If you have dogs, you know just how hard it is to leave them behind for any amount of time. Whether you’re going to work or out with friends, knowing your four-legged friends is on its own back at home is so sad. Retired orthopedic surgeon David Bahnson loved going kayaking but thought his pups might like to come with him, so he built a special boat so they could join in on the fun.
To be fair, Bahnson does live in some pretty beautiful surroundings. He and his wife Linda live in Vermont and are surrounded by some beautiful green trees and scenic lakes. Why shouldn’t the dogs get to enjoy that too?
Turns out, the dogs are living their best life! “They seem to love it,” Bahnson told The Dodo. “They get excited when we’d pull the kayaks out and see that we were going.” That makes so much sense. Pups love being out and about, especially with their humans.
To be honest, this is a pretty genius design. Bahnson got inspired when he realized that one of his dogs, Susie, could fit pretty easily in the baggage compartment of his kayak, which he built with a kit from Pygmy Boats. He then put a “coaming,” or a ring around the opening, to ensure Susie could stay dry. When they got a second dog, Ginger, Bahnson made the second change so that she could come too.
The dogs took to kayaking like fish to water, so to speak. “They are trained to get in the kayak themselves on command. They sit down, and off we go. When we come ashore, they’ll stay seated until I tell them it’s OK to get out. They never hopped out into the water, actually,” Bahnson said, adding that the dogs are strong swimmers regardless. “We’ve seen other people kayaking with their dogs, but they usually have them in the cockpit with them. That’s kind of awkward, so this just worked out better,” he said. “They each have a little dedicated space, and they just sit and enjoy the ride.”
Sadly, both Susie and Ginger have since passed away. However, it’s so wonderful to know that they had such an amazing life full of adventure and fun with the Bahnsons.
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