It may not be the first dog-friendly group activity that springs to mind, but the sport of dragon boating, with mythic roots in ancient China, has become hugely popular in recent years.
Different clubs have different views, but the Berkeley Racing Canoe Center, home to the DragonMax team, is very welcoming to visitors and prospective members, human and canine. So much so, says spokesman Paul Kamen, that visitors are invited to drop by M-dock at Berkeley Marina during Monday and Wednesday evening practices from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m.
If your canine pal is well behaved and calm aboard, you can catch a ride. If it's your first visit, arrive 15 minutes early to get situated; eventually, you can become regulars!
Newbies won't be able to catch a ride, but for action and pageantry the San Francisco International Dragon Boat Festival September 15-16 on Treasure Island is a great spectacle and a good way to get acquainted with the sport. Also, Kamen reports that there's a convivial scene in the team tents, and BRCC's includes people and dogs. If you're there on Saturday the 15th and want a change of pace after all the festivity, stop by and visit our friends at the very dog-friendly Treasure Island Wines, which is open for tasting from noon to 4.
Photo: "Dragon Dog" – Paul Kamen, BRCC