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Dog Paddle

I signed up for a beginning kayaking class for Labor Day weekend, at Lake Notoma. We meet at the quiet boat landing at the Willow Creek National Park entrance. It was a nice location, not too many people. A few kayakers heading out form the landing. No speed boats that I saw the whole day just a few fishermen. No one really spending the day at that location; it was just a dock with no clearly defined beach.

We met in a small group of about 8. It was nice that the class was small. The over all class and instructor was actually really great! After getting all eight of us in our boats, pfd's and a short-sweet how to paddle exercise on land, we were in the water. Two hours later we were out for lunch.

After lunch we were back in the water. There were a few more people on shore now: a girl trying to decide if it was worth getting cold to go swimming, and a guy with his two dogs playing ball. Well, as we were all getting ready to get into our boats and paddle off for more of our lesson, one of the dogs carried his ball over to "Sandy" who was in my class. These dogs were super cute, so everyone could not resist petting them, and Sandy couldn't help but throw the ball for the dog. The first time she threw it kind of shallow and close to shore. And, like a good dog would, it got the ball and brought it back, so she threw it out again. However it went out a little farther this time. At this time, Rebecca (another lady in my class), had already shoved off the shore and was floating about ten feet away, port side to the shore. The ball, from its launch point, got blown off course, and directly over Rebecca and the ball landed in the water about three feet to the starboard side of her boat. Needless to say, the very enthusiastic dog jumped in after the ball and instead of swimming around the boat, he struggled to climb all the way over the bow of the kayak to get the ball. All Sandy could do was watch her throw unfold. Lucky the dog didn't weigh very much, or I believed Rebecca would have gone swimming!

Moral of the story… dogs and landing docks - not so buenő...

Submitted by: Kim O. - Elk Grove, CA

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