A Week In Eau Claire Lakes With Our Dog Jake

Jake the golden is a dog that’s always up for exploring. He’s got stamina and grace making him the perfect adventuring dog. We decided taking him up to the northern woods in Wisconsin would be a perfect setting for him and us to have a blast.

The Long, Long, LONG Ride There

It was going to be a 6.5-hour ride. Now, we hadn’t taken Jake that far from home before or on that long of an adventure before either. He’s always excited to go for a joy ride. So, the first part of the trip was fine. There was some whining and frustration about halfway through. That’s when we started to lose it a little. We finally made it and all three of us were ecstatic to be out of the car.

First Day In The Woods

After our long journey, a few beers, and a night by the fire, Jake was tuckered out. So, the next morning, when he woke up he was raring to go. He could not WAIT for us to let him outside. There’s something so great about this special place in the woods. The water there is just beautiful. It’s peaceful and quiet. The smells are so fresh you can hardly stand going back home.

We let Jake out and he was sprinting left, right, and in circles for a good hour. He’s great about being off the leash and listening so we just sat out on the deck and let him roam free. Then, he started trotting up and down the dock, and we knew it was time for some swimming lessons.

Swimming 101

Now Jake knew how to swim but we hadn’t taken him all that often. So, once he got in the water he was a little confused about where to go. Luckily, there is a tiny bank at our place and he could climb in and out as he pleased. We started to throw sticks for him off the end of the dock and he finally worked up the courage to jump off the dock.

Now that he had gotten the hang of it, he was in the water almost none stop. In fact, we got to a point during our week-long trip where he just would swim around for fun without us throwing anything. We even had to yell at him to come back because he would just start swimming out in the lake with no signs of turning around! That was a little scary, so we had to keep an eye on him after that.

Dog’s Enjoy Fishing Too

Once we determined Jake was a water-loving dog, we really had a hard time keeping him OUT of the water. He was almost constantly soaked and dripping water everywhere. He soon found his next favorite thing to do beyond going for a leisurely swim, fishing.

Now, he wasn’t catching fish in his mouth and bringing them up to us. Although that would have been awesome! Instead, he hunted some sunfish and minnows in the shallows. The thing about the Eau Claire Lakes is that the water is ridiculously clear. Jake could see the fish swimming from the dock and would hop in an attempt to catch them.

After a while, he just started staying in the shallow water. We could sit and relax for hours talking while he stalked fish and randomly shoved his face into the water to get them. He was SO tired at the end of every day from fishing.

Jake’s First Voyage

We love kayaking and wondered if Jake might too. As long as it isn’t too windy, the water is calm up at this chain of lakes so it was the perfect opportunity to give Jake a chance to try out a kayak. Our attempt was very comical.

There were a lot of straight arms and legs and flailing about. Finally, we got him in the kayak and he did not seem sure of himself. He didn’t like the rocking motion. After we got him to lie down between our legs, he finally settled in. We had a nice little cruise, but as soon as he saw the cabin he leaped out and nearly capsized us! We won’t be taking him kayaking all that often anymore.

A Surprise Visitor

The sun was starting to come up on the morning we were to leave and it was just beautiful out. We were still lying in bed soaking up the fresh smells, the sounds of the water and wildlife, and our vacation time away from the hustle and bustle. Jake was happily asleep on a rug by a window and seemed to be well spent from a week of all that playing.

Suddenly, Jake went ballistic barking. It’s one of those moments where your heart leaps up into your throat because something must be wrong. Jake doesn’t bark like that unless something really startles him. We hopped out of bed and went to the window to investigate.

Low and behold, a huge black bear was trying to get into the shed out in front of the cabin. He kept looking back, wondering if Jake would come after him as he lazily pawed at the door. Eventually, Jake’s incessant barking deterred him and he took off at a slow stroll back to wherever he came from.

As our adrenalin and Jake’s, started to come down, laughter bubbled up. Jake had had a lot of firsts that week, including seeing a black bear. What a way to end a trip into the woods.