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Old 05-19-2010   #1
Blade&Shaft's Avatar
Roaring Fork Valley, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2008
Join Date: May 2009
Posts: 227
Any good dog/whitewater stories?

Has this been brought up before?
Took my dog on a Class III last year, and plan on taking him on more this season. My buddy and I were sitting around discussing how bad a dog-swim through a rocky Class III/IV or big-water class whatever might be.
For the sake of the forum, any good stories??

Footnote: No, I don't plan on subjecting my dog to any bad scenarios, all you PETA heads. I kinda like him.

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Old 05-20-2010   #2
willieboater's Avatar
Eugene, Oregon
Paddling Since: 1980
Join Date: Sep 2006
Posts: 89
Rainie Falls lining chute

My dog swam the lining chute of Rainie Falls when the water was around 6,000 cfs. I dropped him off above the rapid on river right, so he could run around. I looked back and saw he was running on the bank and proceeded to run the lining chute with my Rogue Boat. When I get to the very bottom, I turn around and see Tyee climbing out of the river below the last drop. I'm thinking to myself, "what the hell", when my friend came down with big ol' bug eyes. He had witnessed the entire incident. He saw Tyee run back down to the river a few seconds after I last saw him run up the bank. Tyee jumped in the river about 50 yards above the lining chute, and Brent yelled at him to get out, and he did. Then Tyee runs to the corner at the top of the lining chute, and launches himself into the river at the very top of the lining chute and proceeded to swim the entire thing! At 6,000 that's a pretty burly swim for a dog. He was unscathed and was ready to go boating again!

My props go to NRS for creating a great dog life jacket: the CFD!

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Old 05-20-2010   #3
River Gypsy
Swannanoa, North Carolina
Paddling Since: 1986
Join Date: Jan 2004
Posts: 255
I dumptrucked myself and Hudson out the back of our raft into the bottom hole at Velvet on the Middle Fork at 6'+ a couple of years ago, and was really comforted as I was being recirced to feel him in there with me and know that I wasn't alone. After a couple of rounds we both went deep and came up about 30 feet downstream. I grabbed his PFD handle and pointed him toward the left bank, while Andria guided him to shore in her kayak. I had to swim after the raft. Once I got the boat back and went over to get him, Hudson jumped right back in the raft and was ready for more action. He seems to like the swims pretty well, and is always eager to get back on a raft afterward. He took another big swim when the raft he was on flipped at Rubber at about the same level on another trip. Same deal, he jumped right back on the nearest raft and was ready for more action.

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Old 05-20-2010   #4
Denver, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2000
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 94

My buddy Brian Donegan and I were running Waterton at 600ish and had his black lab Clifford running along side the bank. We made it through and then hiked back up to run the last few drops again. When we got to the last triple drop we eddied out above it on river right...Clifford was on the other side of the bank and immediately jumped in and began swimming towards us. Both of us started yelling at him to get out but it was too late. He ended up swimming that triple drop with no life jacket and 2 frantic kayakers behind him. Clifford climbed out river left and was a little more cautious the rest of the day.
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Old 05-20-2010   #5
cataraftgirl's Avatar
Sandy, Utah
Paddling Since: 1997
Join Date: Jun 2009
Posts: 3,120
Middle Fork

Three years ago my friend took his chocolate Lab pup for her first late season, low water MF trip. It was September and the flow was about 1.7 ft. She did awesome on the flight into Indian Creek, and took to the raft like she was born there. We had stopped to take a look at Orelano rapid and two of us watched from the scout on the right as my friend & pup made their run. As they were approaching the entrance to the rapid, we noticed that the pup was standing rather casually on the gear load. We both commented that as soon as he hit a rock, she was going to go flying. Sure enough, as he began the bump & grind through the rocks, she back flipped off the raft. We called her and she swam toward shore. However, as she was nearing the shore, she realized that WE were not HER HUMAN. By now my friend has seen his dog in the water, and had got himself stuck on a mid-river rock. The dog saw him, turned around, swam out to the rock he was stuck on, climbed up on the rock, and jumped back on the raft. She was fine, but from then on, when they start into a rapid and he says LAY DOWN, she flattens out on the gear load and stays there. She is now a seasoned river dog with lots of Middle Fork & Main Salmon experience.
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Old 05-20-2010   #6
Avon, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1997
Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 471
Leery, I also knew Donegan...Cliffy the Dog was a good one...big meathead.
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Old 05-20-2010   #7
Carbondale, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1965
Join Date: Jan 2010
Posts: 175
Slightly different take on the subject. Quite a few years ago a buddy and I were catching some rays at the end of a run on the Arkansas. He had a big black lab who loved the water and was real comfortable swimming the rapids - usually chasing a stick. So anyway we were partaking of a fatty when we looked up about 20 ft away was a sherrif's deputy. My buddy calmly deposits the roach in his bag and throws the whole thing in the river. Sure enough, the lab jumps in, chases the bag about 100 yds down through some white water and deposits it at the deputies feet - waiting for him to throw it again!
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Old 05-20-2010   #8
Helena, Montana
Paddling Since: 96
Join Date: Apr 2010
Posts: 488
Had a pup that was born for the water. At 4 months on his 2nd whitewater trip he jumped out right before the meat in Shoshone (on purpose) and swam it. Waited at an eddy to be pulled back in.

Used to take him to play stick @ the Gunni water park. He would shoot the rapids, eddy out, swim up to the top, and run it again. over & over.

Any time he saw a swimmer he would dive out of the boat & try to drag them to my boat or the shore. Surprisingly only one person eve rgot pissed about being "saved" by my dog.

Scary dog story- Last summer I got caught nappin and was getting spun around in Seidels. My dog gets tossed out. I was watching to make sure that he was clear but I couldn't see him. Looked over the side & saw that he had a leg between the boat & spare oar strap, and was all twisted up. I popped the strap and he flushed right out. I am SUPER cautious ever since about any little nook or cranny that can lead to another paw entrapment.
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Old 05-20-2010   #9
Blade&Shaft's Avatar
Roaring Fork Valley, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2008
Join Date: May 2009
Posts: 227
Good stuff so far. My dog got slammed by a pretty harmless wave on a class III on the R.Fork and seemed pretty terrified, cold, and more than anything, emabrrassed too... it was hard not to laught at him. I'm not so sure he was into rafting after that, pretty scared after getting so soaked... but I figure we'll go out on some warm days this summer and maybe just take it easy with some floats.

Do people take their dogs on gnar? I can't imagine an owner taking their dogs on a run like Slaughter or even Numbers, much less the likes of a Gore or Pine Creek Run. Seen a lot of dogs on the Gauley though...but I guess minus the rocks makes a swim a little easier for a four legger
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Old 05-20-2010   #10
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 5
boofdog seems to take care of it's self- probably should at least have a PFD on though


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