David Bahnson loves kayaking almost as must as he loves his dogs. So when he saw how easily his golden retriever, Susie, fit into the baggage compartment of his handmade kayak, he decided to bring her along for a paddle. And when Bahnson and his wife, Linda, welcomed another dog, Ginger, into their lives, it seemed only natural to find a way to bring her along, too.
Bahnson, a retired orthopedic surgeon living from Vermont, had built kayaks for himself and his wife using a Coho Kayak Kit from Pygmy Boats. To accommodate Susie, Bahnson had added coaming (which is a raised border) to the baggage compartment to keep her dry. When Ginger came along, the doc ordered another kit and built this kayak with a similar custom-made baggage compartment toward the front of the boat. There’s no leg room for a person to stretch out, but it’s perfect for a dog to sit or lie down.
“They seem to love it,” Bahnson told The Dodo. “They get excited when we’d pull the kayaks out and see that we were going.”
Susie and Ginger were also trained to get in and out of the boat on command and to sit very still when there was rough water from a wave or the wake of a larger boat.
“Our dogs have always loved to travel with us in cars, in my airplane, in boats,”Bahnson told HuffPost UK. “Building a way for them to kayak with us just seemed like a logical choice, and the boats are fun to build anyway.”
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Sadly, the two dogs that Bahnson originally built his custom-kayak for — Susie and Ginger — have passed away. But it’s safe to say that they had years of adventure and bonding with their human companions before they went. And now, a new golden — Piper — is taking over the family tradition. Looks like she’s in for miles and miles of kayaking fun.