Northern Michigan’s Summer Power Zone

Dog Days

For Mike and Kirstin, dogs are essential ingredients for a sublime day at the lake/shore interface. Why? “Dogs just have so much fun that they help inspire fun in people,” says Kirstin [Important side note: Even Mike and Kirstin, our own spirit guides to the world of watery fun, have their own spirit guides to that realm, wisely choosing to learn from the pure and simple, Zenlike, present-moment ways of pooches.]

The Gorneys take two dogs, Belle and Sola, both yellow labs. The funniest dog thing is when Belle, an 80-pounder, leaps off the boat and lands on Kirstin as she floats in her inner tube. “They just love to be with you in the water or go on shore and dig up rocks. We also throw the football and Frisbee for them,” Kirstin says.

Tips for Dogs at the Water

• Don’t let your dog jump off the boat until it is securely anchored.

• If your dog is unpredictable, keep it leashed. (Power Island park rules require leashes on dogs.)

• In general, people don’t like your dog’s poop. Pick it up.

• Let your dog play with the pack—they love it!

• Keep an eye on your dog, and if it seems exhausted from swimming, get him to rest.

• If your dog’s tail droops strangely after a long day in chilly water, he/she might have “cold water tail,” a condition in which cold disables certain tail muscles. The condition is uncomfortable, but temporary and will go away in a couple of days.

Do Dogs Get Seasick?

Yes, a bouncing boat can throw off a dog’s inner ear equilibrium just like it can yours. If your dog gets seasick, try this: don’t feed him a meal before a boat trip, and just before you go, give him a pure-sugar candy like a Jolly Rancher (never chocolate—can be poisonous!). Otherwise, talk to your veterinarian about medications.  4

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