Picking Up More History at Paddle for Paws

The novice dragon boaters setting out--all for the dogs!

Today The Animal Guardian Society (TAGS) hosted a dragon-boating fundraising event. It was a blast! Scott and Garrett of Alkame spent an hour and a half teaching us how to dragon-boat, and then we split up into two teams and did a 250 m race. Our team didn’t win, but we had a whole lot of fun—and the best part is that we helped raise money for TAGS! Wes (my husband) was supposed to attend, too, but this morning Cora ate a dead bird (more about that later), so he had to stay home on vomit-watch.

After the dragon-boating, however, he brought Cora, Dusty, and Hogan to the TAGS post-event barbecue at a park just a short distance from the marina. There were a few other dogs there—Winnie, Lucy (I think), and Eddy (a Havanese who’s up for adoption from TAGS)—so we weren’t sure how Hogan would do, but he did really well! Eddy didn’t approach him in the right way (he approached him face to face instead of from the side), so Hogan snarled at him, but it was just a short snarl, and then it was gone; Hogan sniffed Eddy, and all was fine. It was a relief to see, because on our walks, Hogan’s often shown a “Let me at ‘im” attitude (he is a terrier, after all). After today, I feel much more comfortable with the idea of bringing Hogan to events with us. And Kathy from TAGS has encouraged us to enroll Hogan in her obedience class, so we’re starting that on October 8—yay!

Dusty, of course, was fine with everyone, human or canine. He had fun playing with Eddy and Winnie (or was it Lucy?) and enjoyed seeing his foster mom, Louise, again. Louise told me a story about how in that very park, Dusty was nearly attacked twice by an owl, who had swooped down toward him. As always, Dusty had his nose to the ground, so he was oblivious to the ornery owl. Louise rushed him off to her car and brought him home, safe and sound and never the wiser.

Cora was cautious today, as always, but she did really well, too. She came to some people when they called her and was petted by many without showing nearly as much reserve as in the past. It’s always good to see her pushing beyond her comfort zone even if only a little bit.

Also at the barbecue, we spent some time talking to Sue, the person who picked up both Dusty and Cora (at separate times) after they were rescued from Kentucky. She was able to give us more history about both dogs. Dusty was actually born in the pound. His mother was dropped off there and gave birth there. All of Dusty’s siblings were adopted out, but Dusty remained. He was there for eight months or so, and then TAGS rescued him before his time was up. Sue also told us some pounds in Kentucky have “doggy drop boxes” (similar to a library book drop box), and that’s how Cora ended up in the pound. Either someone had found her and brought her there, or her previous owner had decided to do away with her and dropped her there. The pound put her on the “euthanize” list. Fortunately, TAGS stepped in and brought her to Canada. And the rest is history.

So, it’s been a great day! We helped a wonderful organization raise money for saving more dogs; I learned how to dragon-boat; we discovered more about Cora’s and Dusty’s histories; Hogan interacted nicely with other dogs; and so far, Cora’s foray into eating wild poultry has proven harmless. Other than my suffering some sore muscles (a good sore, though), today deserves an all-round two thumbs up!

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