I was recently asked to contribute to http://themonkeysfist.blogspot.com/ I gladly accepted. I should be writing for paying magazines but have taken a hiatus from professional writing while I work on top secret voyaging stuff. Dogs, dogs, dogs, I love my dog, everybody around here loves her except one cranky asshole who lives aboard living off government assistance and writing his grand novel.
I know, I know, you’ve heard this before but Chloe is the worlds best dog. She doesn’t bark, she doesn’t go potty on the dock, and she is the worlds sweetest dog. Still this guy complains constantly, he actually called the harbor master 5 times in a single week. We are not registered aboveboard’s because we are just passing through but still when you are a “sneak-aboard” as they call us, you want to fly under the radar.
Chloe is a Brittany Spaniel, IE lots of energy. in her younger days 50 mile runs we very common as she would chase me through the mountains on my bike. These days she is still very healthy and active but at 10 she is no spring chicken. Dogs and boats simply don’t mix, at 40lbs she is a good boat size but in all our travels she has never once done her business on the deck.
Together we ave circumnavigated Lake Tahoe in winter, sailed San Francisco Bay, explored Southern California from The Bay Area to Ensenada. We trailer sailed from San Diego to Lapaz, across to San Carlos, and ended up in The Keys. we failed miserably on 5 separate occasions try to cross the Gulf Stream and gave up. This little dogie has more sea hours than most licensed captains. She is a true sailing dog but like I said dogs and boats…
Last summer after she chewed out her stitches, we went through three more sets of staples before she healed, I cant even begin to explain the torture of living on a 22′ sailboat with a dog wearing a cone. She would slam it into everything all night long, I can only assume her pain was substantially worse than mine. Dogs get sick and they get hurt, vets are few and far between once you sail off the beaten path.
Then there is the wet stinky factor, dog hair everywhere, sandy paws and salt water from the many times she misses the dingy, its a full time job. I’m not trying to paint an ugly picture, just a real one, I could literally write a book of all the funny things that have happened to her and us. See controlledjibe.com for other dogie adventures.
Like I said dogs and boating don’t mix but we don’t let it stop us, we just have to be extra careful and extra patient. Chloe is my partner in crime, she goes everywhere I do and always has. As I write this she is napping under my desk with her snout on my foot. Best of all she has never complained about my cooking, doesn’t mind sailing on to one more bay for the perfect anchorage, and is always up and ready for the next adventure. I think we both need a good walk.
“Dogs are our link to paradise. They don’t know evil or jealousy or discontent. To sit with a dog on a hillside on a glorious afternoon is to be back in Eden, where doing nothing was not boring–it was peace.”