On a recent April weekend, several friends and I ran Sideling Hill Creek, a beautiful class 2 stream in Maryland. One of my friends brought his dog Chulo, a veteran canoeist from our run of West Virginia’s class 2-3 Smokehole Canyon. Since this trip was a little tamer, Chulo took advantage of the calmer water by being our onboard wildlife alert system. We knew something was up when he began to get agitated as we rounded a bend in the river halfway through the trip. Within a few moments, a group of 6 deer emerged from a hidden area of the bank beyond a small side channel. Had the water been a bit warmer, I’m sure Chulo would have jumped overboard in hot pursuit, but, despite his sporty PFD, he chose to remain with his master and protect us from the menacing geese and other threatening waterfowl that awaited us downstream.