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Old 07-17-2007   #31
Gnarnia, Colorado
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 651
Wait, wait. I know who can settle this...
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Old 07-18-2007   #32
Telluride, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1492
Join Date: May 2006
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I don't wish to jump into the militant camp with ihowmet. But it is true that dogs aren't always the best judge of what they can (or at least should) do. We used to have a black lab with hip displasia that would keep running and retrieving after her hips had popped out. She would just drag her back legs and still try (& usually succeed) to keep up with the other dogs. She loved the chase so much that the pain was worth it but you had to stop her.
Am I saying you can't have your dog swim RH? Hell no. That's your call. Obviously the dogs can do it. But I would at least give it a second thought. 30 miles is a long swim even with the PFD. But at least you're using the PFD for your pup. That shows genuine care and concern for your 4 legged buddy.
As for the assbags who inspired this topic, I hope they have some consequences for their actions.

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Old 07-18-2007   #33
lhowemt's Avatar
at my house, Montana
Paddling Since: 2020
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 4,347
Come on you silly, sarcastic, smarty pants, are we discussing the dogs welfare here or people's? Why chastise the "cheap boat" people and not others, just because they are part of this forum community and possibly a friend? If you didn't agree with how a friend was treating their dog on a river trip with you, would you keep quiet? I think it's clear to all that I wouldn't, and I don't, not about animals in my group. I expect my friends to do the same. Seeing this forum as a sort of "friend" community, I speak up here also.

Call me names, ridicule me, make insulting jokes, that is fine. When it comes to animal welfare, I get a bit fired up!

Originally Posted by deepsouthpaddler View Post
All Points Bulletin....

lhowemt, thanks for the incredibly brilliant assessment that dogs don't speak english. I had no clue! Your knowledge of dogs and how to handle them would make a great book. You could call it... "know-it-all figures out dogs don't speak english and lectures people about how to handle dogs". It would surely be a hot seller...
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Old 07-18-2007   #34
Boulder, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2007
Join Date: Jul 2007
Posts: 15
Originally Posted by woodboat75 View Post
Wow, I just got a trip report from a friend at work that was on Ruby this weekend. He didn't see any dogs, but this was the report:

2pm ish, they float around a corner and see some kind of pool toy floating in the eddy. Then appears a orange life preserver, the type that you tie around your waist. Then they get all the way around the corner to find a walmart type raft/pool toy floating in the eddie with someone completely past out in it.
They wake the guy up and ask him if he is okay. He grumbles a few times, then asks if they have seen some red canoes. He was completely wasted and sunburned without even a paddle.
They get down to their campsite (I will post later when I find out where) and the Canoes show up. Canoers show up and ask if they have seen the rafter. They are told that he is several miles upstream. Canoers say they were towing the raft, when they lost their line and didn't realize it.
They paddle across river next to the train tracks, and immediately fire up a giant bonfire. This part is fun because it's tresspassing as well as fire ban.

I think this whole thing sucks. It's one thing to be new to something and not know all of the rules, but these people didn't even try.

Those are the exact same people I saw with the dog. two red canoes and a coleman inflatable raft. They were tanked and didn't know what they were doing. Hopefully this sheds some light on the 'quality' of these river enthusiasts. I noticed the same life preserver in the eddie. Woodboat75, they rented their boats at Rim Rock adventures on saturday, july 14th and returned them Sunday. It may be a good idea to have your friend report the bonfire and everything to the BLM.

I called the BLM and the Denver Humane Society and they have opened an investigation into the incident. I don't know if they will keep me posted on the outcome but I'll let you guys know if I hear anything.
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Old 07-18-2007   #35
paddlebizzle's Avatar
Local, Colorado
Join Date: Oct 2003
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If you didn't agree with how a friend was treating their dog on a river trip with you, would you keep quiet? I think it's clear to all that I wouldn't, and I don't, not about animals in my group. I expect my friends to do the same. Seeing this forum as a sort of "friend" community, I speak up here also.

Call me names, ridicule me, make insulting jokes, that is fine. When it comes to animal welfare, I get a bit fired up!

Lhowe - I have two labs, and for the most part I agree with you, but get off your soapbox, and stop pissing down my back.

Before you totally pop your top, re-read my thread. Everyone agrees that this was fucked up. Thats why this post has attracted 1600 hits. This is about finding out who did this and how bad people want to kick their ass.

If you want to be the Dog Whisperer and debate how to treat your dog, how they can't speak english and how we have a responsibility to care for them, do it on another thread instead of hijacking this one.
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Old 07-18-2007   #36
Denver, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2002
Join Date: Jul 2007
Posts: 6
We had a similar experience last weekend doing an easy float on Pumphouse to Statebridge. One raft with two dogs with no lifejackets- a fatty retriever and labradoodle (ha!). We saw them first around the hot springs. Not only were they traversing some pretty tough terrain, but swimming in and out of the river toward the boat, where their owners would then push them away to swim more. I almost said something, but didn't. Sure enough, a few hours later there's Brutus the retriever, stuck on an island, whimpering, then trying to swim upstream, only to get stuck on the island again. We picked him up and he was exhausted. His paws were bloody and raw from running along the bank when he couldn't swim. And a couple of turns downstream are the owners, sitting on the beach just whistling for him like it's no big deal. And then, what do they do? Push him off the boat to run some more! We were pissed! We yelled to them that his paws were raw and they didn't do sh#$ about it.

I agree that our perception of dogs might be a little projected. That dog had to have been hurting. We saw him at the take out and he was absolutely exhausted. My neighbor had a retriever, 6 years old, who he took mountain biking with him everyday. The dog would always trail a little ways behind. Till one day the dog collapsed and died of a heart attack trying to keep up with him on one of his faster rides. We can't even comprehend the kind of loyalty our dogs have. But we need to put a cap on it in situations like these. Just because they can doesn't mean they have to, and lifejackets are a must. Seems easy enough.

Any of you guys ever had bad experiences with your dogs in the raft? i.e. flip, swim, etc.?
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Old 07-18-2007   #37
Grand Junction, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1998
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 58

Thank you for continuing to pursue this matter. It's so easy to throw in the towel, with the intention of not allowing history to repeat itself. Thanks for the energy you have put in.

In regards to responsible dog care, it is a delicate balance, like everything in life. The "safest" is to keep your dog in the backyard with plenty of food and water, room to run and a nice plush dog house with a mattress inside. My dog likes to be with me, and is seemingly very willing to endure physical hardship to do so. She may die a traumatic death one day; she may grow old and arthritic; when she goes to the next place, she will flash her doggy smile and see with sharp, twinkling eyes when recalling our times together. The yard scenario would lead to a drooping head, dull, glazed eyes and a loss of spirit. Often times, the people that give me dirty looks or words about my dog being where she is have dogs locked up at home, destined to a death secondary to adult-onset diabetes.
Until one is committed there is hesitancy, the chance to draw back, always ineffectiveness.
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Old 07-18-2007   #38
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at my house, Montana
Paddling Since: 2020
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Originally Posted by paddlebizzle View Post
Lhowe - I have two labs, and for the most part I agree with you, but get off your soapbox, and stop pissing down my back.
Look, this is a public forum, and you chose to bring up a point I didn't agree with. So if you don't like the conversation you chose to get into, you can get out of it, instead of trying to intimidate me to do so.
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Old 07-18-2007   #39
Fort Collins, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1998
Join Date: Dec 2004
Posts: 129
This crap hits home with me. I'm sorry to say I had a similar experience when I had just started boating, and the outcome was not pretty. Let me just say that I have always had a love and simple respect for all living creatures, and that dogs are some of my favorite people.
A simple pumphouse to radium run seemed like a great way to spend a day with my best bud. He ran along the shore and swam a good bit of the run with us, and wearing a dfd the whole way. We were never in a hurry, he didn't finish with bloody or worn paws, was able to rest several times down the run. Man was I cool, out boating, hanging with my river dog, having a grand ol' time...
One very unfortunate thing happended to him that day, he swam down the one rapid, eye of the needle, I think, got pushed under and must have gotten some water in his lungs. A couple of weeks passed without consequence, then he basically went from normal to a little lazy to dead in several days. Pneumonia. He died on my lap driving to the vet for the third time in two days.
I gotta tell you, knowing that your choices caused the demise of such a great, loyale and noble creature really is no good to live with. If I were to do it all over again, Mr. Kai would have certianly stayed with the truck during my paddling, and without a raft to ride in, I would never even consider bringing another dog along--no matter whose it is. I think anyone who doesn't see it this way needs to be told, and I know first hand just how bad it can be.
I can't tell you all how sad writing this post makes me feel, even though I know that my old boy had a great life for the 6 years he was with me. I hope anyone who pushes anything they love and care about, especially ones that don't have the capacity to make decisions on their own, e.g. pets, kids, etc., to really take a look at the risk vs. rewards of those situations before deciding.
R.I.P. Kai-doggie 1994-2000
What does education often do? It makes a straight-cut ditch of a free, meandering brook. HENRY DAVID THOREAU, Journal
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Old 07-18-2007   #40
Join Date: Nov 2003
Posts: 67
We have a chessie who loves to swim, and dig up rocks at the river. He comes with us to golden and waterton and has a blast. We have taken him a couple of times down Brown's. He wears a pfd, runs on shore part of the time and swims the other part. He seems to know somehow when rapids come up, as he gets out of his own volition and runs on shore. We take our time and wait for him. On not one of these occasions has he had bloody paws or any other injury. He's in really good shape- we go on long hikes and he runs the entire time. He swims in lakes, voluntarily, for really long stretches of time. At the browns takeout, we're more tired than he is... he's wanting to fetch sticks still and play with rocks. I don't know what the right answer here is, but I'm pretty sure he had more fun with us than being tied up under a car at the takeout in 90 degree weather. Or god forbid, being kenneled or something all weekend.

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