Travels with Django
Travels with Django
By E.M. Fredric
Before I share our recent harbor kayaking in Ventura - I'd like to take a moment to show you this amazing little guy who brightens my world - he absolutely refuses to not be taken seriously and he lets me know. The lessons I get from Django never cease to amaze me. Everyone should have a G-Dawg or loaner dog in their life.
I often wish, while observing him, that I could be as in-the-moment as he is. He never gives up. I've seen him scale a very tall tree - between where the branch limbs meet - at over six feet high to go after a squirrel. The squirrel won but watching Django was a reminder of the thrill of the chase. I had no clue he could do that. But he doesn't seem to limit himself - another lesson to look at for me, again and again.
If the world were filled with more Djangos - it would be a happier place to hang in.
Before our recent heat wave, literally days before - I was asked if I could watch him for a few days. Ahh what torture, right?! I made a plan to go kayaking this time because when Django sees me he knows the familiar and knows I'll take him somewhere new. We help each other out in so many ways.
Los Angeles beaches aren't so dog friendly and I knew Ventura and Oxnard areas are so I rang the Channel Islands Kayak Center and was instantly told to come any time after opening at noon and Django was welcomed! Thank you to Mike Lamm! Joseph set us up but first we hit the beach.
Here he found a ball, rolled in the sand, went squirrel hunting. He remembers the sand/rock squirrels are over on the beach by Ventura Pier from past daily excursions. Django is a smart four-legged guy but he was very disappointed after racing all over and not finding one, not one squirrel to chase... Next time.
We moved on to grab lunch and an ice cream cone that we shared. He likes ahi tuna and avocados too. Again, MY kind of guy. He got mad at a little bird when given a small bit of waffle cone and chased it off. Ahh so territorial - reminds me of the two-legged guys.
Then it was off to kayak - Django's first time on board the single kayak we had. He loves boating but the sea, like me, he loves the most - for different reasons... SEALS.
Django has been in boats before and a SUP with me a few times - our next trek before the Fall hits full stride. The kayak he was just mesmerized and wanted to get into the water. Later, I dunked him in the water to cool him off and made sure he was fastened loosely to me. He's not one of those cavalier dogs - he's always up to something - like a toddler. One blink and he's gone after something. He dove off my SUP in Marina Del Rey once thinking he could get on the dock to get to the seals. I made sure he never got behind me.
We started through an underpass of pirate faire against the rocks before making our way to the waters between the slips/ More importantly, we moved to the echo of loud barks that Django knew were his seadawg friends he wanted to play with. The problem is, they're gigantic and gorgeous and as the sea lions looked at us - Django shook in anticipation. He didn't do his normal whining or barking. I paddled us up to one dock where 11 were sleeping, one baby nestled near her mother. A few left bubbles near the kayak - they swam that close underwater.
Django and I had a blast. One man cruised by in his boat with his two little dogs barking and yakking away at Django and called out, "He's not paying any attention to my dogs!" I laughed and said, "Look behind you - THOSE guys are who he's interested in!" Two sea lions, one laying down the other sunning, lazily glanced our way - blinking with those enormous brown eyes - then closed them. They're used to being admired.
We'll be back to Channel Islands Kayak Center!
I'm new to the sport of kayaking and this is a one-stop shop for other water vehicles for rent and guided tours. Plus, they are really nice and incredibly accommodating. Thanks Mike!
Django is one of my best mates and my G-dawg. He doesn't belong to me but we love each other. He's an amazing, athletic little guy who can scale 6ft. or more over fences/trees, flies over rocks and will nail a rabbit, frog or fly if allowed to take chase by land, sea or air! G-dawgs are like grandkids - not expensive and you can hand them back when you're done.