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Bondi Falls in Love with Water

As the resident city dwellers of the Ruffwear ambassadors, there is no shortage of activities nearby. When we find ourselves bored, it’s an easy 5-minute walk in any direction to grab a cup of coffee, a bite to eat, or roam a nearby park.

Even with all the city has to offer, it’s easy to feel stagnant and the once-fun activities become less exciting. Then you pile on working from home, your favorite Netflix show released a new season, or just staying in for the evening to save a few bucks, and it’s easy to get docile and lazy.

That’s even more true in the Pacific Northwest, where the winters feel long and every birthday wish is for just one extra day of sunshine. No matter how lazy you feel, the sunshine around here makes you feel obligated to get outside and soak up some rays.

Our favorite way to celebrate the sun? Grab some water toys and head out to one of our nearby lakes or waterways.

Dog on paddle board with two other paddlers nearby in a city

When we first got Bondi, she acted like a cat around water. We were lucky to get her to put her feet in before running away to dig and put her nose in the sand.

However, she’s overly curious and has a serious case of FOMO (fear of missing out), so it was interesting to see how she approached our kayaks, paddle boards, and canoe during our first summer together.

Knowing she wasn’t a fan of the water, our first order of business was getting her into a life jacket. Then, we were off on our first trip to the lake on our kayaks.

It only took a few minutes before her curiosity got to her, and she was standing on the edges looking down into the water, pawing at any debris or bubbles that floated by. She was a little nervous about the balance aspect (and so were we), but she quickly got her sea legs. For us, it was an instant love of a newfound activity to enjoy together, creating memories and laughter that couldn’t be made any other way.

Dog and man in a canoe on a lake at sunset

The next year, we started counting down the days until it was warm enough for shorts and a t-shirt, which always meant it was going to be a water day. Bondi still wasn’t interested in going into the water to swim, but she was ready to board her watercraft as soon as it was taken out of the car.

That same year, we moved into the paddle board scene, and it quickly became our favorite way to get out of the house on a sunny day. We can barely get the paddleboards blown up before Bondi is jumping on top. She loves to stand at the very front, acting like the captain of the ship and directing where to go next.

Dog in life jacket and man on paddleboard

That’s also the year she started to learn she enjoys swimming after a few mishaps of balance caused her to fall in. Now, she jumps between paddle boards, spreading her joy and excitement of being out on the water.

It’s difficult to describe the sense of calm and joy of gliding on calm water on a warm afternoon. Even the worst day at work can be remedied with a quick trip to the lake. It is what drives us to turn off the TV, get off the couch, and get moving again.

Dog stepping from one paddleboard to the next

The first paddle of the year is always a guaranteed core memory. The cherry blossoms are starting to fall on the water surface, everything is still clean from the recent rain, and everyone’s mood is lifted tenfold from the recent sunshine after the dark winter.

Bondi of course can’t sit still for one second watching the ducks, pawing at the water, and leading the course to explore a new part of the lake.

Going out on the water isn’t just about the fun though. It also helps create a better bond and new training experiences. It’s definitely a crash course in balance for the both of you, but once you get the hang of it, you’ll surely impress those around you.

Dog in canoe looking down into man floating in the water by the canoe

Let’s not forget it’s great exercise as well. Bondi never sleeps better than after a day of being on the water. We started with a dog who would barely put a paw in the water and now she gets excited just watching someone jump in on TV.

Creating new experiences with your dog and watching them develop new passions is tremendously rewarding. We encourage everyone to get out and let them try new things. Who knows, you might find your new favorite activity!

Our Gear List for Water Activities:

Dog wearing Ruffwear Float Coat Dog Life Jacket in a canoe

Cory Wiley-Godoi, Rafa Wiley-Godoi, and Bondi are city dwellers that crave outdoor adventure. While sunshine and beaches are the preferred destination, all of them enjoy waking up in a tent deep in the forest. The ever-changing conditions keep things spontaneous and always ready for what Mother Nature throws at them next. Follow them on Instagram @bondi4paws.