The Dude and I went fishing recently, and we did quite well out there on the lake in the boat. I was a bit apprehensive about him being on the water, but my fears were unwarranted. He knows to stay out of the water, and he knows what's in the water too.
So far, the Dude is a great catfish and pan fish angler. He can watch me reel them in with the best of them. When it comes to a 10 pound catfish, he loves to lick, scratch and snip at them. He's every bit as excited as I am when I get one near the boat to swoop it up with the landing net.
Humper will respond to the catfish as they jump out of the water. He looks in the direction of the splash and then looks back at me as if to say "what are you waiting for?" He knows those are the animals we're after, and it fills him with anticipation.
When I get some fish in the boat's live well, he'll go over every now and then to lift the top up with his nose so he can peer in. I'm not usually paying much attention, but when the live well lid drops closed with a thud, I know just what the Dude has been up to.
Getting in and out of the boat is about the same as getting in and out of the car. He knows when to get in and when to get out, and he responds well to commands to stay or "saddle up."
Life on the lake with my wonderful dog would be all the better if only he could hand me a beer or a landing net, operate the trolling motor, or pass me some tackle when I need it. For now, I'm just tickled that he doesn't leap into the water to get at the fish.