It all started on a stormy morning in September 2010. As the students of K3 and I busily made our final preparations on Girls Dorm Beach, Lucky collapsed into the sand with a sigh–a forlorn puppy. She knew the drill well and had been perfecting her act for several semesters, hoping that somehow she could either convince us to take her along or, at the very least, to prevent our departure. But this was not going to be her semester. We paddled into the 20 knot winds despite her dejected gaze pulling on our heartstrings.
It was as challenging a first day paddling as I have seen. The wind kept turning the kayaks around, the choppy waves were spilling over the bows and into our hatches, and the constant threat of lightning meant we had to hug the shoreline tightly. Shouting was the only means of communicating. I can only imagine the mixture of confusion and elation Lucky felt when she realized that we were still within sight. Bouncing on her front paws and yelping in short bursts, she pleaded her case once more from the shoreline. And this time she would not take no for an answer.
After two miles of her following us from shore, we realized that we had acquired an additional team member. Since then, I’ve been careful to plan for her participation in the 3-day kayak trips, and due to a unique situation last semester, Lucky had the opportunity to join an 8-day kayak trip, too. One condition of her participation was for her to keep a journal or her experience, which I share below. Congratulations puppy!