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Stand-up paddling with your pooch

Stand Up Paddling with dog
Photo: Julia Cumes


For most people, exercising with their dog means jogging or trail hiking together.

Miranda Kielpinski, 21, hits the water with hers, taking her Siberian Husky, Glacier, stand-up paddling.

“It’s the ultimate test of trust between us,” says Miranda Kielpinski, 21, who grew up on Cape Cod and is a self-described fitness freak.

The first time Miranda took Glacier paddle boarding, she stepped onto the board, then stepped off and led him gently onto it. “He seemed to know what to do right away,” she says. “Every now and then he’ll shift his weight and I’ll shift mine to keep us balanced. We’ve seen some wonderful wildlife together—fish jumping, turtles swimming, great blue herons, deer on shore, and lots of ducks. Even though Glacier’s a hunter by nature, he’ll just prick up his ears a little. He never jumps off the board to chase after them,” she adds.

The irony is that Huskies are known to be hyperactive and untrainable. The key behind Glacier’s calmness is the amount of exercise he gets every day. Between running next to his owner while she mountains bikes, hiking with her in the woods an average of three hours a day, playing with other dogs on the beach while she surfs, and running around while she works as a landscaper, Glacier has such a strong bond with Kielpinski through exercise that paddle-boarding together seems perfectly natural.

“It’s also a great work out,” Miranda points out. “I’m paddling more weight, but mostly I love sharing the experience with him. It’s just one more cool thing I can do with my dog!” —Julia Cumes