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Updated: 08/14/2014 08:00:00AM

Best friends on and off the water

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By Paige Bakhaus

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Water and animals have always been a part of my life. I don’t remember a time that I haven’t been drawn to both. I’m the girl who, when told no one could take me to the neighborhood pool one day at 6 years old, discovered that a plastic tarp and a garden hose in the back of Dad’s pickup truck would make a swimming hole good enough for me. And when they found me playing aqualung in the back of the truck, I was with General Lee, my best friend and favorite dog in the world. Someone should have known then that I would one day make my living by being on the water, and animals would be a huge part of that life.

It’s 40-something years later and I can honestly say that the most magical experiences of my life have happened on the water involving animals. Water is still the place I feel most at home. Anyone who knows me knows I’m going to retire on a, boat but the joke is that it’s going to have to be an ark because of my love for animals. And our animal paddling family has recently grown again. Our two Yorkies now have to live with a pig. Yep, you read that right. I paddleboard with a pig.

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