lying across the front of the boat!

  3. Now that's cool! Being in the water does get her away from things that are scary...I wonder if we could try this with our pooches.

  4. What a great thing for her, she looks content and interested. How wonderful to have your individual attention as well. Every new experience that a shy dog is able to cope with builds confidence.

  5. Hi Kirsten, wow that's really cool. Yay you guys - good, creative approach for spending the day together.

  6. That is awesome, my biggest battle would be keeping Haylie out of the water, she loves to swim. We are thinking of getting a boat and this is one thing we will hav eto train immediatly - she has no fear - she would stand up and jump right off and go swimming! Congrats on being the coolest foster mom!

  7. You are much braver than I am. I know for sure I would be upside down :)

  8. What a great way to build confidence! I have to say, you are much braver than I. I wouldn't trust any of my dogs to not tip me over.

  9. What fun. Mom keeps threatening us with a kayak ride
    Benny & Lily

  10. my dogs are both too big for the type of kayaks we have but if I ever had a smaller dog I would for sure give it a go! though I would probably have the dog wearing a harness if I didn't have a life jacket, just because it would be easier to do a 'rescue' if they did fall out if you had a harness to grab rather than a collar.

  11. This is just incredible to me. Pager looks like she's been kayaking for years. I think you are very brave too to do this. Hurray to you!

  12. Oh how fun! Pager does look very cute there in the kayak with you.

  13. What a fun time! Did she try to get into the water?

  14. What fun! Pager looks so comfy and you both look like you are enjoying your time. Love all the pictures! I am glad Pager adapted more quickly to the kayak than the car. No pee or vomit is always a good sign. :->

    K and Suka

  15. Beautiful photo's :-) and not a windscreen in sight :-) x x x

  16. So glad you took Pager kayaking. I've loved kayaking with my dogs. Even Honey who is fearful of odd motions under her feet enjoys it. There are so many new smells out on the river that you don't get anywhere else.

    It's a great confidence builder. It's fun. And it's worth taking every chance you can to hang out in a cool spot.

  17. Oh wow, we are so so pleased to have found your blog and to read this post first. It's just so up our street of fun things to do, I'm trying to persuade my wonderful hubby that kayaking with Susie-Belle and Renae will be fun, I'm going to show him your post right now :)
    Really looking forward to reading more, espcially as we have little Susie-Belle and her special needs, there'll be help galore here I think :)

    Stop by and visit our blog if you fancy a stroll through Susie-Belles life and background and current adventures.


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