Teaching Alice to Kayak

As a way of background, if you are new to my blog.  Alice is a Chinese Shar Pei I rescued several years ago.  I have been adopted by many rescue dogs over the years and I tend to find a breed and bring several into my life until I move on. First it was Labrador Retrievers. The rescue turned into a dumping ground for breeders’ overflow.

Then it was Boxers.  There is nothing in this world like the face of a boxer to melt your heart.  Unfortunately, that rescue was incapable of recognizing when dangerous dogs needed to be put to sleep, so deserving dogs could find homes.

I now find myself with two lady Shar Peis.  Both were breeding bitches in a former life and have openly abandoned motherhood for total spa life.  I do the best I can by them but the breed inherently had expensive problems with eyes, skin and food allergies.  This is all brought on by human intervention, mind you.  So I suck it up and feed the most expensive food in the world and do my best to keep them happy.

Alice turned five this year. She spent the first two years of her life in a cage, making puppies.  She is fiercely loyal to me and inordinately suspicious of all other humans. This loyalty, does not translate into “golden retriever puppy eyes” kind of love. It’s more the “I trust you not to screw us up too badly” kind of love.  The other day we went away for an overnight.  It was a great adventure for Alice. She had me all to herself, minus the three cats and my other Shar Pei, Dahlia.  She was a perfect houseguest.  Until it came time to kayak.  I climbed into my vessel and had help loading Alice in.  She wedged herself in the space between my legs and the seat, gave me a dubious look, and finally settled down.

By the next morning, I managed to load her without any help.  She plopped her fifty pounds of ballast into the boat and off we went.

Trust me Alice

Trust Me Alice

You and I can do this

I’m reaching for my paddle, you and I can do this…

IMG_1478

I’m proud to look like this brave dog, wrinkles and all…

I’m not sure she liked it enough to ask for her own boat.

*Photos courtesy of Lauren Garofalo Riccio

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