This year, more than many in the recent past, I have had a strong urge to go fishing. When opportunity allows, I have loaded my kayak into the back of my truck, headed to one of the old strip mine pits, and spent a few hours seeing what lurked in the waters.
A few years ago, I purchased an "Ultimate 14" kayak from Native Watercraft. It is an excellent small fishing boat as it is a hybrid between a kayak and canoe. It is open, comfortable, stable, and is excellent for either one or two people. On this particular occasion, I decided that my fishing buddy would be Sherman, my 2-year-old beagle.
Maggy, now 5-years-old, is a little soonerhound princess. Her mission in life is to occupy the softest spots on earth, preferably bathed in sunlight, and be a fuzzy little receptacle for love.
Maggy hates water. On a recent trip to the groomer, when she realized where she was, she squatted on all fours, spread her hind legs, spread all 20 toes, and had to be dragged bodily into the "grooming house of horrors." Not a good candidate for a fishing trip.
Sherman on the other hand, for better or worse, wants to be wherever I am; probably some sort of dysfunctional co-dependancy. So, after the kayak was loaded, I tied a 25-foot line to his harness, tossed his blanket onto the passenger side floor of the truck, and had him jump into the cab.
At the launching sight, I tied Sherman to the truck's mirror while I readied the boat. He happily sniffed the "wild" smells while I made everything ready.
I plopped Sherman into the boat, onto his blanket, as I stepped in. As I sat, picked up the paddle, and prepared to shove off, Sherman jumped out and trotted back toward where he was sniffing. Fortunately, I had secured the 25-foot line to the boat first. He didn't get far.
As the boat glided a few feet out on the water and Sherman was briefly dragged backwards, a pair of fishermen on the bank gave me a very strange look. I called over to them, "He's not really a water dog." One replied, "He would probably be a lot happier fishing for bunnies." Indeed.
As the fishermen watched, I pulled the line in until the nose of the kayak was on the gravel and Sherman was in the water up to his belly. I loaded him back into the boat and quickly paddled off.
Arriving in a likely spot, I started to cast. Sherman was a bit uncertain, but OK.
On the second cast, I hooked a small mouth bass. When the fish was landed I held it up to Sherman as it flapped. Thinking that a dog bread to chase down small creatures as they run and hide, a flapping fish would be interesting to him.
Nope, after a brief look and sniff, he turned up his head and seemed to say, "Harumph, that's cat stuff." He then proceeded to ignore the fish.
Over the next couple hours, various points and coves were explored, but no other fish were caught that day.
Upon returning to the launch, Sherman hopped out and immediately trotted back to where he was sniffing.
I loaded the boat back into the bed of the truck. As I secured the gear, I noticed Sherman rolling in the weeds. Always a bad sign.
We went home with all of the windows down. Sherman, as proud as he could be, was enjoying the wind in his face while he was covered in something disgusting.
I guess he wanted to make sure I knew that fishing was not his thing, unless, perhaps, it was for bunnies.