|The dogs take over the paddleboard|
I went paddleboarding on the 4th of July with a friend. I only took Pallo on that trip as Koira was visiting my mom in the country to avoid the crazy fireworks here in town. My friend brought two of her jack russells along as well, which made us a two human, three dog party.
|Me and Pallo hang out in our matching lifejackets on the paddleboard in the middle of the river. The camera lens was a bit wet, and of course this is taken with my waterproof little Nikon point and shoot rather than my good camera.|
One of the biggest things for me is making sure that we not only have fun, but stay safe as well. That means we bring plenty of water, wear plenty of sunscreen (and in my case a long sleeved shirt for sun protection), and always, always, always wear lifejackets. The lifejacket rule applies to humans and dogs, and there are no exceptions. We also always double check for blue green algae warnings in the area and avoid areas where algae or scum is present.
|Pallo showing some loving during a break|
The only other big rule we have is to not take big trips alone. Even just floating the river a little ways can pose danger, and having someone else there with you is your best chance of surviving hazards. The Willamette River, where we went and where we plan to go again, is overall a pretty smooth ride with minor rapids. But people drown there every year. Normally because they are drunk college students without lifejackets, but sometimes because they are experienced and safety conscious people doing everything they can to stay safe who just end up in the wrong place at the wrong time and are unable to get themselves out of trouble.
|I even brought Pallo's sunglasses along. I don't think he appreciated that very much though,|
That said, taking to the river on a hot day with a friend and a crew of dogs is one of the most enjoyable things I can think of to do. Pallo got along well with Roo and Rizzo. The weather was wonderful. Using the paddleboard allowed me to jump into the river to cool off regularly, while my friend was stuck in the kayak and suffered a little more from the heat. Of course, she didn't get tossed in the river in the middle of a rapid like I did either!
Safety and fun as the priorities, and you can have an awesome time on the river.