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Paddling for Dogs

Thursday, August 4, 2011


This article is dedicated to my friend Val who is a dog nerd just like me.She and I are always on the look out for the latest dog trend/ dog opportunity and we've share many laughs and resources about what people will do with and for their lovely pets.    We've discovered dog taxi's in Vancouver, dog spas in Toronto, dog specialty clothing stores (for the dog who is the best man or brides maid in a wedding), dog yoga, dog trailers (for carrying your pooch behind your bike), dog swimming pools, dog camps etc.   There are no shortage of possibilities for a dog.  Recently I was at a lovely dinner party and met a woman who had just returned from a 4 day canoe trip with her dog.  She went with a company called Dog Paddling Adventures and the trip was in Algonquin Park.  It was her dog's first trip. I had a lot of questions for her - from the perspective of being a dog owner and from the perspective of being interested in learning about a successful business that I could never have imagined existed or worked!!  The trip leaders are all certified with ORCA etc .  There were 8 people and 8 dogs. Each participant paid $600 for 4 days (Wed-Sat).  All participants (including dogs) wore lifejackets at all times when in a boat/ or swimming beside a boat as some dogs do!  2 people/ 2 dogs per tent.  There were some dog fights but not a lot.  Her dog swam beside the canoe most of the time, other dogs lounged in canoes on top of packs.  There were big dogs and little dogs.  There was lots of barking but people did get sleep.  The food was all provided for the trip and was really good (owners had to bring their own dog food).  The company offers specialty courses  such  Paws and Paddle. "This unique 1-day experience is for those looking to paddle the  beautiful Toronto Harbour front with a great group of dog lovers and their pups. The beauty of this day is we enjoy our paddle through the 13 islands in a huge Voyageur canoe (all the dogs in one canoe I asked????). This provides a unique paddling experience as we have many paddlers in one boat at the same time.   Our day will be spent paddling over to the islands, through the passage ways within the islands, to a beach and on to a great picnic spot where we break and let the dogs run around while we stop for a delicious lunch. Then we start our journey back to the Harbourfront."  The August Harbourfront trip is already "fully barked up"  so don't bother going on line to sign up!  The company also offers Women's only dog paddling adventures, hiking, skijoring and kick sledding adventures in the fall and winter etc.    Several trips are offered in  the beautiful Haliburton Highlands.   Another good thing happening here that I didn't even know about!   What I love about this story is that it once again demonstrates that anything is possible and that by being creative we can all find our way in the world.  For more infurmation about this company you can check out dogpaddlingadventures.com.  

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