Muskoka Road Trip With A Dog

I saw a photo of our Godson Nick paddle boarding with a beautiful puppy. It looked like they were having so much fun and they both looked really fit. Nick is a med student going into his final year in Ottawa and has always been sporty and active. It turns out that he was on a road trip with his dog. They were enjoying their first visit together to a lakeside cottage in a gorgeous Ontario area called Muskoka.

Nick & Dog Paddleboarding

We are privileged to have a series of beautiful lakes north of Toronto and west of Ottawa to explore- actually we have some in every direction. Check out Discover Muskoka for more information. On several occasions, Muskoka has been recognized by National Geographic Traveler magazine as a special place to visit. Muskoka is one of their top 20 Best of The World – Must-see places and was chosen as the #1 pick for the Ten Best Trips of Summer. Recently it was recognized as one of the ‘100 Places That Can Change Your Child’s Life.”

Lake Muskoka is about 2-3 hours away for me and I am debating taking Kilo with me in July.

I asked Nick to do a post about his adventure for FitDog Friday and share a few more photos. He graciously agreed:

Nick’s first lake adventure with his Labrador Retriever

In May, my girlfriend and I got a puppy, 5-month-old Guinness. We did a lot of research on different breeds and decided on a chocolate lab from a responsible breeder in North Bay (I grew up with a beautiful Golden Lab Jessie, who passed away recently).

Nick and Dog

I was lucky enough to coordinate a week vacation despite a hectic schedule at Med School, so my girlfriend Alana and I packed up the Jeep and headed east on the beautiful drive to Alana’s family cottage on Three Mile Lake in Muskoka.

Nick's dog asleep in car

This was our first real trip with Guinness. Being a lab, he was a dream in the car. It seems he’s always happy to be confined in a space with his owners. He did not appear to be bothered by the blasting music and snoozed happily.

First boat ride! Guinness had a blast the whole time. With the rush of wind and his ears flopping all over, he was wagging his take from start to finish.

Nicks dog swimming

We introduced him to the water off a beach and made sure he could swim (it did not take long- he was a natural). Then we got him chasing the frisbee…He got an amazing workout swimming and running in the water. (see related Talent Hounds post here on the benefits of swimming)

Nick's dog retrieving in lake

After his swim, I decided to put his balance to the test as we went for a ride on the paddle board. Paddle boarding is great for the core. He eventually settled and passed out for a nap.  Somehow I managed to stay dry.

Nick & dog paddleboarding2

Then, after a long day on the water, we crashed in front of the fire, ready to do it all again the next day.

Nick's dog by fire

How will you be spending you weekend with your dog? Check out some inspirational stories on the Fit Dog Friday Hop :



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  • Looks like such fun!

  • Mom would love to try paddleboarding with Bailie and or me, but we don’t know where to do it around here. It looks like so much fun and a good workout.

    • Profile photo of Talent Hounds

      I am surprised they don’t rent boards on your beautiful lakes. I thought I saw some paddle boards but maybe people owned them. I tried but fell in quite a bit. I don’t think Kilo would enjoy, even with a life jacket. XS

  • That looks wonderful! I just know neither my pug nor my Boston terrier would sit still on a paddle board. I’ll have to enjoy these photos instead of trying this out for myself!

    Jean from Welcome to the Menagerie

    • Profile photo of Talent Hounds

      Me too Jean. Kilo the Pug would not be a happy camper. I have seen Boston Terriers doing water sports I think but wearing life jackets- they often have great balance. Have a great weekend. X Susie

  • Wow – welcome to the Hop – we have an affinity for Labs – especially chocolates as our first dog was a beautiful little chocolate girl named Sally. She’s OTRB now, but she would have enjoyed all those adventures that Guinness is enjoying!

    • Profile photo of Talent Hounds

      Us too. Cookie passed a few years ago at 13 from cancer. She was a beautiful, very fit golden lab. My husband ran with her nearly every day for most of her adult life. XS

  • Thanks for visiting my site. I always had yellow lab mutts (strays the kids brought home). They are great family pets. But, when my husband died and I moved from the country to the big city, I found a Shih Tzu at the animal shelter. It was a year long adjustment. But, Honey has turned out to be a grand companion. She has me trained now.

  • That looks like such fun! Barley and I are both so klutzy, though, that I would for sure end up in the water!

  • Guinness must have been a tired, happy pup at the end of the vacation 😉 I would love to try out paddle boarding with the pups ~ I have a feeling that our girl Missy would be particularly great at it as her balance is really good!

  • If Mr. N went paddle boarding, he would cling to that board for dear life lol. He does not like being in the water at all!

    • Profile photo of Talent Hounds

      Yep- I’m with you- that’s why I got the guest post from Nick and Guinness as they had such fun. The look of terror on Kilo’s face if I forced him to go, would not inspire anything but a report of animal cruelty I’m sure. I am going to test him with a little baby splash pool though and if he likes it I’ll get him a life jacket for the beach up north.

  • Hi Y’all!

    That looks like fun. Here the water is too warm to do anything but take a bath. You can’t even cool off in it.

    We had a cold wave come through last night and it got down to 26C (79F) and wasn’t supposed to get back to 37C (100F) until Monday, but instead it was 39C (102F) today. So…my plans for the weekend are to lay in the cool air conditioning with my Humans.

    Don’t forget my new home is I’m still workin’ on it. I’m tryin’ different formats. I have a new one since my move. It is radically different from anything I’ve had before.

    Thank you if you have already given me feedback. If not, I would like to know if you like it.

    Y’all hurry on by now!
    Hawk aka BrownDog

    • Profile photo of Talent Hounds

      Hi Hawk- I tried to message you as I had trouble commenting and could not find share buttons when I visited earlier this week. Wanted you to know have been popping by. X Susie

  • I love this post and the photos are incredibly cute.

  • What a great adventure! Beautiful photos.

  • Thanks for sharing this great post! Looks like it was a wonderful adventure for both dog and human. Guiness is so beautiful, and I’m not surprised he was a natural in the water, since he is a Lab. Love the photos!
    Love & Biscuits,
    Dogs Luv Us and We Luv Them

  • Oh wow! Awesome adventure with Guinness. Looks like he had a blast!