First the question (in case you don’t want to read the rest):
In a seakayak (not sit on top), how does one ‘rescue’ a dog - get it to shore as easily as possible (river, less than 1/2 mile wide, but current keeping dog near middle)
- it was clearly in distress (was still moving, but not getting anywhere in current)
- I could not get it on either deck of the kayak
- did not want to ‘risk’ trying to drag into cockpit (1st removing sprayskirt, then, endangering self with possible flip with no sprayskirt)
I was on my daily (predawn) paddle on the St Johns (near Jacksonville).
While crossing the channel (crossing sides of the river), I noticed what looked like a crab pot float up ahead. Knowing it was ‘out of place’ (in the middle of the channel), I paddled a little closer and realized it was a dog, weakly paddling.
I decided to try to get it to the shore.
First I just gave it a place to ‘rest up’ for a couple minutes.
After making sure it wasn’t going to bite me, I tried helping it up on deck. It was a bit too heavy for me to lift up (and it is a ‘slippery’ deck, nothing for the dog to grab onto).
I ended up holding onto the dog and paddling (as best I could) with one arm. There was a 2mph current (ebb), so I had to get to shore as quickly as I could - I was aiming for the ‘Fire & Rescue’ station (I thought it would be open - as the last time I was there (to report a ‘body’ on shore), they were open (predawn)).
Don’t know why (the lights, the current, whatever), but the dog kept trying to go the other way. As I was much closer to the north side of the river (fairly close to Metropolitan Park), I kept turning him around. This slowed me down quite a bit (and was quite exhausting - one armed paddling is quite slow).
Finally, I made it to the other side, at this point, had drifted just beyond Met. Park, and was approaching shipyards - not a place to be drifting into.
The dog got to shore, sat a few minutes. I got out of the kayak and (carefully - it’s a carbon boat) brought it up on the sharp edged rocks (hopefully) just beyond the water (noting it was ebbing, but one big boat wave could do it in).
After getting out, the dog had gotten up and left. Thinking it was gone, I thought my job was done, and I could get back in and go.
I walked up the craggy shoreline to a field above. As I was turning around to leave, the dog came running back.
So now I decided to walk it up to the Fire&Rescue. Took a little while as the dog ran behind fences and couldn’t get out, ran after a cat, finally made it to the station - but no one was there (too early - about 4:30am at this point).
So, I decided to go back. The dog (as I expected) followed me. Nearing my kayak, there was a fisherman there (with the 2 cats that were chased, earlier). ‘Dog’ decided to stay with him as I went on to leave.
(hope the owner finds - I left notes in the local craigs lost & found and facebook lost and found)
I don’t know dogs, but this is what she looked like (though, no spot on head, did have large spot on hind quarter):