Sunday was Father’s Day, but it was also my dog Sara’s (named after the dinosaur on Land Before Time) third birthday. After a family barbecue, my sister and I tied two kayaks onto the top of my car and went for a sunset paddle on the Mokelumne from Lodi Lake.
Sara started kayaking with me last year, mainly in the swimming pool. The first time I took her kayaking was stupid on my part. We launched in the ocean. Yes, early in the morning at Dillon’s Beach, right where Great Whites breed. Smart, right? The tide was so low and the water very fast. We were out about 20 minutes but I got freaked out when Sara almost flipped when she got spooked by a buoy, and my paddles kept getting caught in seaweed.
Now, we go in the Mokelumne, where the only thing that can eat us are mosquitos. Sara loves to ride too, and especially likes when we stop at Mason Beach so she can play with other dogs in the sand. She wears her life jacket not because she can’t swim, but because I worry that all of her wet hair will weight her down if we were ever to tip. And, it keeps her warm at night when we hit waves from boats.