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Old 01-29-2007   #21
IkayakNboard's Avatar
, Colorado
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 169
I haven't had any health problems with my mutt from Lifeline, but the one dog I got from the Dumb Friends league did have Parvo, and nearly died, but the nice thing about the Dumb Friends League is they will pay your vet bill if your dog gets sick within 30 days...she survived and it didn't cost me a cent. I had never heard that Lifeline buys puppies from mills, and the records on my mutt show he came from a shelter in Trinidad, CO, but I'll definately look into it before I recommend them or go through them again.

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Old 01-29-2007   #22
Golden, Colorado
Join Date: Mar 2004
Posts: 1,012
Dogs and kayakers go great together. Maybe not as well as say hikers and dogs, but I haven't seen too many kayakers dogs that look like they're hatin' life. Like someone else said they sleep alot so it's fine leaving them at the takeout during a run. They love it when you get back and let them out with all the other dogs to run around while you kick back with a beer. Even with some waiting in the truck it's a better life than 90% of the dogs out there have. My dogs would jump through the window before I could open the tailgate on firday nights and wouldn't want to get back in sunday night after the weekend was over.

As for leaving them at the takeout. Toppers with all the windows open keep them plenty cool. Get a buddy bowl (google it) for spill proof water supply. When it's really hot like at moab, I'll open my wildernest campershell to give them more ventillation. I wouldn't leave them in a car or truck cab with just the windows cracked on most summer days. I also wouldn't leave them tied up to the bumper although I know alot of people do it. Stuff happens. My red healer got thrown into doggie jail when some irresponsible parents let their three-year-old walk all the way across a parking lot. Healers communicate "leave me alone" by nipping and it scared the unaccompanied three year old who started screaming his head off. Next thing she's in the slammer for rabies watch even though she never broke skin.

But it is alot of work and you do loose freedom. For me it's totally worth it. It reminds me that it's about spending time with your friends, not just about running the shit.

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Old 02-01-2007   #23
TimWalker's Avatar
Colorado Springs, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1992
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 205
My black lab (Bailey) and lab shepard mix (Gauley) have rafted Parkdale and the Royal Gorge. They both love the water and it has been a great ride/walk. In 1998, Gauley decided as a puppy, that she wanted to swim the lower class five rapid in 11 mile canyon while we were scouting - thanks to Jeremy Jackson for being in the right place at the right time to pull her out. Bailey is very attached to me and not a great dog to take to a whitewater park, as she sits and barks at me while I'm getting hole time. Curious if other lab owners have similar experiences - she is like a neurotic and possessive girl friend? Now, Bailey is all used up, her hips are going out and I will probably have to have her put down this year as the vet said her bowls and bladder control will go along with the hips.

Some things to consider: Doggy doors (and fenced yards) rule, crate training is good, picking up poop sucks, stepping in poop sucks more, mowing a poopy yard sucks even more, showering with your large dog is best way to wash them, $25 per month for food for a large breed, vet better save up at least $200 per year but more when they are old, but all worth it to have a cold nose goose you and a warm dog to lay at your feet.

So, as long as you have the commitment to see your pups through their life, they will be there for you. It won't be fun losing them, though! If dogs were perfect, they would live for about 70 years and get old with us.
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Old 02-01-2007   #24
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Boulder, Jackson Kayak, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1995
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 911
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Couldn't agree more Tim... Good one.
"Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body. But rather...To skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming... WOW !!!! What a ride!!!!!!"
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Old 02-01-2007   #25
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Golden, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2005
Join Date: Aug 2006
Posts: 337
I just got an Austrialian Shepard but still have to wait a month before he's old enought to leave his mum. I can't wait. Decided to name him Bailey even before I saw Tim's post. I have a pathfinder and could leave the back window open for him. Not sure if that will be cool enough or not. I was thinking I could get one of those dog igloos to keep him outside or maybe just tie him to the bumper and make nice open sided tent with a tarp. I'll figure it out I guess. Either way I agree that a dog would rather be with its owner, camping, swimming, and hanging out even if it has to wait a few hours while there out then stay at home. Mine will be coming with me where ever I can possible bring it.
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Old 02-01-2007   #26
nowhere, Colorado
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 123
Tim, both my labs do the barking thing and both of them jump in after me when I roll, they dunk their heads and nibble at my arm, I believe they think Im drowning or something and are trying to save me.
My black lab has had severe hip dysplasia (sp?) since he was two, he's 9 now and we have tremendous success with a combo of shots and Fresh Factors but he isn't losing his bowels yet, dunno if your case is more severe but let me kow if you want more info. Theres something to that unconditional love
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Old 02-01-2007   #27
Gnarnia, Colorado
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 651
Dogs and water are a great combo. I have a German Shorthaired Pointer and can't keep her out of the water. She does great on my oar rig but likes the class II or less the best. She'll run the III's and IV's but hunkers down through the meat. I think it's the noise from the self bailing floor and the roar of the rapids that cause the stress. Regardless, she loves to go on any river trip. Be sure to get a good, well-fitting pfd for your dog. NRS and Ruff Wear both make good ones.

One thing to consider when getting a puppy is pet insurance. My wife wanted it and I thought it was a racket. However, after a few nasty paw cuts, other minor injuries/procedures and regular vet visits, the insurance has more than paid for itself. And in the event something serious happens to your dog, that's when you'll be glad you're covered.

The company we use is they're easy to deal with and have paid at least some on all of our claims, even vaccinations, spay, neuter and such. Best of all, it's fairly reasonable as far as insurance goes.

A dog is work but well worth the effort. Having a dog will pay off 10 fold in the long run.

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