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 Post subject: For Lou
PostPosted: February 2nd, 2016, 3:13 pm 
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Joined: July 19th, 2010, 10:50 pm
Posts: 24
I am considering a solo canoe trip this summer. Actually I am planning one for late June. I have spent hundreds of nights in a tent; whether that be in remote tree planting camp or on solo hiking or camping trips. The thing is that this time I’m scared.
My dog Lou passed away this summer (June 26) at the age of 15 and Lou had been my constant companion and travel mate for many years and thousands of miles. He was always there with me from the swampy, buggy bush of northern Alberta and the wet rainforest coast on Vancouver Island to the Hopewell Rocks on the east coast. He had many a showdown with bear, porcupine and skunk, losing all to the porcupines and skunks while always managing to chase away the bears. He was a second set of eyes and ears and I always knew that if a bear did decide to raid my tent while I was in it that bear would have to handle a furious and very capable 45 pound Staffordshire Bull Terrier that could crush golf balls with ease but would let any baby or child pull at his ears and poke at his eyes.
Not only am I scared of spending the nights out in the open and vulnerable without my backup Lou, but I am also scared of being lonely. Lou was with me through my twenties and early thirties. We were a pair and as far as we were concerned we needed nothing else. With Lou I was never alone. Enter my wife and family only with the gracious permission of Lou. And now I am headed out to where only Lou and I would roam; to the solitude and solace that only nature brings.

RWC.


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 Post subject: Re: For Lou
PostPosted: February 2nd, 2016, 4:23 pm 
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Joined: October 16th, 2008, 9:20 am
Posts: 1369
Location: Oshawa
Your post touched me RWC. My best friend and canoe partner is of similar breed to your Lou. He is the perfect canoe dog and I will not venture into the bush without him. Best friends for life.

Anyway your sweet post got me in the heart. Thank you for sharing. Maybe when the time is right you could rescue another one of those wonderful dogs and show him the perfect life for a dog.

All the best and thank you again for sharing, you must have so many wonderful memories with him :)

Sam

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 Post subject: Re: For Lou
PostPosted: February 2nd, 2016, 4:53 pm 
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Joined: November 20th, 2014, 5:29 pm
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Location: Horseshoe Valley, Ontario
It's an adjustment for sure. I've been without a dog since my 14 year old black lab passed on November 11, 2014. It's the first time that I've been without in 32 years. I travel outdoors solo now and I've embraced it, at least until the time comes to welcome another four legged companion into my life. For now, my wife and kids will do. :)

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 Post subject: Re: For Lou
PostPosted: February 2nd, 2016, 6:43 pm 
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Joined: December 19th, 2006, 8:47 pm
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Location: Rattlesnake Pond ME
Dogless you will be fine physically but mentally you'll miss your dog each day of the trip.

I have never soloed with my dog..( she is now deaf) and she is fine with that. She stays with a dog cousin whom she likes.

But then my dog is a doofus.. She ran up to a bear at home to play and chases moose and fervently thinks every porkie wants to be her friend.


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 Post subject: Re: For Lou
PostPosted: February 2nd, 2016, 9:14 pm 
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Joined: November 7th, 2010, 4:35 pm
Posts: 264
I don't have any answers or suggestions for you other than to wish you good luck.

Sadie is my partner and it's rare we're ever apart. She comes pretty much everywhere I do, including work and solo canoe trips (the only kind I do). It's really something special when you and your dog get to know each other that well. A lot of trust on both sides and the ability to (usually) understand what the other expects without making a big deal of it.

Sadie would never come close to stopping or slowing down an attacking bear but she lets out a hell of a warning and bluff if she sees or smells one. Knowing you have an early detection system does help with peace of mind.

I'm sure I'll keep going solo after she's gone but I do wonder what it will be like and if I'll enjoy it as much. Certainly won't enjoy it as much but hopefully enjoy it enough. Having a good dog around for conversation and comic relief means a lot.

I took my first real canoe trip the summer after I lost my previous dog. I wrapped his collar around the thwart behind my seat before shoving off. Made me smile when I'd hit a patch of rough water or go down some rapids and hear his tag tinkle behind me.

Best of luck with your trip.

Alan


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 Post subject: Re: For Lou
PostPosted: February 2nd, 2016, 9:39 pm 
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Joined: June 20th, 2001, 7:00 pm
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Location: Port Coquitlam, BC
Thanks for the post RWC, brought back some very fond memories of the different Golden Retrievers I often soled with while they were still with us. I found I was fine without them but often caught myself thinking they'd like this campsite or even talking with them as if they were there. One was a more hang around campsite dog who liked to chase squirrels around camp while the other I had to watch bit more as she was very curious and tended to wander more. I found I did more ambitious and tougher trips without them plus I got to use my hammock 8) It's been my experience with all my dogs that Lou will always be not too far away.

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 Post subject: Re: For Lou
PostPosted: February 4th, 2016, 7:02 pm 
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Joined: October 22nd, 2014, 5:46 pm
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Location: Toronto
There's a small island on Provoking Lake in Algonquin that is a short swim from the East-side campsites that has a geocache in an ammunition crate dedicated to the memory of Tonka, another eager canine camping companion. I did not know Tonka and I did not expect to find his memorial on that island, but it was touching.

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 Post subject: Re: For Lou
PostPosted: February 5th, 2016, 11:44 am 
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Joined: June 29th, 2011, 7:46 am
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Location: Toronto
RWC: touching post, it really is. Wishing you all the best!


weeoak: I've featured the Tonka memorial on my website and just recently (this last December) I was contacted by the owners of Tonka who were ecstatic to randomly find my memorial page for their pup! I'll be updating it shortly as the owners provided additional info and even a few pics of Tonka herself.

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 Post subject: Re: For Lou
PostPosted: February 7th, 2016, 9:58 pm 
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Joined: December 30th, 2003, 11:36 pm
Posts: 1808
Location: Kitchener Ontario
You will be safe....but you will be lonely.

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"The way of a canoe is the way of the wilderness, and of a freedom almost forgotten." Sigurd Olson, 1956


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 Post subject: Re: For Lou
PostPosted: February 9th, 2016, 10:35 pm 
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Joined: January 19th, 2014, 1:24 pm
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Location: Toronto
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 Post subject: Re: For Lou
PostPosted: March 8th, 2016, 11:19 am 
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Joined: July 19th, 2010, 10:50 pm
Posts: 24
Thanks folks.

RWC.


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