Dogs and Airboats
P. wrote to me with one of the saddest stories I have
ever heard. It has a good
ending though, in that they
came up with options on how to keep it from happening
again. If you have a dog you take with you on your
boat, please read on...
standing over a hog he caught.
had a very special dog. His name was "Brindle". He
was a great companion, he slept with us at night, went
with us on fishing trips, played with the neighborhood
kids, and hunted pigs with my husband (he put many meals
on our table).
survived being cut up by a 150 lb hog, after which I swore
he would never go hunting again until he whined and moped
so much I had to let him go. Don't you know as soon as
Dad said "Load up!" his tail started waggin'
and his eyes lit up! He enjoyed it so much I couldn't say
the next hunting trip they ran through a palmetto bush
full of wasps and after several hours of pulling
out stingers we nursed him back to health again. If that
was one of us we would be in the hospital!
loved to go everywhere with us, hunting, camping, fishing
- didn't matter.
the Lake Washington Dam.
January 26th, the last day of legal dog hunting, they
set out for one last hunt.Because my husband's boat
was leaking pretty bad Brindle and Brandy (the dog who
taught Brindle to hunt) were going to ride in our friends
boat. We have taken the dogs in the John boat and not
tied them, but on the airboat you don't want your dog
moving from side to side as you know this would upset
the balance of the boat, and there's also the chance
of getting into the prop.
his boat sank in the middle of the Sweetwater Canal. We
had always thought if something happened we could get the
dogs loose in time. We all carry pocket knives, and there
were two guys trying to get them loose, but only the top
inch of the cage was visible and the water was cold and
murky and hard to see through.
They were seconds
away - Brindle was still swimming when they got him
loose, but when they got him to the surface they had
to do CPR. Water was coming out, so they were doing something
right, but they couldn't get him back.
three grown men, tough "red neck" boys, cry like
babies that day. I stood there crying with them, but we
still had to get the boat up before someone hit it and
caused another accident.
swore I would not let Brindle die in vain. Some people
think it is stupid to tie your dog in a boat but don't
realize that the benefits usually outweigh the risks.
A dog doesn't know to stay clear of the prop, their weight
shifting can sink the boat or if they jump out they can
been done this way for years, but we put our heads together
to come up with better solutions. Makes me want to kick
myself for not thinking of them sooner, but they say that
necessity is the mother of invention.
- Hold onto the
leash (which is hard to do when you're driving)
- Mount a J-shaped
hook on the rigging so that the handle of the leash will
slide right off
- Buy cross ties
for horses (you can get two for $11 at any feed store).
They are made for quick release - with one pull they
will snap loose for you, but the animal can pull as hard
as it wants without releasing it.
everything else that can go wrong on the marsh, you know
it can happen, but you do what you can to prevent it."