The doggie’s grandparents visited recently for 3 weeks and we decided to do a 3 day weekend with the dogs. What to do though? We didn’t want to go too far. We thought about camping but given the grandparents’ age, it wasn’t very suitable. After some debating, we decided on houseboating! We went to Lake Shasta and spent 3 days on a houseboat, and it turned out to be great fun!
We rented the smallest houseboat for 3 days and 2 nights. Technically, the houseboat is available for pick up from 7am the first day and you need to return it by 4pm the last day. However, because Lake Shasta is a 4 hour drive from us, we only arrived around 1pm. There’s a mandatory 30 mins orientation where we were shown how to handle the boat and its various amenities. We also had to haul all our stuff on the boat. So by the time we set off, it was 2pm. We also returned earlier on the last day around 2pm as we needed to unload all our stuff as well as top up the gas. All in all, it was more like 2 days and 2 nights.
The houseboat we rented sleeps 10, so it fit the 4 humans and 2 dogs comfortably. There’s a back area with 2 double decker queen sized bed as well as a front living area with a long dining table.
There’s a covered front deck, a fully equipped kitchen as well as a shower. We brought pillows, throws and towels as no linen was provided. We also brought groceries enough to cook for 6 meals and we were very comfortable.
Lake Shasta is a huge lake and we were pretty much allowed to go anywhere we wanted on the lake. We didn’t really travel far, preferring to spend most of the day floating on the lake, enjoying the lake breeze.
The houseboats are dog friendly and I don’t think there are any restrictions as to the number of dogs allowed. We really saw the difference in their personalities though. QQ won’t stop exploring the boat, walking to and fro. The railing was a little too high for him so we frequently saw him standing up on his hindlegs so he can see out.
Chyler stayed inside the entire time and almost never went out to the deck. She liked to lie on the long sofa and watch my mom cook.
The two of them did share one quirk. Both of them refused to go potty on the puppy pads we brought. Therefore, we had to make regular shore stops so that the dogs could go potty.
Lake Shasta also has a place where you can rent all kinds of water equipment, including paddle boards, jetskis ,water skis etc. We preferred to have a relaxing 3 day where the only activity we did was go for a swim. There’s two ways to get in the water. One was to stop the boat ashore and get it from the shore. But the shoreline rocky rather than sandy. The alternative way was to stop the boat in the middle of the lake, wait 20 minutes for the propeller to stop, and climb or jump in the water from the gate at the back deck. There’s steps for you to climb up when you are done. The water is super clear and not very cold. I swam 2 to 3 times a day. I like to swim circles around the boat, and QQ would follow me running round and round so he can keep me in sight. When I’m done and ready to come up, QQ was always waiting by the gate. I think he thinks I’m nuts and was worried that I won’t be able to return.
We also thought we could take this opportunity to teach QQ how to swim.We started slow the first night when we docked the boat ashore. We let him off leash and went into the water and called him. He would only go in so far as his paws was still firmly planted on the ground. We tried putting him on leash and getting him further in. We weren’t very successful.
The second day, we tried carrying him in to the water a little bit more. He struggled a lot. But we did get him in the water a little more.
The magic happened on the third day. The husband went on shore to tie the boat. QQ clearly wanted to get to the husband. There’s a little distance between the boat and dry shore. After pacing a bit, QQ suddenly jumped off the boat and swam the little distance to shore to get to the husband! We were so shocked because we never thought he will do it. Success!
But QQ still refused to swim out to us when we go into the water and called him. I guess he’ll only swim on his own terms.
Three days passed by really fast and soon it was time to return the boat. It was three fun days and I loved the peace and quiet. And it was indeed a very different experience, for both the humans and the dogs!
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