On a recent Colorado River rafting trip some guests were in for a wonderful surprise when they learned that there was, in fact, a dog on the trip as well. Now let’s be clear and state that Hatch River Expeditions does not allow pets to travel on rafting vacations. This happened to be a special case with a very special animal.
This August, Hatch was honored to take the Canyon Heroes organization rafting in the Grand Canyon for the third year in a row. This organization provides white water rafting vacations to veterans in hopes of the veterans finding some healing at the depths of Grand Canyon. Professional counselors travel with the veterans and they participate in healing exercises while also enjoying all that the Colorado River has to offer. On this trip, there was a very special request.
As is common with some veterans suffering from psychological wounds of war, this guest had a service dog as her companion. After reviewing the logistics and feasibility of taking a dog on a raft, Hatch consulted with the National Park Service. After submitting proper doggie documentation, the dog was approved to head out provided he had all the necessities a dog might need while rafting – including a life jacket!
Bentley, the medium sized black Labrador, hopped aboard the raft at Lees Ferry along with everyone else. He wore his life jacket at all times while on the river and even donned a poncho when it got excessively wet. The stories of Bentley that made their way back to the Hatch River Expeditions office at the end of the trip were enough to warm the coldest heart. It seems that Bentley is extremely good at his job. Not only did he check in on his owner frequently but every single night he made his rounds to the camp of every guest on this Colorado River rafting trip. It seems that Bentley wanted to make himself aware of where everyone camped. Now that’s a good dog!