A small preface. This week's article is written with a fair bit of satire and is meant to be read as a children's story. There are so many different dog breeds which all excel at different things. Many, many different breeds are phenomenal companions for backcountry canoe camping, but which dog is the top dog of canoe camping in the BWCA? Follow along with us as we explore some of the humor found in deciding which one is best!
Way up north, just south of Canada but only just, is a magical land where the water is the deepest shade of blue, the stars so bright they feel right next to you, and ancient trees reach up towards the sky. And on one of these lakes called Ogishkemuncie sat a man name Bob all nice and comfy, but Bob was sad and he couldn't even figure why.
Now Bob paddled his canoe alone, he liked it that way, since he had lots of time to think throughout the day, but sometimes he wished for someone else to share.
So the second Bob returned back from his trip, he started looking for a dog zippidy zip, but what kind to choose, there's so very many different breeds...
A Portuguese Water Dog with its wonderful webbed feet, for paddling a canoe, it's hard to beat, but what if it loved the water too much to ever get out?
A Labrador Retriever could bring Bob firewood, and it'd keep bringing sticks as fast as it could, but what if it wanted to keep the sticks for itself?A big, strong Newfoundland is good for the portage carry, and doesn't think the mud is all that scary, but Bob doesn't want to be covered when it comes in for a hug. An Old English Sheepdog is all sorts of furry, and in the tent could serve as a pillow without any worry, but that lovely pillow would soon be full of burrs! No burrs for the Hairless Terrier with its coat so sleek, and it dries out fast after a fall in the creek, but a short-haired dog would soon be covered in bug bites.A St Bernard could pull Bob through the portage if he fell asleep, up over the rocky valley or hills so steep, but what if they ever had to switch places? A Norfolk Terrier you could carry on your back, it might even fit in the pocket of your Portage North equipment pack, but is it so small that the bugs would carry it away? A Norwegian Buhund is great at finding the trail, and so smart it could maybe read the map if Bob should fail, but think how everyone will laugh if Bob's dog is smarter than him? A Husky woudn't mind if the trip had bad weather, and could help raise the bear bag if hooked to his tether, but would it ever tire out when Bob was ready to sleep?So Bob sat back, tired and frustrated, would the perfect breed ever come no matter how long he waited? It seemed that the answer just couldn't appear.
Then at the shelter Bob met Scruffy, he was medium and grey, kinda odd looking and fluffy, and that's the moment that Bob finally understood.
It wasn't the shape or the size, color or weight, it wasn't the breed or the breeder that makes an adventure dog great, it's the relationship that person and dog share.
So what's the best breed for the BW, just learn from Bob, don't let the question trouble you, it's whichever dog can join whichever person for adventures unlike any other.
And if person is smiling in the stern and dog is smiling in the bow then that's the perfect match no matter how, and that then is just the perfect dog.