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Discussion Starter #1
Is this common? Have other people seen this and maybe I'm just too new to the sport?

Last weekend I was with a group that floated Ruby Horsethief. It was an amazing trip. However there was a group behind us in two canoe's and an inflatable Coleman Raft. They didn't look like they knew what they were doing because one of the canoes flipped in a benign ripple on the river. The part that disgusted me is they had a golden retriever with them that they forced to swim the entire run (30 miles).

I am not kidding when I say that I saw them at the put in, then through out the day, and the following day, forcing the dog to swim beside them. The dog had no life jacket, and was whimpering the whole time. He would swim to shore every now and then, but the owners would keep going so the dog would have to jump in the river again.

I saw the dog keep trying to get into the canoe, and the owners took there paddle and splashed water at it to get it away.

Watching it almost ruined my trip. I was going to intervene or do something, but what can you do! This isn't normal right? Have you seen things like this on the river?
 

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Not Normal!
Sounds like animal cruelty. IMO.
No one will speak up for animals unless we do.
If you address the issue with the people directly and get an unacceptable answer then.....
When you get off the river call the police .......Plain and simple
 

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yeah, intervene with a swift kick in the ass.

That's just Fd up. I would have taken that dog. Let him ride in your raft until the take out and then give him to the cops, let them sort it out. Or straight up give them the bum's rush.

I can just hear some white trash shitbag's reply now: "Labs were bred to swim."

People suck. And it sucks that it ruined your trip.
 

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That is definitely f**ked up. Some friends and I did a trip on Ruby with 4 adults and three dogs in a 14 ft raft. One of the dogs was frickin' wired for sound and could not relax. We let him jump out and swim for about a mile which completely tuckered him and made him much more enjoyable for the rest of the trip. This was a dog that swims constantly and is very fit and he was toast after 15-20 mins of swimming (with the current). I can't imagine forcing a dog to swim the entire distance.
 

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Some people deserve to suffer

I would strongly urge to you take action. We have 4 dogs (2 labs, 2 goldens), and other "retriever" people always snicker when we talk about our dogs PFD's. They also snicker when I talk about how I've taught the dogs to stay in the boat, they aren't allowed to jump out willy nilly. Just because they can swim doesn't mean they know what they are getting themselves into.

The difficult thing is that they would not have been receptive to any agressive action, but too bad. I would have taken the dog and let the people know that they can have the dog back when they get out and swim the whole way themselves. I can swim too, doesn't mean I am going to swim the whole way, or even run along the shore. Ever try to keep up with a boat along the shore? Try rock piles, debris, trees, any rattlesnakes in the area?

If they are abandoning their dog by refusing to provide it with safe passage, I think you are totally justified in taking it into your boat. I'd then book down river so they can't keep up and keep the dog. All goldens want is to be with their people, actually they are happy with anyone who will love them.
 

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MUST DO!!!!

That whole area is under BLM protection land. Contact the BLM personal and give a full description of what they looked like, gear, anything that could be useful. If they were in a Colman raft and couldn't canoe well, more likely they were from the area and could do it again. Rangers patrol that section regularly and perhaps even saw and handled them. Anything that could be useful, give to the authorities. That is Animal Cruelty!!

The Field Office in Grand Junction is:
970-244-3000

Please call them and give that information!!


-Mesa State College Outdoor Program and Whitewater West rents canoe's for the Grand Junction area, could check with them to see if any canoes were rented out, leave that for the BLM, but let them know about the two places-
 

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Ouch, thats frustrating stuff to hear. Definitely not normal. I can imagine all the other dog people on here feel the same way. Yeah, shoulda just taken the poor guy into your boat and called out his owners for being dipshits. Unless they were bigger than you.

If the owners are reading this, you are a dipshit(s).

<------BSOE, See this lab? He was bred to swim and carry the biggest logs he can find. But dont let his white trash, nascar name fool you(or his Darth Lab costume). He's never been allowed to just swim next to the raft or my kayak. Dogs dont know the safety swimmer, downriver feet first position. I'd think they could easily entrap a paw or something in shallow places.

Poor dog.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Thanks for the responses. I will call the rangers today at lunch. Thankfully I know they are from Denver and rented their canoes from Rim Rock Adventures. With a little description, they should be able to nail them.

And yes, they were much much bigger than me and drunk and 4 of them, so I didn't feel ready to take on all of that on the middle of the river.

I was thinking about trying to pick up the dog with out them noticing, but I couldn't get close enough to him on the sly.

I'll let you know if anything comes of it.
 

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I wish I would have been there:evil:.
Take the dog and regulate the assholes if they said a word otherwise. Sounds like they had no water skills to catch you. Imagine the life that poor pooch must lead off the river if they are that blind to what they are doing.

h
 

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FLOW,

You:

A. Dressed your dog up like Vader and
B. Quoted Dwight Schrute

You are the coolest person ever in the world. May the force be with you. The dark side, of course.
 

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The more people I meet, the more I like my dogs. Last summer we had a tuber here in Durango, thinking he was smart, attach his dog to rope and drag him down the river. Of course, when he hit Smelter, the rope got hung up and the dog drowned. And the kid didn't even really give a shit. Dogkind definitely deserves better than these low-class parts of humanity.
 

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dogs on water

well, before you all go calling everyone, i'd just like to interject a little -

my dog, sampson, loves the water, and he too, has swam all of ruby horestheif, along with numerous other float trips (with pfd).

He also whimpers often while doing it. now before you guys come after me with guns blazing, let me tell you that the dog whimpering in my case at least is due to his stress as our group gets further and further apart. we have the same issue when we back country ski - he sees other groups miles away, and immediately wants to go run to them, and cries some - i assume because he wants everyone to stay together, even other parties that i have not met and do not know.

so before you all make any moves to get government agencies involved, and outlaw dogs on rivers, keep in mind that some dogs are prepared for swimming 30 miles, and do enjoy it.

obviously this particular instance seems to be cruel, and i'm not defending these guys, just saying that this case doesn't warrant a blanket rule about keeping dogs off class I/II water. Also remember that a dog whimpering does not necessarily represent physical distress, and dog mental stress, although not preferrable, may be unavoildable, and may be less suffering to the dog than staying at home and being lonely.

just my 2 - S
 

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A good rule of thumb for pets is do not expect them to tolerate or be able to do anything you are incapable of or unwilling to do yourself. B/C pets loves us they will often do things for us in spite of pain and discomfort......... and that doesn't mean that it is not cruel to expect a pet to swim 30 miles. Can you imagine swimming 30 miles. People train years to swim like that.........
think about it
The English Channel is only 21 miles and it's on the news when someone swims that....
 

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I could swim Ruby. Not saying that'd be my choice mode of transportation through the canyon, though :).
 

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Could you swim it with no PFD and keep up with rafts and canoes?
If you say yes I will set up the trip to watch you do it
Beer in hand
 

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Dogs

This case sounds extreme and I would never go on a trip and force a dog to swim that far.

BUT. I had a chocolate lab that was more duck than dog. He was kind of heavy set dude. He appeared to have a layer of fat between his skin and muscle and he literally floated with his entire back at or near the surface. I would take him over to an irrigation ditch where I lived and he would jump in and swim against the current just sitting there in one place. He literally looked like he could do it all day long no matter the temp. Used his tail like a rudder he looked like a little boat moving around. It was therapy for him. When I would call him out he would shake off, look at me with this goofy look and would not be breathing hard at all. When retrieving sticks sometimes he would take on water and he would kick in this almost bilge pump hack and water would just come shooting out his mouth while he still had the stick. Never slowed him down a bit.I swear, it took more energy for him to run than to swim . I mean the bloody thing had webbed feet.

I still get choked up when I think about him, he was a good'n.
 

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Beer in hand
Mine or yours?

Being as I sense myself slowly sinking into trouble here, I'd better make myself clear :D.

I still think I could do it. But I doubt that I could keep up with the rafts. Personally, I'm debating on the PFD: it would be nice for flotation and resting, but I feel that it is harder to swim with a PFD (especially on flatwater). Given the choice, I would go most of the way without it with the ability to don it at intervals.

Question: Was this group doing it as an overnighter or not? Because camping halfway would make it a hell of a lot easier. If it wasn't an overnighter and I have to swim straight through, I would probably start about 6AM (I swim about a mile an hour so this would put me at Westy midday the next day, with daylight to spare, just in case).

When I say that I could do it, I don't mean that I want to. I.E. it would take some motivation (who wants to start bidding? Proceeds to AW? Beer to Me?). Hell, I'll even paddle Westy afterwards.

Okay, despite making light of the situation, I agree with the rest of the posters that, in general, this is definitely abuse and deserves some karmic retribution.
 
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