This K9 Kamper is a K9 Kayaker

Honey the Golden Retriever waits to go kayaking.

What’s taking you so long? Get those kayaks down here. My feet are getting wet.

She has curvaceous, strong legs. A slender, shapely waist. And long, golden hair.

Let’s face it. Honey is a babe.

I feel like a schlub walking beside her. Luckily, K9 Kamp has given me an idea.

The K9 Kamp Challenge

The K9 Kamp Kommandants, Jodi of Kol’s Notes and Peggy of Peggy’s Pet Place, challenged me to spend 30 minutes more exercising with Honey 3 or 4 times a week.

But since Honey is skinny and I’m trying to help her gain a little weight, I’ve tweaked the challenge. I need the extra exercise more than she does.

How can I add two extra hours of exercise to our week, bond with Honey while doing it, and keep her from burning any extra calories until she puts some weight back on?

I’ll plan exercise in which I have to work and Honey doesn’t.

Our first activity? Kayaking.

Kayaking at Kamp

Kayaking is the perfect exercise to give me a workout instead of Honey.

  • The extra 45 pounds makes it harder to paddle the boat.
  • Honey’s presence in the front of the kayak means I can’t use my legs to paddle so I’ll work my arms and core harder.
  • And if I get tired, Honey can’t take over without opposable thumbs.

Besides all that, we pull our kayaks on a cart six blocks to our put-in spot and have to carry them down a steep bank to get to the water (and back up the steep bank to return home).

Throw in some angry cross winds and power boats to dodge and you’ve got yourself a workout.

One calculator predicts I burned 971 calories. And that wasn’t taking into consideration the extra 45 pounds in the front of the boat or fighting the wind.

I couldn’t find a calculator that told me how many calories Honey burned watching me paddle. But I bet it wasn’t too many.


Honey the Golden Retriever is a kayaking dog.

I don’t know why you think this is going to be such good exercise. The current will take you out to the lake even if you don’t paddle a stroke.


Honey the Golden Retriever is kayaking down Fall Creek.

See? We’re halfway to the lake and you’re not working hard at all.


Honey the golden retriever passes the Ithaca light house in a kayak.

Ok, I take it all back. That wind was scary. I’ll be glad when we get around the lighthouse and return to my nice quiet creek.


Honey the Golden Retriever splashes in the creek after kayaking.

That was quite a workout. What? You expect me to pull you out of the water?


Koming to K9 Kamp

What’s next for the Kamping K9 and her Kourageous Kaucasian (whew, this alliteration is getting tough!)?

Stop back next week. And join the fun yourself.

After all, if you stop making excuses about exercising, the only thing you’ll lose is your but (and maybe your butt).


Fit Dog Friday badgeIt’s the FitDog Friday Blog Hop brought to you by SlimDoggy and co-hosts Peggy’s Pet Place and To Dog With Love. Join the Hop or just enjoy the links below – lots of fun fitness tips and advice!

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  1. Great effort Pamela! Love seeing Honey being coxswain in the front of that kayak – I hope she didn’t push too hard! Looking forward to other creative ideas you come up with. Thanks for joining the Hop.

  2. FUN! I rode on a kayak/canoe when we lived in HI but can’t stay sitting, I immediately jumped into the water. I rather swim. I see a Golden SMILE … Honey enjoyed it. Lots of Golden Woofs, Sugar

    • That’s the one reason I’m thankful Honey doesn’t like to swim.

      She will, however, stand up when she gets startled (like when we hit a rock or a big wave). I hope she doesn’t pull a “Sugar” and try to jump in if she’s surprised one day.

  3. Mom doesn’t trust me in a kayak or canoe as I may just tip it right over if I get excited about something! Great work out for your mom and I am sure you enjoyed being the coach!

    • Here’s our secret for that issue:

      Our last dog, Shadow, (she’s at the top of the header) rode in a canoe with us and had trouble staying still. It was a mess when my husband was in the rear seat.

      We did much better when I was in the back and I simply shifted my body to make up for Shadow running around the boat. Once we figured it out, my husband’s language got much better. πŸ™‚

  4. Sue at The Golden Life says:

    Love this post! Honey sure looks like she enjoyed the free ride!! I wish we had some place nearby to use a kayak or canoe! It’s great exercise! My Mom and I used to go out in the canoe together back in mid-late 70’s so she could get her exercise and physical therapy after her mastectomy.

    • Even if you don’t have a place nearby, lots of folks rent them. Maybe you’ll get to go just for fun and not for therapy? πŸ™‚

      • Sue Oakes says:

        Renting them isn’t the problem — it’s having a place to use them. The closest “lake” is a minimum of 45 minutes away…I’m just not into driving that far any more unless I’m going to spend at least a few days (rather than just hours) at a place.

  5. Looks like fun – and hard work! 971 calories is a lot!

  6. That looks like so much fun! I used to love kayaking, but my poor neglected kayak has been sitting unused for a while, since I found the idea of bringing the dogs a tad daunting. Maybe I’ll have to give it some thought – 971 calories you say?!

    Thanks so much for kamping with us!

    • Well, my dear, YOU wouldn’t burn 971 calories. You weigh about as much as my pinky toe. πŸ™‚

      We started out testing the kayak on dry land with Honey. It might be a good way for you to see how Kol and Felix react to it. I’ve seen one couple kayaking nearby with a small laundry basket mounted on the top of their kayaks for their small dogs. If you did that, you could probably tether the boys so they don’t jump out.

      • You jest Pamela. I’m sure it would be awfully close!

        That kayak basket sounds fabulous mostly because it would hold both of them. I have zero fear of them jumping out. Neither is particularly fond of water. In all the years they’ve never once willingly jumped out of their inflatable boat.

  7. What a great idea Pamela!! That is really so cool. Does Honey ever get antsy or tired of sitting up like that? I can’t imagine any of my dogs sitting still for that long in any floating device. BOL!

    You two long great!! Have a good weekend. πŸ™‚

    • When Honey was a little smaller, she would occasionally lie down. But she fits better in the confined space sitting. Plus I think she likes seeing what’s going on around her.

      For dogs as big as yours, I think a canoe would work better. But they’re less steady so it could be pretty exciting. πŸ™‚

  8. That sure is a lot of calories to burn. By my figures that’s four bags of M&M’s you can eat on top of your daily calories and you WON’T gain weight. ;0

    • I love a feature in Bicycling magazine where they tell you what you can eat if you ride a certain bike route. It’s a little horrifying to see how far you have to ride to get rid of one doughnut.

      If only I could squeeze in a kayak trip every day and I’d melt away to nothing.

  9. I used to go kayaking all of the time when I was younger, I think I should give it a try again. Honey already looks like a pro!

    • As i mentioned to Jodi, I’ve seen a couple strap a plastic laundry basket to the front of their kayaks for their small dogs. Penny would probably love the view.

      Unfortunately, Luna would have to take Honey’s position and that does get a little crowded.

  10. Looks like fun. We’ll have to try it up north when it finally gets warmer.

    • One thing about kayaking in the north, with water temps of 50 degrees F or below, there’s certainly an incentive to stay in the boat. πŸ™‚

  11. With all of the rain we’re getting in NYC these days, Mom may buy a kayak. The only trouble is I hate the water. She lost the weight and now needs to tone up. Woof, woof.

    How is Honey doing in the weight category?

    • BJ, the point of a kayak is to stay out of the water. At least if you’re doing it right. πŸ˜‰

      Honey doesn’t swim either so I think she appreciates how the kayak keeps her out of the water.

      Honey has always had a good appetite (another reason I doubt she’s actually sick) so she’s eating everything I give her. I got some help from Jodi Chick and Slim Doggy to figure out her actual calorie needs and it appears she’s burning far more than the amount she’s recommended to eat by the dog food company. If only I had the same problem.

      • Thanks for clarifying. I still think I won’t go near the water with her.

        Mom says, she’s with you on the food thing. She just lost 13 lbs, and is still watching what she eats. It’s not so good for because I used to get leftovers, now not so much.
        Mom’s first cat was about 13 when he started to lose weight. At first it was fine because he was a little heavy. But then when he kept losing Mom took him for a blood test. He had hyper-thyroid so he lost weight. The meds fixed that and he lived until he was over 17 and that was in 1979.

        I’m sorry about your weight. Did Pamela take you to test your sugar or your thyroid?

  12. I love how you found the perfect activity for yours and Honey’s needs. It is so sweet to see the care you put into helping her feel comfortable with the activity and I love that you are doing something outdoors together. Thank you for being Krafty and Klever and Kapable K9Kampers! (how’s my alliteration?!)

    • It would be Kriminal to live within a short walk of a lake without spending time on it. πŸ™‚

      And you are just too Kool!

  13. What a wonderfully imaginative way to enjoy your passion for being on the water, spending time with Honey, AND getting in your wanted exercise. You’re thinking all the time, Pam – and putting your conclusions into practice. Lovely photos.

  14. She looks like she is having a great time and you worked really hard – she is your cheerleader! I think I would like Kayaking better than I did Stand Up Paddle boarding . . my feet hurt from standing and I just wanted to sit down . . maybe it gets easier once your body is used to it! 971 calories? Wowza . . I’m getting a Kayak!!

  15. What Great idea! (I really need to start getting some exercise, but there are just not enough hours in a day!)

  16. Whee! That is good fun. My mom takes me out in a raft on our pond. I was nervous at first….but not anymore!!


  17. Looks like you’ve found the perfect solution … and if you get a few pounds on Honey you will burn up even more calories!

    There are times I wish I only had one dog so I could do stuff like this and not have to leave one behind. So I don’t do stuff like this. I do stuff we all enjoy πŸ™‚ Excuse all the ‘stuffs”!

  18. What a great exercise idea! I’m glad to see Honey is wearing her life jacket too. πŸ™‚

  19. Looks like brilliant fun!

  20. We live pretty close to a kayak spot. Like you and Honey, Chester and Gretel are fit and I am not. I don’t think doing a few things with the dogs where I burn calories and they don’t would hurt for K9 Kamp. I plan to get them life jackets and try paddleboarding.


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