Dogster is reader-supported. When you buy via links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission at no cost to you. Learn more.

Penny’s Kayaking Adventure: Why I Take Her With Me

Written by: Savanna Stanfield

Last Updated on July 8, 2024 by Dogster Team

Penny's first real kayaking experience.

Penny’s Kayaking Adventure: Why I Take Her With Me

Hi, I’m Savanna! Read my introduction to learn more about me and my spunky Chihuahua mix, Penny.

Small dogs have a reputation for being extra possessive of their owners, and Penny is no exception. I don’t know if she knows that I’ll protect her, or if she thinks that she has to protect me. She doesn’t suffer from separation anxiety if we aren’t with her, but she does like to be with me as much as possible.

I first found out how much my dog is possessive of me when we went kayaking for the first time after getting her. Or, I should say, the time we went kayaking without her, and she didn’t take that very well at all. Here’s what happened.

Our Summer Weekend at the Cabin

My brother-in-law and his family have a cabin on the Little Tallapoosa River in Woodland, Alabama. For a weekend during the summer, we rent out the cabin and my family gets together to hang out, grill, fish, kayak, etc., typical summertime things.

The first summer we went down there after getting Penny, we decided to bring her with us for the day so we didn’t have to leave her at home. There were plenty of family members to play with her and help keep an eye on her, so my husband and I decided to go kayaking and leave Penny behind. Or so we thought we were leaving her behind…

File this under photos taken moments before disaster.
File this under “photos taken moments before disaster.”

Penny’s Big Swim

We weren’t planning on being gone for too long, so we kayaked up the river for about 10 minutes or so, then kayaked back down the river to our starting point. I guess Penny’s possessiveness over me got the best of her, and she didn’t take too well to us being gone and out of her sight for a little while. As soon as we got back into her sight, I heard a splash, looked over, and here comes Penny swimming toward me in the water. There was nothing my family could’ve done to stop her; she was determined to get to me.

Penny can swim, but she doesn’t like water, so for her to jump in the water and start swimming toward us, she was obviously very concerned for our safety. Of course, she didn’t know that we were totally fine, but it got to a point where she started to struggle with swimming. The water isn’t super deep or wide, but deep enough and wide enough that a small dog like Penny that really isn’t adapted for swimming could struggle easily.

Obviously I was scared to death watching her struggle to swim to me, so I started paddling as fast as I could to get to her. I finally reached her, and thankfully she still had her harness on so I was able to easily pick her up by the harness and put her into the kayak with me, so I didn’t have to worry about capsizing trying to scoop her up. But I would’ve done it if that’s what it took to save her.

So anyway, there was me and Penny, this dripping, soaking wet little Chihuahua mix that looked like a drowned rat, in the kayak paddling back toward the riverbank. After we made it back to the bank safely, and after what was a traumatic experience for me and I’m sure for Penny, too, I decided that was enough kayaking for the day. Penny took quite the nap on the way home.

Penny's post-traumatic experience nap on the way home.
Penny’s post-traumatic experience nap on the way home.

The Next Summer

The next summer that we went to the cabin and went kayaking, I decided to bring Penny along because I didn’t want a repeat of the previous summer’s incident. We didn’t have a doggy life jacket for her, so I was just going to put her in the kayak with me and stay really close to the bank, just to get her used to being in the kayak.

She actually did really well. I held onto her collar when she got close to the edge, just in case she tried to jump out. But it was smooth sailing, or rather, smooth kayaking. I think she was just glad to be with me, to “protect” me while out on the water.

I plan to take Penny on many more kayaking adventures with us once we get her the proper safety gear. You know, just in case she decides to go for another big swim. But I think as long as she’s with me, she’ll be fine.

PangoVet Image Speak With A Vet Online

Get Dogster in your inbox!

Stay informed! Get tips and exclusive deals.
Dogster Editors Choice Badge
Shopping Cart


© Pangolia Pte. Ltd. All rights reserved.