Salva Vida


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Safety is no laughing matter folks.  Yesterday Monk and Lily set forth safely wrapped in their life jackets for their maiden kayak voyages.  Why only these 2 of the 5 you ask?  Seriously…I can’t kayak with FIVE dogs people. These 2, being the youngest, are the most excitable about partaking in their Mommy’s super fun time adventures….the others know better.  I see the looks exchanged while they silently communicate “Oh HELL no, she’s gettin’ out costumes!”  Monk can’t be bothered to consider the consequences of being the chosen one.  He takes too much pride in puffing out his chest to anyone that tries to come too close while I ready his leash.  “Be gone peasant!  Mommy has made her decision!”  Lily just can’t help herself and relishes in any form of attention which is why she and Monk are the most common partners in crime.  Leashes clipped, life jackets, water bottle and collapsible bowl all packed (panic sometimes results in dehydration)…tails in the air, off we go!

It started out like any other walk across the street to the beach.  Excitement bubbling over.  There really isn’t anything funnier than watching 2 dogs with legs this long running and playing on the beach.  They know the routine.  Leashes secured until we are safely across the street and at the end of the sidewalk…perched on the edge of that super soft sand, aka the racetrack! And they’re off! Lily like a little bolt of lightning.  Sometimes I half expect to see her front half leave the ground like a Monkey La La.  My little Monk is a tad less graceful.  His physique does not the support the speed and agility that he imagines he’s generating in an effort to keep up with his sister.  He’s just not built for it.  Actually, I don’t know what he’s built for!  Regardless, I still shower him with praise over his (attempted) athleticism…as any good mom would do to a child that is putting forth such an effort.

Now, I will pause here to mention that I recruited assistance from my operations manager (aka my teenage daughter)….just in case anything went amiss and didn’t turn out to the perfect outing I envisioned.  While the dogs were excited about the walk over, she was less than bubbling over as she peppered me with questions.  “Tell me again WHY you think this is a good idea?  What do you plan to do if one of them falls into the water?  Where exactly are we going?  How long is this going to take?  Are we taking one kayak or two?  Should we go out when it’s this windy?”  Jeez, give it a rest and relax already!  I don’t know why she has to be so sensible and focus on the details.  Although, she has fallen victim to my bad ideas before, so I guess I can’t blame her for expressing an element of concern.

So…after I inspect the kayaks, I decide a 2-seater will work best.  We take it down off the rack and pull it over to the water while Monk and Lily continue with their laps on the beach.  After their life jackets were secured, everyone boarded our vessel and I angled us out towards the reef.  How exciting!  The dogs were surprisingly relaxed.  Monk was a natural.  Relishing the wind in his face (only because it was windy, not because we were moving at any impressive amount of speed).  Lily was a little more nervous and seemed to fidget more.  I couldn’t see her because she was sitting with my OM, but the OM complained consistently enough that I had to assume Lily could have done without the boat ride.

“How far are we going?”  “Is this going to tump over?”  “Tell Monk to be still!”  It started the minute my paddle hit the water.  Now I should have known on the walk over that I would have been better off setting out on this adventure with only the excited parties in tow.  Despite the OM’s willing agreement to participate, she obviously would have rather stayed home.  Regardless, it was too late.  There we were, out on the water in a kayak with 2 dogs and the wind in our face.  I explained we would paddle into the wind for a short distance and turn around and paddle (easily) back to the shore.  I just wanted to make a quick loop out to the reef, which is NOT far!  Long story short, we never made it to the reef.

After incessant complaining I turned the ship around to head back. But first, I needed a good photo of Lily to include in my story.  I handed my camera to my OM and requested such.  These are the photos that were produced.  She blamed Lily.





As it took ten times longer to take the photos than needed, the wind blew us much further the opposite direction than I cared to be, leaving us in a position to now have to paddle UP wind to get back to where we started.  This was not working out at all as I planned.

Please keep in mind, we’re sitting in shallow water.  I could have abandoned ship at any time and walked back if I wanted, but I’m much too stubborn for that.  Noooo!!  Instead I start shouting orders like, “Row like you mean it!” and “Put your back into it!”  Shouting does not translate to a teenager.  Those of you that own your own teenager are aware of this fact.  But, that didn’t stop me.  The more frustrated I became with her “rowing”, the less effective her efforts were.  I swear she was just dipping the ore in the water to make me mad.  This boat was moving on ONE engine, and that was ME.  Well, I wasn’t having that, so I stopped.  That’s right… like a child, I stopped in a “if you’re not doing it, I’m not doing it either” fashion (a popular parenting technique of mine because I’m  a grown up).  As we continued to argue in 2 feet of water, 30 yards from the shore “Row damn it!”, countered with “I’ve BEEN (past tense) rowing!!”, I look up to see one of the condo dwellers sitting on his patio.  Then, and only then, was I embarrassed.  How stupid must we look?!  If I was him I would have been rolling with laughter at the 2 buffoons arguing on the water in a kayak with their dogs.  At that point I clammed up and started rowing like I was on the Olympic team.  I just wanted out of the water, ashamed at my behavior.  Seriously… it reminded me of the time we decided to partake in a friendly, unsupervised, game of tether ball.  The only difference is, there was no one around to witness that debacle.  We had a spectator to this current circus act.

After we were safely to shore, I dragged the kayak back where it belonged, gathered our things and we started our walk home in silence.  How on earth am I going to turn this into a story about how cute they were in their life jackets?

 The End

 No teenagers were hurt in the making of this story.  We both went about our day as if nothing out of the ordinary happened.

If you want to keep your fur babies safe from drowning, this is what you need.  Safe yet non-binding as it didn’t slow them down on the beach a bit.

Monk & Lily Approved Life Jacket


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