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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
so, I have a 10 year old St. Bernard. He is going blind in his L. eye, arthritic all over, generally not doing too well.
I have taken him on numerous river trips but im starting to be concerned for this summer.
I have many trips planned and dont have doggy sitters that i can utilize, meaning my doggy will be coming on some of the easier, 2-3 day trips. he is being kenneled for the harder whitewater trips.

My question- any tips, tricks or suggestions for bringing a slightly blind and overweight doggy on mulit day rafting trips. I'm sure once he is lying on the gear pile he will chill out, my concern is the greying of the eye has definitely started to mess with his depth perception and spatial awareness. Sucks,
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I'd get a doggie ramp for him to make it easier to get on and off the boat. My wife has one for her aging dog that can't get up high enough to get in the back of her 4runner
 
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My last lab was almost totally blind in his later years. Didn't seem to affect him much. He just slowed down, so he didn't bump into things- fast.
He was small enough that I could lift him in and out of the boat, and once on, he just slept, same as he did when he was young.
Occasionally rolling off the gear pile in deep slumber. Which was probably funnier for me, than for him.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
My last lab was almost totally blind in his later years. Didn't seem to affect him much. He just slowed down, so he didn't bump into things- fast.
He was small enough that I could lift him in and out of the boat, and once on, he just slept, same as he did when he was young.
Occasionally rolling off the gear pile in deep slumber. Which was probably funnier for me, than for him.
Thanks
your post has provided me with some reassurance that i have many more fantastic river days with my blind and obese river dawg.
I will just treat him like that really drunk buddy, who i love to party with but i know i gotta keep my eye on him while on the river.
 

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One of my goldens (we boat with 3) rides during rapids in the rowers footwell. I started doing this because she gets a little bonkers about water/bubbles/sticks, and I can keep her calm that way. It is a great way to boat with the 3rd dog, and it might help your pup too? It is the most stable ride, so the calmest, and she really settles down and likes it. Almost no splashes to the face also. The big question is if you can row that way with your configuration? I only use one captains box now so there is plenty of room for her down there, and we've done this both in a 14' raft and our current 15.5'. I would also bring a "long line" if his visions issues cause him to wander. A 25' strap works great, or anything else that floats and is not small diameter. This way he can settle down but still have freedom to move, and a strap (or other larger diameter floating rope/webbing) isn't going to burn people's legs if he suddenly wraps around them. As the dogs get older, I also add in warm weather clothing for them and even a rain jacket, but that is obviously breed and dog dependent. Those old dogs tend to get colder than when they were in their prime, especially when wet and camping. Bring booties for paw cuts or just sore paws. Enjoy rafting with your pup! Old dogs are THE BEST.
 
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