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Puppy’s First Paddle

Crappy weather, sprained ankles, and crazy work schedules aside, we’ve managed to get outside and have a little bit of fun recently.

Including taking Willa Jean for her first paddle.

We loaded up the boats and, at the advice of a friend, headed over to Lake Everest in Wilmington for an afternoon on the water.

I had never even heard of Lake Everest, but it’s a great spot. Pull up, unload, drop the boats in the water, and off you go. There’s also a public beach and swim area. And it’s only 20 minutes or so away.

We got her fitted into her PFD (puppy flotation device) and I promptly got the side-eye – as in, “Seriously? What do you fools have in store for me now? You do realize I am still just a baby, don’t you?”

But as soon as we started talking in really high-pitched, excited voices, she was all, “Heck yeah, that sounds like FUN! Let’s DO this!”

So we tossed her in the Hornbeck with Dave, thinking a canoe would give her a bit more room to get comfy. She was pretty concerned about this turn of events.

But seemed to settle in okay, despite her incessant whining and crying and carrying on.

And then she caught a glimpse of me, floating about 15 feet away in my kayak. “Wait, there’s MOM! MOM! OVER HERE! Mom, WAIT, hold on! I’M COMING!”

And we held our breath as she scrambled over the side of the Hornbeck and swam her little puppy heart out over to me.

I scooped her up and she settled in with me for about a minute, but then she caught a glimpse of Dave. “DAD! WAIT, DAD! DON’T LEAVE ME! HERE I COME!”

And, again, we held our breath as she flailed her way over the side of the kayak and back into the water to swim over to Dave.

This time, he caught the action on camera. Please note the evolution of my facial expression. I think it will provide a nice window into my psyche.

You can imagine how the rest of the afternoon went. We didn’t get a whole lot of paddling done.

And this picture speaks 10,000,000 words.

I hope she forgives us sometime soon.


  1. hideawayhill

    I used to take my dogs to Lake Everest once in a while to swim, but have been going closer to home. It’s a lovely spot. I will be following Willa Jean’s antics on your blog and hope to see lots more pictures! She looks just like my grandpup did at that age! Bookmarked!

  2. Lake Everest, an Adirondack Paddle | Towns and Trails
    Lake Everest, an Adirondack Paddle | Towns and Trails07-07-2010

    […] our first trip to Lake Everest resulted in less paddling than we would have liked, we went back for a second time sans puppy so we […]

  3. Jan ONeill
    Jan ONeill07-08-2010

    Your mom sent me this knowing I would love it. What a keeper! She is absolutely adorable. She sure loves you guys, you are definitely her people. Does she like to swim with you? Loved it.

    • Jessica

      Hi, Jan! She is most definitely a keeper. She doesn’t love the water yet, but she’s getting better. We took her swimming in the river yesterday and she went in on her own a couple of times, but she gets nervous. We’re hoping she learns to love it.

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