President’s Notes – The Ominous Stump
John and I put the dogs in the car, the boats on the car roof, and headed down to Bullit Run last Saturday for some relaxing paddling. After a brief walk, we put on our life vests (dogs included). We spent 45 mins on the water. The smaller dog, Indy, a 45 lb herder mutt, fits nicely in John’s wide-cockpit kayak. He lies down and relaxes on our outings. Bethie, the 65 lb sight-hound mutt who can be quite intimidating at times, sits in my solo-canoe; she is always alert and likes to shift her weight around as she tries to get a better look at what might be “out there”.
Close to shore is a tiny stump of a tree poking out of the water. I noticed that Bethie was fixated on it, so I paddled closer for her sake. When I put us right beside it, the water lapped against this little stump, and Bethie jumped back toward the other side of the boat, nearly tipping us! Then, of course, she tentatively stretched toward the stump, only to repeat the quick recoil, tucking her body in tightly against my legs. Between my laughing and her sudden shifts, I am surprised we stayed upright. She kept a close eye on that stump as I paddled away from it.
Later, I paddled to shore and she and I walked through the shallow water toward the terrifying protrusion. Bethie was well ahead of me – ears up in curiosity and concern. She got very close and suddenly whooshed away from it in a wide arc, looking back toward the stump as if it was not only following her but catching up! She repeated this two more times before I went to the stump and touched it, showing her it was all hunky-dory. I don’t think she was convinced.
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