With no big plans over the weekend and about 30 garden cucumbers to unload, we decided to take a little weekend trip to Galveston to visit the boys’ grandparents. The boys adore going up to Galveston. The Turkeyman lives there, after all, and the boys get spoiled with praise and pets from their grandma even when they’re being naughty and getting up on the sofa without permission. There is lots of room to run around, a deck in the back, and a porch that wraps almost the whole way around the house — perfect for viewing the golfers sweating in the sun on one side, the dogs in a neighbor’s yard on another side, and the shorebirds hunting fish on a third side.

The epic naps with the Turkeyman are another highlight. Chick has been snuggling with his Turkeyman for years on the sofa, but only this week was Doodlebug feeling confident enough with new friends to join in the cozy fun.

But it wasn’t just the Turkeyman, of course. After a particularly long and vigorous morning swim and run, Chick and Doodlebug played “where’s waldo” under the blanket with mama. You may be able to imagine (and have a peek at) one dog under there . . . but two?

This was our first trip down to Galveston since the boys’ Aunt Disneydog moved on to the next life, and the house felt a little funny without that tiny matriarch’s presence. But Doodlebug took his important role as the family dog whose name starts with a “D” very seriously, and posed for a photo shootΒ a la Disney on the porch, just like she did a few years back:

The highlight of the trip, of course, was kayaking. Both dogs showed off their boating and swimming skills in Sydnor Bayou, fearlessly taking on the wind, chasing birds, and towing the kayaks from the water.

Thanks for a great visit, A & H. And thanks for taking all those extra cucumbers off our hands!

32 responses

  1. Looks like a wonderful weekend! What model kayak are those. I am debating about a SOT or Sit In… I think I could manage to heft Luna in and out since she is just 36lbs… or just run to shore to take her in or out too is always an option. Would be nice to have a sit in for me to go out in when it’s cooler too. So many factors lol, first I need money though.
    Glad you all are living closer to them and can enjoy visits more often now. Enjoy your weather, we are heading somewhere near 110 tomorrow. UGH

  2. Awesome post! Looks like a wonderful weekend! Bentley is getting anxious for his new houseguests – two cats – twill be fun at the VA household for a few weeks while we mess two households together! May need some tips for Chick and Doodle on that challenge!

  3. Great photos (no surprise there). Love how the boys are color coordinated. The Dude seems to have settled in quite nicely – love seeing that. And Chick’s sleepy face when napping w/his mama – too cute!! Too bad Disney couldn’t be part of the fun….hopefully your in-laws are doing well – it’s so difficult losing our “babies”.

  4. Absolutely wonderful photographs! Everyone looks like they were having so much fun, not to mention the naps on the couch were so adorable. Thank you so much for sharing your memories with us, we loved it!

    • Don’t give up, Morgan. These were all taken with a simple little Canon point-and-shoot camera. Keep practicing, you’ll get there!

  5. Would love to hear if you have any tips on how to acclimate a dog to riding in a kayak – and a paddle board for that matter (especially considering the balance required for the latter)! I’ve tried my pretty high-energy lab mix out on a kayak, and she had a tough time sitting still – constantly wanted to jump on and off and didn’t feel totally comfortable in either place. I’m sure we just need to acclimate her to it gradually (and we’re doing lots of other work as well, on controlling her excitement in general and reactivity to unfamiliar dogs, like Grumpy Growlies-type classes, Agility, working with trainers, reading lots of good books, you name it) – but wondered if you had any specific tips for boating! πŸ™‚

    Also – you’d previously mentioned doing some more posts on dog reactivity – not sure if that’s still in your plans after focusing on just a couple posts a week – but I’d love to hear more. Especially how you reached a point with Chick where he could hike politely off-leash with other dogs!!

    Wow – think this is the first time I’ve ever posted a comment to a blog – clearly, I went a little long!! Love, love your blog.

    • Hi Patti,

      Good question. It is certainly more challenging with energetic dogs who like to swim. Both of our boys are a little skeptical of water, so it’s not hard for them to stay on board. They are also quite lazy. We actually find the SUP to be more stable than a kayak for dogs. Both our guys have an easier time staying still and relaxing on a SUP!

      Agility is great practice for kayaking since they have to learn better balance. The teeter in particular is great, and if you can find one, a wobble board. Just walking back and forth on it will help a dog learn to adjust its balance to stay steady.

      You can also try training your dog to lay on a particular mat, and bring that mat with you kayaking. Use one of those no-slip shower suction pads or a folded yoga mat — both will create good traction for a dog’s paws. After you’ve trained your dog to go to the mat and lay on it until you release him in the house, you can train it in the yard, then in the street, then in a kayak on dry land. When he is doing a good job, offer tons of praise and rewards! When you are ready, you can take your mat to the kayak in the water. Pick a still day and just float for a while without paddling. Offer lots of praise and calm, slow petting. Let your dog get out and swim if he/she wants, and then practice getting back on the boat (a life jacket is wonderful for this). You’ll be pros in no time!!


      • Thanks so much, Aleks, really helpful!! We’re headed up to “the lake” today, armed with a new bath mat from Target!! πŸ™‚

  6. So much fun! The dogs looked right at home there, which is so lovely to see.

    Disneydog was supercute and I am so sorry to hear of her passing. I am sure your family loved having canines around the house again to make things just that much more interesting.

    Thanks for sharing all these summery photos!

  7. I have a “pocket pittie” mix that has loved to snuggle under blankets for years. None of my family’s past or current dogs do that. It cracks me up every time she does. I have to say it’s nice to know there are at least 2 more out their who are blanket snugglers. πŸ™‚

  8. Hah, i love the Dude’s “frog legs” in the photo shoot pictures. The couch snuggles look lovely, I’m glad that they’re so welcome with your family. My grandmother, though not actively disapproving, is still rather awkward and not quite sure about this whole “dog” thing.

  9. Your dogs are so cute! They remind me of my own. They always have to be in the middle of everything and they are always together. Great post!

  10. I have wanted to take our boys kayaking for ages but we are a little worried that we’ll spend more time in the water. It’s great to see that it is possible to kayak with them πŸ™‚

  11. I’m glad that you enjoyed your trip to G’ton. We enjoyed having you and you are welcome here anytime. Your veggies were great, even the peppers. I thought that the jalapeno were hotter than the Anaheim(?). Thanks especially for remembering and reminding me of Disney.

  12. Pingback: Chix-A-Lot Friday: My One-Year-Saved Brother the Bug « Love and a Six-Foot Leash

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