Thursday, June 11, 2009
One Man And His Shadow
(westernmorningnews.co.uk - June 11, 2009)
"Watersports enthusiast Dave Stewart is used to turning a few heads when he goes out on his kayak. But it's not the sight of the Royal Marine commando, against the backdrop of the Royal William Yard, Plymouth, who grabs most people's attention, so much as the 55kg dog at the bow.
Shadow, Mr Stewart's one-year-old shaggy black Newfoundland, is as happy on the water as he is on dry land. But he admits the sight of the giant dog at the front of the kayak is a little incongruous. 'We usually go out and potter round Torpoint or go down as far as Mount Edgecumb', said Mr Stewart. 'If we go anywhere near the Torpoint ferry we do get a lot of people looking at us sideways. Some people nearly drive off the road when they see us.'
Despite their size, Newfoundland dogs are a breed used to working on the water's edge and were originally trained to haul nets in for fishermen.
Mr. Stewart, a father-of-four, decided to see whether Shadow would take to the water by ferrying him around shallow areas of the Tamar. 'I wanted to make sure that he would be okay if he fell in and that I could rescue him. But he loved it. If he's on the kayak and he wants to go in, he just goes in. Normally he just likes to sit up at the front and look like he's in control of the boat.'"