The two best things I did this summer? Got myself up to the zone of totality yesterday—now I get why people chase eclipses because holy wow what a mind melter—and bought an inflatable paddle board.

About half the people in Boise drive around with a board (or two) strapped to the roof of their car, which originally got me thinking about it. And then I saw a guy with a large dog on the front of his board. After a little research, I found out that inflatable boards—which is what I needed to get— are the best for paddling with dogs. Also important is that paddle boarding is a great outdoor activity for older dogs; other than the occasional swim, they don’t have to do much other than lounge on the bow and it’s easy to keep them cool.

It took me awhile to follow through on the purchase, but I’m so glad I did. It’s helped me meet people including one friend and her senior dog who have become our regular paddle buddies. Last time we met up, we got to talking to another woman and her dog, and now we seem to have formed a senior dog paddling squad.

If anybody’s on the fence about SUP vs canoes or kayaks…I’m now a SUP fan for its versatility (stand, kneel, sit, or lie on your back) and for its ease of balance with a canine companion compared to canoeing. Also I can manage to transport it all by myself!

Above are a few short videos of our first two outings. Sound is off a la old home movies.