No Risk. No Reward.


Golden Retriever who doesn't like the water at Cape May.

Honey: This feels pretty risky to me. The Mom: It's a lot less risky than being the fat, pasty girl in a bathing suit.

Yesterday I mused on our different fears about our dogs. And how each of us fears some types of risk more than others.

But life is risky. And a life worth living is even more risky. Physical challenges, traveling, and even falling in love all entail risk.

I’m trying to figure out what’s acceptable risk. And when to avoid it and when to embrace it.

If I had been the fisherman in this video, I probably would have had my dog tethered to the boat for safety. Or I might have chosen a route that would take me away from the whale to avoid risk of capsize or injuring the whale. But then I would have missed the experience of these two dogs and their person.

And that would be a shame.


Best City for Pet Travelers

My nomination for Cape May, NJ as the best city for pet travelers is just your vote (and yours and yours) away from making it into the final four.

So head over to the brackets at the Go Pet Friendly blog and cast your vote for Cape May over St. Petersburg as best city for pet travelers.

Your dog will thank you. After all, where would you want to be in July if you had a fur coat? Cape May with an average high temperature of 86 degrees and a cool ocean breeze? Or St. Petersburg with an average high temperature of 90 degrees locked up in a stuffy bay?

I think you know what to do. Go vote.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...


  1. The video is incredible. Water is not my comfort zone though I am a good swimmer; I like the prairie. But those dogs seemed comfortable enough.

  2. That’s awesome!

  3. Very cool! Thanks for sharing that video.

    I think we need a little risk in our lives. As you say, if we’re too conservative in our approach to risk, we run another risk – the risk of not having fully participated in our own lives.

  4. The appropriate amount of fear is an interesting thing to ponder. Like you, I would have stayed well away from this whale and missed the experience. Rod, on the other hand, would have done exactly what this guy did. It’s funny though – when we were deciding whether to make a MAJOR shift in the way we live, I was all for it and Rod was more tentative.

    Tim Ferris says in his book “Four Hour Work Week” that most people choose unhappiness over uncertainty. We read that and vowed not to be counted in that group, and so far thing have worked out better than we expected. When you’re contemplating something that scares you, I think it’s important to imagine the best possible outcome. We’re so used to thinking about the worst case scenario that we usually only do that and then stop ourselves from going forward. We completely forget about the best case scenario! Once you’ve imagined both, think about how realistic they are. I find that my best case scenario is usually pretty realistic and my worst case is completely crazy. For example, my worst case is that we’ll be destitue and living in cardboard boxes … but we have our saving and the ability to work. In actuality, our worst case scenario is that we’d have to stop traveling and get jobs to pay our bills. Ummm … not traveling and having jobs to pay our bills is where we started out!!! Really, what did we have to lose?

  5. This is amazing! What an unforgettable experience for this person and his dogs. Opportunities for something so life-affecting don’t happen very often and it’s wonderful he could embrace the moment. Like you, I would have avoided the situation as much as possible. I never would have let my dogs jump in!
    It’s so hard to know good risk from bad. I guess that’s why it’s called risk. 😛

    Thank you for pledging to vote for Halifax! Things aren’t looking good this round but at least I know I did my best! Cape May will always have my vote, no matter what.

  6. Wow, what a video!

    I’m not sure how I would have reacted. Part of it definitely depends on how confident and reliable those dogs’ swimming skills are. Part of it is weighing whether the whale may or may not pay attention and take care if they were in the water. Boating next to a whale, though? If nothing else, I think that was all right. And awesome.

  7. What a beautiful video. Sometimes we need to just listen to the wisdom of animals. They seem to be far more in tune to the universe than we are. While there may be risks, a life fully lived is one with risks.

  8. What a moment! Such a cool video.

  9. I love the query you pose, and the video. I am a very anxious person and I would have been fearful of being in that boat next to a WHALE myself, and certainly would have been anxious about my dog JUMPING IN! Goodness, what if the whale ate her?? But it is a wonderful exercise to consider what if we opened ourselves up to a certain calculated risk. I’m assuming this person was very familiar with whales, his dogs, the water currents, etc….lol I am not very spontaneous am I?

  10. Ditto Peggy Frezon.

    I would definitely have stayed clear away because I’m one of those spoilsports that don’t believe boats/tourists should get that close to wild marine animals unless there’s a jolly good reason for it (personal enjoyment and experience not being one of them).

    The Other Half, on the other hand, would probably have jumped in as well and tried riding the whale.

    Don’t orcas eat seals ? Over here, we’re pretty careful about dogs in the water because sharks often mistake them for seals and chomp.

  11. I voted this morning! I’m still afraid my head might explode if Halifax and Cape May go head to head, though!

    That video is pretty darned cool! I’m pretty sure I’d have a death grip on my dogs so they couldn’t get out of the boat, but those two seemed fine with it.

  12. Whoa- I would have been very nervous and I would have NEVER let Cali jump over – that whale was huge!! Amazing!!!

    I voted for you :) But I must tell you that Portland, Oregon is a very comfy average temp of 81 in July . . .I’m just sayin :)

    Thanks for sharing the video!

  13. Great video! And dogs swimming with the whales (sort of) – what a sight =) Taking risks is what adds color and dimension to life. Who wants to leave this life knowing they never really lived it? The level of risk is up to each of us, but we should be open to new things. Be bold! It’s my new motto ;-D I would have taken my boat close, yes I would have worried about misjudging and those propellers, but I think the awe of proximity would have taken over.


  1. […] at Something Wagging This Way Comes, we get No Risk No Reward and a picture of Honey in the water and a video of a cross species meeting. I also wanted to […]